Tag Archives: GIS training
Experts say the outlook for formal skills development in 2013 is rosy. According to a recent study, overall spending on training increased by 12% in 2012, and the technology sector saw a 20% increase.
“As the pace of innovation accelerates, and companies look to expand their operations, employees should acquire more specialized skills and adapt to a workplace that grows more transient, mobile and self-serving – what we call the ‘borderless workplace,’” said Bersin by Deloitte’s Karen O’Leonard, lead analyst, benchmarking, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Perhaps you will be attending a training class this year. Here’s a question to ponder before you start crafting your out-of-office auto-reply:
- Why are you going?
If you initiated the training request, you should be able to answer quickly with one or more job-related benefits because, for lots of us, submitting the request means providing a justification. At most organizations, gone are the days when you can take a class just because it sounds interesting. Typically, the justification documents how the training relates to your current job responsibilities (or references your professional development plan if your organization uses those). Continue reading
“Is there an app for that?” has become part of the general vernacular. Don’t think so? Try searching on that particular question and see how many results you get. With Google, Facebook, Android, and Apple regularly dominating media headlines, developers own the “sexy job du jour” title.
So it’s no surprise there’s been discussion in the social sphere recently about whether GIS professionals—analysts, specialists, technicians, and others—should add programming to their list of must-have skills. And how much weight are organizations giving to programming expertise when evaluating GIS job candidates? Continue reading
Like people, training comes in different packages. Put another way, training suits different purposes—and it scales from individuals to organizations.
- Individuals take training to gain new knowledge and skills that will help them do their current job better, earn a promotion, or launch a promising new career path.
- Projects often include a training line item in order for team members to acquire the technical skills they need to complete the project on time and on spec. The skills team members acquire are almost always transferable to future projects.
- Departments often have training plans for each job role. Training is used to onboard new employees and support annual performance objectives for all employees. Training plans are a great tool to document the knowledge and skills needed for each position and assist with recruiting and evaluating job candidates.
- Organizations increasingly see the benefits of staff development. Staff development includes training but more fundamentally, it encompasses the organization’s belief that investment in their human talent is directly linked to meeting long-term business goals. When integrated into the fabric of an organization, money spent on staff development pays off when it comes to the organization’s bottom line. Because when individuals are empowered to perform to their potential—and they believe the organization is vested in their success—productivity, loyalty, and innovation have a rich environment in which to thrive.
Think about it. Where is your organization on the training scale? Where would you like it to be?
Training at the Esri Federal GIS Conference
If you’re interested in scaling up your current training program and you’re in DC for the FedGC, beat the traffic and get to the convention center early tomorrow morning. The Designing Your Staff Development Plan workshop starts at 7:30. Grab your coffee and start the process of crafting a GIS staff development plan that supports your organization’s strategic initiatives and goals.
And at 10:30 tomorrow morning, there will be a session devoted to the Esri Technical Certification program. Certification is increasingly seen as a way to tip the scales when it comes to individuals, teams, and organizations securing a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Get your questions answered about what the program is, where it’s headed at ArcGIS 10.1, and why it’s relevant to you.
It’s been quite the autumn of discontent, what with occupiers occupying, storms stampeding, markets making like pogo sticks, and an all-out blitz of Tebow trouncing. Ah, the economy…did your latest 401(k) statement have you reaching for your favorite potent potable?
Given what seems like a constant stream of conflicting economic news, it’s not surprising that some organizations remain in a hunkered-down, wait-it-out mentality. Being cost-conscious—by scrutinizing purchase requests and paring budgets to essential spending—is the fiscally responsible way to operate these days. It begs the question, though: What is “essential spending”? Continue reading
A lot of people, the lucky ones who are employed, have more work to do in the same amount of time that was allotted when the economy was good. Finding time for GIS training—whether to upgrade your skills, investigate a new career path, or just stay current with the industry—is a challenge. Fortunately, training is like exercise. You can get the same benefits from combining short bursts of activity as powering through one long session.
Sure you can keep on doing your work the same old way, but at some point something happens (technology evolves, new competition threatens your market share, customer expectations about products and services change) and you realize the old way of doing things has become obsolete. Continue reading
How to evolve our training products to best meet user needs is a continuing discussion among the folks at Esri Training Services. We are always talking about how we might deliver GIS training more efficiently, more effectively, more creatively…you get the idea. While we have some great ideas in the works, they take time to percolate out to the masses. I got to thinking: if users could create their own training experience… Continue reading
The two most important components of a successful GIS are good planning and good people. Keep in mind, though, that all the planning in the world is useless if you do not have adequately trained people to operate your system.
So said Dr. Roger Tomlinson, who coined the term “geographic information system,” and also authored Thinking About GIS, Geographic Information System Planning for Managers (now in its third edition), in which he states:
As a GIS manager, you are responsible for supporting the people who build, manage, and maintain your organization’s GIS. How have you supported their development so far? Like Tomlinson, do you see a relationship between staff development and the success of your GIS program? Continue reading
No one wants to waste precious budget dollars on training that’s not relevant or helpful for accomplishing what needs to be accomplished on the job. Esri offers a lot of GIS training products, and many people need help figuring out which ones best meet their training needs and preferred learning style. Using the “personal training wizard,” a tool on the Esri Training website, you can quickly find appropriate instructor-led, web-based, and by-the-book training based on your area of interest and job responsibilities.
You access the wizard by clicking the Course Recommendations tab on the Course Catalog page. Once there, it’s a simple three-step process to review a list of customized training recommendations. Continue reading
Every day we hear more grim news about the economy, and many organizations are cutting non-essential spending. Often, one of the first items crossed off the budget is staff training. The reasoning is that training is a luxury, like a store-bought latte, that can be done without in lean times.
While there’s no doubt that belt-tightening is in order for many of us, we think of training as an investment, not as a luxury. Sort of like a flu shot, training for GIS staff can reduce the likelihood of a high-impact illness (i.e., operational breakdown) down the road, when you least need or expect it. Trained staff are not a guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong with your GIS program or the business operations that rely on the GIS, but training does instill a measure of confidence that your program is healthy.
So what is the training return on investment (ROI)? Or, perhaps we should think in terms of return on instruction. These are not findings from a rigorous scientific study, but below are some benefits I thought of while sipping this morning’s latte: Continue reading