Career Path Question

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02-20-2014 07:53 AM
DavidGeorge1
New Contributor II
Hello there, I have a few questions about the right Career path to take when studying GIS.
I have recently become interested in GIS over the past month and was wondering what types of
programs or certifications I would need to be involved with the workforce.  I am from Canada , so I am
sure there are lots of uses for GIS and good job opportunities.

I would be great to know all of my opinions in regards to education and the best path to take. 
As of right now, I am taking the free "Getting started with GIS" with ESRI. I am really enjoying
the learning process.  Also , I am watching a number of videos and tutorials.

Thanks a lot of your suggestions in advance.

David
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michaelcollins1
Occasional Contributor III
the best thing would be to get an undergraduate degree in physical geography (minor on computer science, or the other way around), then take a GIS program at one of these 4 top facilities in Canada. These are to top 4 according to ESRI. When I attended COGS (2009-10), ESRI opened job applications for an 18 month contract to students of these institutions only.

COGS (Centre of Geographic Sciences)
http://www.cogs.ns.ca/

Fleming College
http://flemingcollege.ca/

BCIT
http://www.bcit.ca/

Niagara College
http://www.niagaracollege.ca/content/Programs/FulltimeStudies/EnvironmentalStudies/GeographicInforma...
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DavidGeorge1
New Contributor II
Thank you for your comments.  In the area where I live in Canada there is a huge focus on Natural Resources.  They use a lot of GIS technology in their work.  Also, the oil fields in Western Canada could be an option. Now I need to try and gather the right skills for these two industries.  Farming is big where I live too. 

What programs or courses would help me prepare for these industries?

I have a good knowledge of programming.  I think I would need to brush up on my python skills.  I do enjoy programming and I think it would be great for it to work along side of GIS.

Thanks again for your help.
Let continue the conversation.

David
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DavidGeorge1
New Contributor II
Thank you for your reply. 

I already have a degree in an unrelated field. I really don't want to go the degree route at this time.  Is it possible to get certified in GIS without a degree in Geography?  If so, what would be the best route to take?

Thanks again,
David
JessicaRosales2
New Contributor III

Hello David,

I'm sure you know that the ArcGIS platform is ubiquitous in many industries so the concept of an "unrelated field" is quickly diminishing.  A GIS certification is a great goal to validate your skills learned through Esri's e-learning web courses. The Esri Technical Certification program offers many certifications, but the ArcGIS Desktop Entry exam would probably be the best for you to validate your new skills. Feel free to engage with us on our new GeoNet space.  

Esri Technical Certification#certification

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michaelcollins1
Occasional Contributor III
COGS requires a geography degree, but they're flexible. If you're a programmer it shouldn't be a problem there.
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michaelcollins1
Occasional Contributor III
COGS requires a geography degree as a prerequisite to their 2 semester program, but they're flexible. If you're a programmer it shouldn't be a problem there.
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DavidGeorge1
New Contributor II
COGS requires a geography degree as a prerequisite to their 2 semester program, but they're flexible. If you're a programmer it shouldn't be a problem there.


This might be a silly question, but can I break into the GIS industry with ( previous unrelated degree) and some sort of training / course / program?
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michaelcollins1
Occasional Contributor III
Yes, but that's what I'm suggesting.
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michaelcollins1
Occasional Contributor III
Yes, but that's what I'm suggesting; a 2 semester program. We had a guy with a history degree, but he had programming skills.
Doing some 2 week course won't really cut it, at least in my opinion.
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