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Thread: Questions about education in GIS

  1. #1
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    Questions about education in GIS

    I already have a Bachelor's degree and am now trying to break into a career in regional and urban planning. I am particularly interested in studying GIS, and am being given conflicting advice. Some say I should get a certificate in GIS, while others say that this may not be enough and that I should get a second Bachelor's in GIS. Which of these would be better? Either way, no institution next to where I live seems to offer these degrees, so I was wondering if there are any reputable degrees in GIS being offered online. Something called the American Sentinel University has an online Bachelor's degree in GIS, while a couple of places (University of West Florida and the University of Montana) offer certificate degrees in GIS. Does anyone know anything about American Sentinel, and which is better--a Bachelor's in GIS from there or a certificate from University of West Flordia or the University of Montana? Thank you all for the advice.

  2. #2
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    A second bachelors? Why not get a masters?

    If you want to do it all online - try the University of Denver. I'm starting the certificate program there this fall, and I figure I'll probably end up studying an extra year and getting a Masters. (they give you the option of transferring most of your certificate credits towards the masters program)

    You can do the entire certificate or masters programs online, or on campus.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Akrido View post
    I already have a Bachelor's degree and am now trying to break into a career in regional and urban planning. I am particularly interested in studying GIS
    I know planners use GIS very often, but do you know what a GIS guru does all day?IMO it has nothing to do with planning at all. What do you want to do with a career in planning that has so much to do with GIS?
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    Also, can one apply for Master's in GIS with only a certificate in this field? I know that this is possible at the University of Denver, but is it normal elsewhere?

  5. #5
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    If you're willing to move, I think the University of Calgary has a masters program in GIS. It doesn't require a bachelors in GIS or geomatics and I'm sure having a certificate in the field will help you get in.

  6. #6
    I have a related question.
    Just how big a deal is it that somebody interested in planning be proficent and enjoy working with GIS?

    I've taken two classes in GIS, and they've been the hardest and some of the worst experiences I have had in any class.
    Computers are NOT my strength.
    Some people have said you have to be really good with GIS, others have said it depends and a working knowledge is all that counts.

    I am NOT a GIS person, I don't understand it, the technology is too complicated, I don't want anything to do with it beyond the minimum requirements.
    Is this going to be a problem or can I do just fine in planning without it hindering?

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