Best Technical Certification Path for Aspiring Spatial Data Scientist?

Discussion created by tjhallum on Apr 24, 2020
Latest reply on May 8, 2020 by tjhallum

Esri Community,


Background: I'm a data scientist. So, my background is steeped in statistical methods, optimization, heuristics, machine learning, deep learning, etc. (i.e., not GIS). HOWEVER, over the last 1.5 years my work has increasingly skewed heavily toward spatial data over other forms of data. Consequently, I've acquired quite a bit of on-the-job experience with ArcGIS Pro and open-source GIS tools (e.g., GeoPandas).


Current Status: I consider myself a data scientist in the process of evolving into a spatial data scientist.


My Goal: Ideally, I would pursue an ArcGIS Spatial Data Scientist (SDS) certification...but currently there is no such thing . So, in lieu of a SDS cert, I want to obtain the blend of currently available certs/exams that would most closely approximate the concept of what an ArcGIS SDS cert would be if it did exist. I completed Esri's recent SDS MOOC and LOVED IT, but now I'm looking to secure credentials that carry more weight than a MOOC.


My Current Plan: I'll preface this by saying that I'm very new to the world of ArcGIS certifications. With that being said, I *think* the most appropriate cert/exam blend for my goal is: ArcGIS Desktop Associate + ArcGIS API for Python Specialty Exam.


What do you think?


Given my background and goal, can anyone advise whether or not this is the best cert/exam mix? If not, please respond with what you'd put forward as a better credentialing path to achieve my goal - open to all suggestions!


Thank you in advance for your thoughtful responses!