Five Free and Cheap Ways to Improve Your Geospatial Technology Skills and Learn GIS to Advance Your Career

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It’s a competitive job market, but updating your technology skills can give you a great advantage – and maybe even have recruiters contacting you with opportunities. Having a career in geospatial isn’t just about knowing GIS and your specific field like urban planning, or environmental management. Other IT skills are increasingly being required and are in high demand. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to go back to school and earn a new diploma or degree to learn or improve your geospatial technology skills. Many free or cheap options are available that, in just a few weeks or months let you:

  • Improve your data science skills (SQL, R, MySQL RStudio IDE, Apache Zepplin,..),
  • Learn a new programming language (Python, Java, C++, C#, …),
  • Learn or level up your web development skills (PHP, Java, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, …),
  • Add IT skills (Jupyter Notebook, Information Security, CompTIA A+, Cloud Computing, AI, …)
  • Improve and expand your GIS, Cartography, and Remote Sensing skillset, or
  • Simply learn GIS for the first time,

The five options listed below are either completely free, or require a small monthly membership fee and/or a student or personal use ESRI ArcGIS licence (currently $100 USD/year). All five options have a flexible schedule. Some are paced online courses where you can plan when you do the assignments and work each week. Other options include self-study online courses and offline self-study where you set your own start and completion dates.

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