Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.
I've looked into this before. At this point, it doesn't seem like GISP holds anywhere near the weight in the GIS field as AICP does in planning. Granted, GISP is still a relatively new certification but until it starts becoming more prevalent, I really don't see the point in getting it. It also seems like the certification is more geared toward strict GIS professionals and not those people who just use GIS as part of their job (planners).
I'm kind of surprised but I don't think I've even met any GISPs :-|
We have a couple local people who are certified. I am not sure that it really means much though. As of now that is really just a bunch of letters that mean you are friendly with ESRI. Unless you are in the GIS field solely, I don't see the value.
The GISP certification certainly seems oriented toward professionals working exclusively with GIS products, as opposed to planners or others who work with GIS and do other things. I imagine, like the AICP, they designed the requirements to restrict casual users from qualifying. I'm not sure yet, but I will probably pursue this since I am now working in a capacity geared toward GIS and am no longer working as a planner.
Happy to share the outcome or my experience with the process to anyone wanting to know.
At my previous job in oil and gas, the GIS manager had GISP and had a background in geography or GIS. There was a ton of IT, server, enterprise work in GIS that had nothing to do with actual mapping. Several of my O/G GIS connections on linkedin also have GISP credentials, but few if any planners/planning directors. Unless you plan on doing the server/IT side of GIS I don't see the added value.
The qualifications for this voluntary certification are broken into 3 categories: education, professional experience, and contributions. You not only need a lengthy formal education (my MA and handful of GIS courses put me just barely past the minimum qualifications - if you only have a BA, you need a ton of course experience to make up for it), and at least 4 years of experience (most of which needs to be at the programmer and analyst levels), but you must also have contribution points. You need 8 total contribution points to qualify. You only get 5 points for having written a book chapter, for example. Published a journal article? 3 points. Basically, you must be heavily vested in the GIS professional community or have published several times to qualify, which costs a lot of time and money.
Edit: I forgot to mention, if you have the minimum education, professional experience, and contribution points, you are still a long way off from qualifying. You have to demonstrate additional competence by earning more credits.
Education minimum: 30
Professional minimum: 60
Additional minimum: 52