Our training catalog includes quite a few courses that cover fundamental GIS and ArcGIS topics. Designed for people with no academic or workplace experience with GIS, historically our introductory courses have been among our most popular. They likely always will be. As more and more organizations adopt GIS, more people require introductory-level training so they can perform the new workflows made possible by the technology. Makes sense.
If you’re someone who has mastered the fundamentals, you may be wondering what courses you should take next. You’ve learned the basics, you want to continue growing your GIS skillset, but you’re not ready to tackle 3D terrain analysis with lidar data. We get the what’s-next question a lot.
But what’s next does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. GIS has broad application and is often used in tandem with other technologies. ArcGIS has a huge number of tools and capabilities. So the learning path you choose to embark on depends on what you already do or what you aspire to do. A market analyst working for a national real estate firm needs to learn different things than a mapping specialist working for a county assessor’s office.
Once you’ve acquired knowledge and skills equivalent to what’s taught in the first two of our ArcGIS foundational courses, there are multiple paths on which to continue your learning journey. To figure out which path is right for you, start by asking yourself some questions:
- What GIS-related tasks do you most commonly perform?
- Do you feel like you’re doing some of these tasks “the hard way”?
- What kind of things would you like to be working on a year or two from now?
- What knowledge and skills are required for the work you want to do?
For ArcGIS 10.1 we’ve categorized our courses into four topical areas, all branching off the ArcGIS II: Essential Workflows course.
In each category, instructor-led courses are supplemented and extended by web courses and free training seminars.
Suppose you’re intrigued by what you’ve learned so far about GIS, want to pursue it further, but aren’t sure for what end. Here’s a tip: check out the GIS Bibliography.
The GIS Bibliography offers access to thousands of papers, conference proceedings, journal articles, and more. Browse it when you have some free time and discover the many interesting things people are doing with GIS. You just might find inspiration that directs your GIS learning journey.