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Thread: How long to be proficient in GIS?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    How long to be proficient in GIS?

    Hello, I am entering a planning program in Sept 2010 and was contemplating taking a GIS course in the interim. The question is would 5-9 months be long enough to get a handle on GIS (and for that matter to be able to market it to potential employers in an internship) if I am not necessarily computer saavy, apart from using basic office programs. Thank you kindly!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    If you don't have experience with GIS, then I'd thoroughly recommend taking it. You'll probably have to take some GIS courses in your planning program, too, but any knowledge and experience you have beforehand will definitely be helpful, especially when you take advanced GIS applications courses. And, well, you will potentially use GIS a lot in your career. It's not a given, but it does help.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by sneakers View post
    Hello, I am entering a planning program in Sept 2010 and was contemplating taking a GIS course in the interim. The question is would 5-9 months be long enough to get a handle on GIS (and for that matter to be able to market it to potential employers in an internship) if I am not necessarily computer saavy, apart from using basic office programs. Thank you kindly!
    GIS user interface is based on the drop-down menu, right-click, etc. If you can't drive those, your learning curve will be broader and shallower. But even one class will get you going well enough to honestly state you can drive the software for most basic needs. Count on it being part of your toolkit and do what it takes to feel comfortable. Let the specialists do the heavy lifting.

  4. #4
         
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    Quote Originally posted by sneakers View post
    Hello, I am entering a planning program in Sept 2010 and was contemplating taking a GIS course in the interim. The question is would 5-9 months be long enough to get a handle on GIS (and for that matter to be able to market it to potential employers in an internship) if I am not necessarily computer saavy, apart from using basic office programs. Thank you kindly!
    I'm not GIS expert, but I was able to pick up basic GIS skills during my first semester of grad school through practical use. The GIS (if you use ArcMap) interface is pretty simple. If you take an introductory course prior to grad school, you'll probably be in good shape.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I origonaly took a two day basic course that has served me well for 10 years now.

    I just recently took another two day intro course and I got alot more of it and really think it did me good to go back to that.

    It just takes the ability to have access to use it. Not something that you just learn and are done. I learn new things every day.
    Take the class
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    I am not sure on what type of GIS course or software you are exactly doing. However, I have found that much of the practical activities have been done via the introductory ESRI course. Depending on your institution, you may be able to download datasets and receive a free student edition of ArcGIS so you can have a play in your spare time.

    Considering a normal course is 3 months, I think 5-6 is enough to do basic GIS analysis
    Last edited by Woolley; 20 Dec 2009 at 5:22 PM. Reason: errors and omissions
    We architects and urban planners aren't the visible symbols of oppression, like the military or the police. We're more sophisticated, more educated, and more socially conscious. We're the soft cops.- Robert Goodman, After the Planners My Planning Forumino

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