Will you be an ECAP – Esri Certified ArcGIS Professional ? A brief review!
Buckle up, my fellow Geo sapiens, to answer multiple choices! Esri had announced the technical certification program. Starting January 17, 2011, interested GIS users can register to be tested through Esri’s testing partner, Pearson Vue. According to Esri’s news release, this english-only, two hour multiple choice exams will be offered at 5000 test center locations in 165 countries, with a price tag of $225 per exam. While the exam is centered around three user groups such as desktop, developer, and enterprise, users will be certified at associate and professional level in their respective categories. You should be prepared to pass the exam in a single attempt as Esri has some ‘stringent’ retake policies and not to mention the price tag. There is a waiting period for your consecutive attempts to retake an exam. A special permission is required from Esri for your fourth attempt to retake.
Why now? For a company that set the benchmark for GIS technology years before, many would have expected such certification program long ago. Well, I think, Esri with traditional business models, has always been really slow and steady in adapting to trends. Not a big risk-taker, but hey it sure helped them sail steady during recession times. Oh , are we out of recession yet? Anyway, back to business. Do the existing GISPs need to worry? Esri says that it complements the GISP. Really? Yes, if GISCI recognizes this certification as credits. Will Esri certification eventually replace the existing GISP ? Well, of course not. Both are hugely different. But, I would bet on the adoption rates of Esri certification against GISP by users.
Students and newbies: You might definitely want to get certified at an associate level, least. Employers out there could need the seal for their entry-level jobs. So, grab your Esri badge.
Educational training centers: You have a new channel of business opportunity open now. Redefine your courses, create new sales pitch, and wait to make some money! (Don’t forget to release some braindumps!)
Other GIS pros: Wait and watch if the certification has some real effect on your salary hikes.
GISPs: Never mind.
Hope I have discussed all benefits in this blog. I will probably have more after my certification exam results!