Comment from Bill Dollins, Senior Vice President, Zekiah Technologies, Inc.I am not a GISP. I chose not to grandfather and continue to choose not to apply primarily the because the need for, nor the value of, the certification has ever been evident to me. As a business owner, the GISP has never conveyed any information to me about what an applicant can do. Additionally, I know too many expert analysts and developers without a GISP to assume that a person who is certified is more qualified than someone who isn’t. That said, I think an exam requirement could be a step in the right direction. Combined with the portfolio requirement, it can establish some baseline rigor, assuming the exam is sufficiently challenging. In this regard, I look to the PMP certification (which I am pursuing). It has an experience requirement and a very challenging exam. The combination of an experience requirement with an exam can be a good buffer against the "paper certification" problem that plagued network administration in the 90s. Of course, there are PMP "boot camps" that prepare candidates for the exam but the people I know who have done them all say they are intense and rewarding. I do take issue with the recommendation of "Option 2" in the GISCI proposed examination requirement in that I do not think grandfathering should be an option. I think existing GISPs should need to take the exam to maintain certification. Otherwise, the value of the GISP will still be murky. In any case, I would never like to see the GISP become a requirement for hiring or staffing contracts.
Comment from Gretchen N. Peterson, Peterson GIS
Comments From The Community (See GISuser LinkedIn Group)
Why should anyone be required to become "certified," after already done more advanced work than a certificate program will ever offer, at an accredited university, specifically to work in the field? What is the NEED
GISP or MS-GIS? An MS-GIS would be the most worthwhile, in my opinion. Quit looking for a shortcut for a real education.
Of all my qualifications, I believe my two degrees and years of experience mean much more than any certifications. I am also quite suspicious of ALL the certifications as being mostly a way for folks to grab your hard earned money or force you into using a particular brand of software.
I more than qualify for the GISP; I have even filled out ALLLL the paperwork...twice. Twice I could not do it. If the GISP sold itself on community involvement and years being involved with geo-spatial activities I would be all for it
ASPRS Certified Mapping Scientist has its own issues though. Namely, that 39% of the exam is relevant only to remote sensing and surveying, while only 23% of the exam deals with GIS. And there is no study guide whatsoever and you cannot get any sample questions. That pretty much means you are throwing away your $400 non-refundable fee if you do not actively work in cadastral mapping, engineering surveying, or photogrammetry.
The GISP strikes me as being focused on the way GIS has traditionally been done using traditional software and vendors. There's nothing wrong with that, but it does makes me wonder where a user like myself, someone using less of the traditional software in favor of open source and other technologies, fits in the GISP application process and continuing education requirements
No one has once mentione the Code of Ethics in this entire discussion yet that may be the very thing that sets GISP apart. We all public commit to a standard code of conduct. To me, that is the soul of the certification
Let's put our energies to task in transforming GISP from a piece of paper on the wall that nobody really cares about to something that holds meaning, value, and confidence that the 'GISP' has skills & knowledge setting them appart as a desirable asset in any organization
The bottom line a GISP certification, or any other certification for that matter, only means whatever the person(s) possessing it makes it mean. My GISP means something. It means something to me. I stand behind it, and how others perceive this title has been greatly impacted the way I "wear" it. I didn't didn't apply for it so I could have another acronym behind my name. I didn't apply for it because I knew it would help me get a job. I didn't apply for it because I thought it would make me stand out from the crowd.
I like the setup of the current GISCI certification process. Inevitably an exam is coming, and I'm completely fine with that and welcome the challenge. I only hope they do not do away with the service, education, and most importantly the contribution components
I am like other group members, where I am in a situation where the term GIS is not known, therefore a GISP would be one of those line items speed read through. I think more and more companies outside of the Insurance sector are seeing the benefits of this knowledge, but the catch on track is still under construction.
The value of the GISP certification is only as high as the community makes it. Perception is the key. A definition was established for a group of people to be considered as belonging to a profession. The GISP organization helps qualify us as a legitimate profession regardless of everyone being a member or not. For that fact alone, the certification has value and should be supported.