ESRI Desktop Certification.

Jan 23, 2013 | ArcGIS Desktop, ESRI, GISCI, GISP

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking as of late about all things GIS. One of those things happened to show up in the mail.

Candidates who achieved an ArcGIS Desktop Associate or ArcGIS Desktop Professional certification at version 10.0 will be granted certification at the same level for version 10.1 if they choose.

I always wondered what the point of the desktop certification was – and really it’s two fold:

  1. An employer can look at you and go “Hey – you know what buttons to push in ESRI Software”
  2. Revenue stream for ESRI.

I had to get my associates certification to teach – when ESRI announced they were ending the CTP program I was a bit annoyed. I jumped through a lot of hoops to keep it. Now one of the hoops I get to keep for a bit longer in the form of 10.1 certification. Of course I did come out of this as a CTT (Certified Technical Trainer) so I can’t say something good didn’t come out of the process.

The certification test was a test. That’s about the best thing I can say about it. Out of 90 something questions two dealt with practical GIS problems – the rest were what button to push when. I remember coming out of the test somewhat irritated. Of course I’ve been irritated a lot lately. Even the GISP has me questioning it’s usefulness because of some of the GISPs I’ve worked around in the last 6 months. It’s been a lot to chew on as of late.

…and I decided tonight not to move the certification. There’s no point – I’m self employed. Anyone I hire is going to have to pass my BS test as opposed to this test. Since dropping my ESRI BP Agreement – there’s even less incentive. So I’ll file away the letter…and maybe in a few days I’ll have a change of heart and move it – who knows….but for now it’s not quite worth the effort. My advice to people wanting to take the test has been to spend the money on python books at OReilly and learn something useful. That still stands. If an employer needs for you to take the test – then take it. If the don’t – I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

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