GIS certification is validation for an individual’s skills and knowledge in particular areas of GIS (Geographic Information System) or geospatial intelligence. There are several options when it comes to GIS certifications. You can have a graduate certificate in GIS or go for the professional GIS certification options to enhance your skills and grow in the technological field. It has become an important part of GIS education, as technology continues expanding its applications.
In this blog, we have discussed everything about GIS certifications – its purpose, eligibility, importance, and a comparison with GIS graduate certificates at the end. Read on!
GIS certifications and growth
Though not all career options with the field of GIS demand specific certifications or certificates, they can be of huge importance in several ways. Considering the exposure to GIS technologies and broad research knowledge in the graduate certificate GIS programs, it can enable you to learn new skills you require to carry out complex GIS or geospatial projects. These are provided by educational institutes.
On the other hand, professional GIS certifications course can bring you a competitive advantage while pursuing jobs in the field, in organizations seeking candidates with additional credentials. GIS certification showcases better proficiency in a particular domain.
GIS Certification in detail
Now that you have got an idea of what is a GIS certification, let us dig the topic deeper for better understanding. GIS certificate programs or professional GIS certifications are usually an array of GIS-based coursework offered by non-profits in the field or platforms working in favor of the technology and its advancements.
There’s no graduate degree included in the coursework, rather you will get proof in form of a certificate that you have successfully completed the course and are now ready to join organizations working in the field of GIS or geospatial technology.
The GIS certification program held online. So, students will learn all the lessons of GIS or Geospatial Awareness through the e-learning platform. All the programs are classified according to lesson difficulty level -beginners, intermediate, and Advance.
Through these levels’ aspirants will learn about spatial data analysis, uses of open source tools in different fields, and introduction to GIS.
The certificate program varies from one source to another but usually covers an introductory course in cartography, GIS, remote sensing, and introductory spatial statistics. The main emphasis of a GIS certificate program is to develop new skills and enhance existing skills with an intention to help candidates utilize GIS software programs. Once you get well-trained and have a certification, you will be able to use the technology at the workplace. Thus, it is an asset for candidates seeing jobs in the areas of GIS.
By the end of the course, the students will have the confidence to take more critical as well as complex certifications and how to implement the acquired skills in the practical field.
GIS certification programs do not mandatorily offer a road to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in GIS but serve to add value to your resume with GIS and geospatial technologies mentioned as your expertise. You can have online GIS certification and all thanks to the advancing digital technology.
Now let’s have a general idea of the eligibility criteria for having a certification.
Eligibility criteria to apply for GIS certification
If you want to have GIS certification, these are the possible eligibility criteria:
- Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Master’s degree in Science or equivalent qualification along with 5 years of geology, environmental analysis, oceanography, etc.
- Knowledge in statistics and mathematics (Graduate level) is required
- Work experience in the GIS or spatial field is a plus
Comparison of GIS certifications and GIS graduate certificates
GIS certificates and Graduate GIS certificate programs are two similarly named but different identification of a person’s GIS education and skills. Here’s a comparison between the two.
- GIS certification is offered by non-profits and businesses in the GIS field, whereas graduate certificates are offered by academic institutions in their education programs. The GIS graduate certificate is a great start for students looking forward to joining the master’s degree program.
- GIS certification is mainly focused on a particular skill set or a specific GIS software application developed to boast higher proficiency. On the other hand, graduate programs include broader knowledge in the field of GIS or geospatial intelligence.
- GIS certifications require a blend of GIS education and work experience, along with passing an exam by the organization, whereas graduate programs can be enrolled with a bachelor’s degree. You can go for the professional GIS certification after having a graduate GIS certificate.
In a nutshell
The next time someone asks you the value of GIS certification and its place in GIS education and courses, you will have the exact points to showcase. If you are interested to enrol for the professional certification program online, start searching for a reputed organization.