Posted on February 5th, 2013 at 10:32 AM.
Unlike Canadian surveyors, for example, GIS professionals in Canada are not pressed by law to obtain certification. This fact has led to one of the more common questions in Geomatics circles: is a GIS certification worth the investment? This has been the subject of a debate that spans over a decade. Many of us have accreditation from the schools that we attended. Sometimes it’s a graduate degree or a post graduate diploma. Do we need a certification outside of the ones granted by our Canadian universities and colleges?
There are several key criticisms to GIS certifications. These include:
- GIS field is too broad
That being said, there are still benefits to having a GIS certification. The benefits of GIS certification
- Application Qualification
Each one of us will have to make up our own mind when it comes to the benefits of certification. They can be costly and may require you to join the organisation that gives the certification and maintain membership.
At the end of the day if you feel that having a certification will be of benefit to you, then it will. It might make you feel more confident in your skills and abilities. Confidence is key when it comes to job seeking and especially geomatics interviews.
Until a group like the federal or provincial government(s) make it mandatory for GIS employment I don’t see a wide uptake in certifications in the Canadian geomatics community. However if this was to happen the geomatics industry in Canada would most likely follow.
The other issue would be marketing the availability and benefits of these certifications. A quick survey or GoGeomatics social groups indicated the vast majority of young GIS professionals did not know these certifications existed, and if they did know, what benefit they would gain from obtaining them.