Over the past 10 years, the number of BCBAs has grown from approximately 2,500 in 2005 to close to 20,000 in 2015. This growth is partially due to the increase in the availability of certification programs in behavior analysis. Although there is a growing need for behavior analysts, many students have been entering degree programs with little or no experience working in the field of ABA and a limited knowledge of what a behavior analyst actually does. This blog covers one of the bigger topics in ABA: Does experience trump credentials?
As professionals who have supervised and taught in certification programs, our experience has been that the most successful students have a background in ABA and have had the opportunity to demonstrate those principles in the natural environment (for our sake, with kids with autism). Unfortunately, we have witnessed unsuccessful students, and a common denominator is typically jumping into a certification program without truly understanding the roles and responsibilities of a BCBA.
As a behavior analyst, you have the ability to change behavior! We can make a huge difference in the life of a child with autism and their family; this should not be taken lightly. This is why we are dedicated to not hiring or promoting individuals because of their credentials but instead due to their experience and proven ability to be effective at what they do.