GIS Career Advice

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


Our Reply
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:

Good luck!

GIS Career Advice: Take workshops on open source & free GIS tools

GIS Career Advice: Take workshops on open source & free GIS tools + programming courses

Do you have some alternative GIS Career Advice? Perhaps you think sticking with ArcGIS is the right way to go? Leave a comment below.

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4 Responses to GIS Career Advice

  1. Lili April 9, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    It is important to feed our knowledge with ArcGIS as it is a complete package of great solutions at the desktop or mobile web, but have great potential to control the program in GIS is free languages ​​like php, python, java.
    good luck

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