The title of the blog was inspired by another blog post by Muki Haklay, a GIS professor at UCL. He describes the ‘GIS drivers licence’ as the basic software skills required to to get a job in the industry, which were traditionally learnt via a Masters course. He however claims that as GIS software becomes more user friendly that these basic skills will not be enough to obtain employment and that GIS courses must provide high level skills.
I am inclined to agree, having spent time job hunting in the industry and seen that the majority of specifically GIS roles go to developers and programmers, often with a computer science rather than GIS background. The basic skills needed to apply simple GIS tasks can now be learnt on the job by employees with other skills.
This has forced me to consider carefully how I will work my way into the industry and what I must do to develop my skills. Despite the implication of the article I think the GIS drivers licence is still a necessary first step even if it must now be followed by successive steps. To achieve this obtained a basic GIS role with a local council, with the skills I developed at University. Luckily I was given free reign to learn the basics of ArcGIS software, research any problem that I was faced with and to talk with other GIS professionals.
The nexts steps were to begin to self educate myself in skills that appeared to be important such as analysis, model building, database management, SQL database language, python progamming language and Visual Basic. I have also researched qualifications and courses which I could take to certificate my skills.
Future posts will discuss the steps I intend to take to progress my career considering these facts.