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Thread: GIS certificate

  1. #1

    GIS certificate

    Would it be worth staying an extra semester and earning a GIS certificate? The MCP program I am in only offers two GIS core courses. I was hoping to take advantage of a GIS certificate the school offers.

    Would it be worth it? Would it be a lucrative venture?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    Only if you primarily want to do GIS for a living. Otherwise, you need only a basic familiarity with GIS (as in, knowing it only enough to tell someone else what needs to be done), and a certificate would be somewhat overkill.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by manoverde84 View post

    Would it be worth it? Would it be a lucrative venture?
    Impossible to tell with info provided whether it would be worth it to you. Lucrative? Only if you are very, very bright and creative and are very lucky.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Depends on a number of things like your undergrad degree and whether you really want to work with GIS. Like for myself, a GIS certificate never made a whole lot of sense since my undergrad degree kind of implies I have experience with it plus it's not the direction I want to go in with my career. I like using GIS as a tool but I don't want to make a career out of it.

    A GIS certificate probably won't make you more competitive than a geography major with or with out a GIS certificate though.

    EDIT: I would suggest figuring out what you want to do with GIS. I only felt that the basics plus modeling would be relevant for the direction that I wanted to move career wise. I have no interest in the real advanced GIS stuff that deals with programming and databases. Unsurprisingly, the advanced stuff is where the jobs and money are in the field now.
    Last edited by Blide; 21 Nov 2011 at 2:09 PM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I only do GIS work now in a non-planning job. GIS certicates are hit or miss, and they might not cover EVERYTHING you want. Over the summer when I was unemployed, I downloaded a free 60 day trial of ArcEditor, opened the help menu (F1) and took copious notes. I covered more advanced tools in ArcGIS 10 including representations, relationship classes, and SQL, which are not covered in every certificate program. Had I not updated my GIS skills, which were a tad rusty, I don't think I would have this job today.

    Even with a GIS certificate, employers want to see completed examples of work AND that work has to be related to THIER needs. You might do a wonderful mapping project on climate changes in China for your certificate but how do those GIS skills relate to updating a zoning map for Anywhere, USA?
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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