Have you thought about taking part in Esri’s Technical Certification Program? Since its introduction in February last year, thousands of GIS professionals – including over 20 Esri Australia trainers – have gained official certification.
Esri Australia’s newly appointed National Training Manager Kath Sund (and the holder of ArcGIS Desktop Professional certification) takes us though the ins and outs of the Program – and why you should consider gaining your Esri Technical Certification.
EA: Hi Kath, thanks for chatting with us – for the first time in your new capacity as National Training Manager! So tell us, what is Esri Technical Certification?
KS: Esri’s Technical Certification Program has been designed to recognise GIS professionals who are proficient in best practices for using Esri software. The program is open to Esri users worldwide, with exams available for different areas of expertise at Associate and Professional levels.
EA: Why was the certification program put in place?
KS: The program is designed to create a standardised level of expertise for the use of Esri products and technology. By sitting international standardised exams, GIS professionals – no matter where they’re located – can validate their knowledge, skills and abilities against a measurable level of competency.
EA: What technology areas does the program cover?
KS: The program is designed around three Esri user profiles: Desktop, Developer and Enterprise. Each level includes multiple tracks and certification levels (Associate and Professional) to establish a hierarchy of expertise using Esri technology.
EA: Do you have to be highly experienced in GIS to become certified?
KS: The certification exams are written for the GIS professional – and as such, they are not for the light-hearted! The sample questions provided on http://training.esri.com/certification will show you the questioning style, and the necessary prerequisites.
EA: What does it mean to be “certified”?
KS: Certification means you can benchmark your skills in Esri technology against your fellow GIS professionals, and provides a way to differentiate yourself in the spatial job market. Your current and future employers can identify their staff’s skills against industry-accepted standards – ensuring their workforce are certified in using Esri technology best practices.
EA: What does the certification process involve?
KS: You need to purchase a voucher from Pearson VUE – an external exam hosting company – to register for the certification exam. You can find branches of Pearson VUE in all the major cities across the country. Pearson VUE hosts the exams, but they are written by the Esri training and development team. Once you’ve taken your exam, you’ll be informed within a few weeks of your results.
EA: What’s the best way to prepare for the exam?
KS: The first step you should take is to look at training.esri.com/certification, and choose the exam that meets your skill level. The pages for each course contain qualifications, measured skills and training resources.
Esri Australia also runs two ArcGIS Desktop Skills Review training courses – for Associate and Professional level – that are specially designed to help you prepare to sit the Esri Technical Certification exams.
EA: Do you have to update your certification every year?
KS: Certifications are updated with software upgrades – basically when there are significant upgrades to operation. For example, Server certification at 10.0 will need to be re-submitted for 10.1, but Desktop certification at 10.0 holds for 10.1.
EA: Have all Esri Australia trainers taken part in the certification program?
KS: All trainers at Esri Australia are now certified to teach all 10.0 and 10.1 content. This not only includes the Esri Technical Certification, but also an internationally recognised training competency called CompTIA CTT+.
EA: Thanks so much Kath!
KP: My pleasure! While taking exams can be daunting – particularly if it’s been quite a few years since you’ve been sat for an exam – getting your Esri Technical Certification is well worth it. If you have any questions about the certification process that I haven’t answered above, just drop the training team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.