Occasionally, Anthony or I will get an email or phone call from a college student interested in a career in GIS.
Since neither of us studied GIS in college, we have a little different take on GIS career advice than most. And here it is.
Typical GIS Career Advice Request that comes in
i am a student working towards becoming a professional, need some form of advice and material guidance to become a GIS professional. how can you help me develop myself. i am already using arc gis but need to be proficient with it. bottom line want to be an expert
That’s great that you are excited about becoming a GIS expert.
One suggestion — we don’t use ArcGIS. It’s too expensive & not flexible enough for what we do.
We only use open source & free GIS tools–MapWindow + QGIS + PostGIS + MapServer + Google Maps + OSM etc.
To be able to use open source/free GIS, it’s helpful if you can do some basic coding. So my advice to you would be to take classes in programming (or teach yourself — both Anthony and I are self taught). If you can combine programming + GIS, that’s a killer combo right now! Think Foursquare.
Probably the best programming language to learn for GIS work is Python. And I love HeadFirst series for learning new languages: http://www.headfirstlabs.com/books/hfpython/
Do you have some alternative GIS Career Advice? Perhaps you think sticking with ArcGIS is the right way to go? Leave a comment below.