GIS Certifications: Esri, ASPRS, AOLS, GISP, & CIG


Even today, with so much information at our finger tips, graduates and geospatial professionals struggle to understand the myriad of GIS certifications on offer. I’ve always wanted to explore GIS certifications further. Three years ago I made a brief foray into the topic here, GIS Certification: is it worth it?  Over the next eight weeks, two young Canadian geospatial professionals will explore the subject of GIS certifications with us.

Brian Bancroft will be sharing his thoughts on the Esri technical certification exam. Brian has decided to take one of the exams and write about his experience here on In order to do justice to the topic Brian is going to write three articles.  (First Article) The first installment explores his decision to try for the Esri cert and why it might be worth doing. (Second Article)The second article will focus on his experience preparing for the exam.  (Third Article)In the final article we will learn if Brian passed or failed and how he feels after taking the test. A question I have is: does he still think it was worth it after the fact? A little provocative!

Our second author, Dianne Gray, will be examining the different types of GIS certifications in Canada and in the USA. I’m excited to learn what Dianne finds interesting and not so interesting about each certification. No this is not an exhaustive list of all GIS certifications available. We had to stop somewhere.

-The Canadian Institute of Geomatics GIS certification (CIG)
-The Association of Ontario Land Surveyors GIS certification (AOLS)
-American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing certification (ASPRS)
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) GISP
-The Esri Certification Exams

Wrapping up the series, Dianne will write a piece that looks at all of these GeoSpatial certifications and how they stack up. So that will be six articles from Dianne. We can’t thank her enough for really getting into this topic for the GoGeomatics community.

I hope you will join GoGeomatics Canada as we share what Dianne and Brian discover about GIS certifications. Use the links above to get to the articles.

About our Author: Jon Murphy

Jonathan Murphy is the Founder and Managing Director of GoGeomatics Canada, the most popular communications hub for the Canadian geomatics sector. He has created Canada’s largest geomatics networking group, with the goal of strengthening and empowering our geospatial community. Through his wide network of industry contacts and expertise in human resources and job trends, he provides effective staffing solutions for geomatics companies and career seminars for job seekers. He is a volunteer geography teacher for at-risk youth, and was made a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2013.

One Response to “GIS Certifications: Esri, ASPRS, AOLS, GISP, & CIG”

  1. Gordon Norrie

    One would have thought that ESRI exams will merely show that you understand how to press buttons within the ESRI range of products. If one can demonstrate wider understanding of the vast array of GIS technology available and open source products, that’s far more valuable in showing that you understand what GIS and geomatics is about, and how to apply that knowledge to solving problems.

    At least that’s my take on certification of this kind.


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