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Online GIS training vs. Certificate

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#1
designmaps

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Hi All,

I've been doing Graphic cartography for a number of years and would like to move into the GIS field. I have a geography degree under my belt
already and am looking at GIS training options. I can attend my local community college and earn a GIS certificate in two years time, or
do an online course, which will get me trained quicker, but probably cost a lot more. Which of these options holds more validity when looking to get hired?

Thanks,
Scott Lockheed
Designmaps

#2
David Medeiros

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Hi All,

I've been doing Graphic cartography for a number of years and would like to move into the GIS field. I have a geography degree under my belt
already and am looking at GIS training options. I can attend my local community college and earn a GIS certificate in two years time, or
do an online course, which will get me trained quicker, but probably cost a lot more. Which of these options holds more validity when looking to get hired?

Thanks,
Scott Lockheed
Designmaps


Scott, I struggled with a similar question after leaving CSAA... spend a year in school getting a certificate or take a 2 weekend GIS "Certification" workshop. In the end the choice was obvious, not only is a local CC way cheaper, but the breadth and depth of training will naturally be far superior to the quick and dirty methods. Now online education has its merits is probably not as limited as the weekend training classes but is probably still not as valuable as attending real classes with other human beings.

I for one am very happy with my choice to spend the extra time on this. Good luck to you whatever you decide.

dave

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#3
designmaps

designmaps

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Hi All,

I've been doing Graphic cartography for a number of years and would like to move into the GIS field. I have a geography degree under my belt
already and am looking at GIS training options. I can attend my local community college and earn a GIS certificate in two years time, or
do an online course, which will get me trained quicker, but probably cost a lot more. Which of these options holds more validity when looking to get hired?

Thanks,
Scott Lockheed
Designmaps


Scott, I struggled with a similar question after leaving CSAA... spend a year in school getting a certificate or take a 2 weekend GIS "Certification" workshop. In the end the choice was obvious, not only is a local CC way cheaper, but the breadth and depth of training will naturally be far superior to the quick and dirty methods. Now online education has its merits is probably not as limited as the weekend training classes but is probably still not as valuable as attending real classes with other human beings.

I for one am very happy with my choice to spend the extra time on this. Good luck to you whatever you decide.

dave


Hey Dave,

Thanks very much for this info. I was leaning in that direction, and your input has definitely helped.

Best,
Scott

#4
David Medeiros

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I should have added (and this may be obvious), but you may find work in your new field way before you finish the program. I've had a lot of luck selling my cartographic experience and general geography background while making sure to highlight my current GIS training in progress.

Actual cartographers in the GIS field are few and far between and your map design experience will give you a leg up.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#5
Gretchen Peterson

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If I were looking at you as a potential hire, I am looking for a degree (which you already have) and then evidence that you have some skills as well as the ability to acquire new skills on the job. In that sense, I don't think it matters whether you go the CC route or the online route. I think you have to do what it takes for YOU to learn the material, and then you have to be darn sure that you convey that you know the material in your cover letter, resume, and interview. With a constantly changing field like GIS one of your most valuable skills is learning to keep learning however is best for you. Self-learning through books, blogs, and experience are just as good (although maybe slower) than online classes and community college classes.

However, if your potential employer is a large organization or government agency then the advice is going to be totally different, as they will be assigning points to you for your education as opposed to listening to what you really know.

#6
Robert2009

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Scott,

Here's what I found that might be useful for you to research your decision on either online training or certificate. I have a geography degree under my belt and a GIS certificate. I have been a GIS Specialist for almost 9 years started with the US Forest Service and NRCS.

Here's the website: http://gispathway.co...ation/colleges/

Good Luck,
Robert




Hi All,

I've been doing Graphic cartography for a number of years and would like to move into the GIS field. I have a geography degree under my belt
already and am looking at GIS training options. I can attend my local community college and earn a GIS certificate in two years time, or
do an online course, which will get me trained quicker, but probably cost a lot more. Which of these options holds more validity when looking to get hired?

Thanks,
Scott Lockheed
Designmaps






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