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VALUE OF STANDARDS for Young, Emerging Professionals and Students

Value of Standards for Young, Emerging Professionals and Students

Education and training of the next generation of standardization professionals is vital for the U.S. to remain competitive in global markets. And the first step in getting young, emerging professionals and students (YES) – our future standardization leaders – involved in standards development activities is educating them about the importance of standardization – from a young age.

Education lays a vital groundwork for success and knowledge of the economic, technical, and social importance – and benefits – of standards. Therefore, standardization becomes imperative in the curricula of future managers, scientists, and technologists.

Standards are everywhere!

From your tablet and cell phone to building safety and environmental technologies, all innovation, products, and services are shaped and guided by standards. Simply put, a standard is an agreed-upon way of doing something. In practice, it is a document that sets specific guidelines for the design, operation, manufacture, and use of nearly everything produced by mankind. There are standards to protect human health, safety, and the environment, and others to ensure that different products work compatibly together.

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Developed by groups of engineers and other experts, voluntary standards are the result of cooperation between technical professionals, companies, industry groups, and government and consumer representatives. They represent the combined expertise of those who have a stake in the technology, working to agree upon requirements and best practices.

Effective utilization of standards and conformance promotes technological interoperability and drives the global competitiveness of businesses. Furthermore, active participation in standards development provides an opportunity to exert influence on technical content and align its products and services with changing market demand.

Put simply – a new graduate who is familiar with the standards relevant to their industry and how the standards system works is a strategic asset to their future employer.


the USNC CURRENT e-Newsletter focusing on Emerging Professionals And Other Value-Added Programs.

How to Get Involved in Standardization?

Exploring the myriad of tools and resources available on the website is the first step.  Another resource that provides valuable, free tools for students of all ages is where you can learn about standards and conformity assessment, as well as take online courses about the American National Standards (ANS) process.  The course that provides a comprehensive, beginners overview is An Introduction to Standards: Why, where and how are they developed?

Two-wheeled Examples…

Think about, for example, your own bicycle. How is it that you can replace worn parts – a tire, brakes, the chain or seat – and the new pieces will fit and work with your old frame? The answer is standards! Standards define the required size and functioning of products and parts to ensure they meet the needs of millions of consumers. Manufacturers use standards to show them how to develop products that will work for the market (you!).

Here's another example: your bicycle helmet. How can you be sure that it will protect your head in the event of a fall or crash? Again, standards to the rescue. They set down product requirements that have been established and tested for effective safety protection.

Another way to get involved is to seek out the standards development work that aligns with your interest and expertise, and volunteer to participate on a related International Organization for Standardization (ISO) technical committee (TC), subcommittee (SC), project committee (PC), or on a U.S. Technical Advisory Group (US/TAG). 

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) can help connect you with the organizations that are doing this work. For more information about U.S. participation in ISO, contact
* List of all current ANSI-accredited U.S. TAGs to ISO

Standardization makes people's everyday lives easier, safer, healthier, and more enjoyable – helping everything work together and work better!

Shouldn’t you be involved?

Read on:

Beyond the bottom line: standards impact quality, lead-time, factory flexibility, and supply chain management.
Standardization and conformity assessment activities lead to lower costs by reducing redundancy, minimizing errors, and reducing time to market.
Demonstrating compliance to standards helps your products, services, and personnel to cross borders. Standards also make cross-border interoperability possible, ensuring that products manufactured in one country can be sold and used in another.
Businesses not only reduce the economic risk of their research and development activities by participating in standardization, they can also lower their overall R&D costs by relying on previously standardized technologies and terminologies.