Is a GIS Certificate worth it?

What is GIS?

We are used to using Google Maps without knowing the engine behind it.  Think of it like a map connected to a database. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a framework that provides you with the tools to capture, analyze and display spatial and geographic data. GIS is used across multiple industries such as urban planning, supply chain management, banking, and environmental protection.  This means that with GIS, a City planner could find the ideal location for the new hospital so that it is at the epicenter of the population. A Banker can calculate the probability of a prospective loan being paid.  A Virologist can use GIS to create a map of COVID-19 cases. The applications of GIS are endless which is why more and more industries have a need to hire people with a GIS Certificate. If you want more information about the GIS industry, Check out this article about why the GIS field is growing so fast.

Develop a focused GIS skills resume

Everyone’s got data.  Be a pro at managing, analyzing, and presenting it. Sky Learn to use UAVs or aerial drones to collect data. Ground Learn how to collect GPS and smartphone data. Cloud Learn to set up and manage server based mapping applications. Database Learn how to load and store data from various big data sources. Computation use GIS and data science to extract knowledge and trends

What can I do with a GIS certificate?

College students with various degrees often find themselves lacking technical skills and GIS is an excellent fix. A GIS certification provides a lot of utility to a resume. But make sure your curriculum gives you a blend of IT with cloud, mobile, and data science.  If you do this, you’ll be more attractive to employers who will compare you to another candidate that has made simple desktop maps.  Once you become proficient with GIS, you will be able to work in cross functional teams, and seamlessly transition across industries. A GIS certification also provides a great return on investment. Getting GIS certified is significantly cheaper than traditional education and can be completed in 6-12 months. The final advantage of being GIS certified is that you increase your marketability for jobs like a GIS Analyst or GIS Administrator.

What is the best GIS certification program?

There are many GIS certificate programs but you should evaluate the curriculum so that you don’t pay for a program that gives you low level or outdated skills. Here are some tips to find the right fit for you.

  • Do you see courses that interest you?
  • Are the instructors from industries that use GIS?
  • How long is the specialized course?
  • Are the classes flexible to fit your schedule?
  • Are the instructors willing and able to teach online?

After some research, you should be able to find a program that best fits you. You might want to compare courses to these applied courses at Bootcamp GIS to see if you are getting the project based skills you need.  Then get cranking to complete some courses, do some networking, and you are on your way to a meaningful career. If you want more information about GIS certifications, Check out this article about the top 10 best GIS certifications.

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