shrug-l: ESRI to begin offering Certifications with ArcGIS 10

Tripp Corbin tcorbin at
Thu Mar 25 08:39:25 EDT 2010

With the ArcGIS 10 release, ESRI intends to offer a technical
certification program designed around the use of their products. This is
similar in idea and scope to Microsoft's, Cisco and other vendor
certification processes. Those that become certified will have
demonstrated a level knowledge in the use and functions of ESRI
technology. This level of knowledge will be demonstrated by a test again
much like Microsoft or Cisco Certifications. Unlike the Learning
Pathways established by ESRI, these new certifications will not require
specific classes before you can take the exam. If you can pass the exam
you can be certified.


ESRI has not settled on the exact specification for their new
certifications but it should be something along these lines. There are
three categories for certification: Desktop, Developer and Enterprise.
Desktop will focus on the use of ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo along
with various extension along with basic GIS knowledge and skills.  The
Developer level will focus on programming within the ArcGIS framework
including ArcObjects, system design and architecture,  web applications,
and the mobile SDK.  Enterprise will be the most comprehensive including
some of the other two along with integration and administration.


In addition to the three Categories, there will be three levels:
Associate, Professional and Expert. (ESRI seems to really like this
multi-level and multi-tiered approach to things.) The associate level is
for beginning users. Those that have been using ESRI technology for 2 to
3 years.  Professional Level is for those that have been using the
technology for at least 4 to 5 years. Expert has not been defined yet
but one would imagine it would require knowledge and skills beyond those
of the professional level. It might also include some level of
specialization beyond just the Categories, however that is just a guess
on my part.

There will be a fee involved in taking the test and becoming certified.
ESRI has not released what those fees will be but I would guess they
would similar with other vendor certifications which range for $100 and
up. I believe the test will be available at commercial testing centers
like those for other certifications and not just at ESRI offices. As I
understand it, the first tests for Desktop should be available sometime
during the 3rd quarter this year. The others will roll out later.   


These Certifications are not designed to replace or supersede the GISP.
They are to be complementary to the GISP certification. ESRI's new
certifications will only test on a user's ability to work with their
technology. It is not as thorough a process as the GISP certification
which has multiple requirements including minimum experience, education
and professional contribution levels.


Expect to hear more about this at the International User Conference and
possibly the SERUG conference later this year.  



Tripp Corbin, MCP, CFM, GISP
Vice President, GIS/IT
ESRI Authorized Instructor
Keck & Wood, Inc. <> 
(678) 417-4013
(678) 417-4055 fax


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