Community colleges put higher education close to where you live, work, and play. There are many reasons community colleges are attractive. They have an open admissions policy and offer many courses, including courses that will help prepare you for a bright future in the geospatial technology industry. Their low tuition helps keep higher education within the reach of many Americans. These factors make community college a good place to go to gain job skills.
The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) and the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors have been providing certificate programs within the last ten years. The URISA Certification Committee was established in 1998 to develop professional certification in each of 23 discipline areas.
The SpaceTEC coalition of 12 community colleges has developed and is beginning implementation of a national aerospace technician certification, including geospatial disciplines.
The Geospatial Technology Apprenticeship Program (GTAP) apprenticeship certification process now being developed and validated by ETA is also intended to be a national, portable certification. All of these certifications are connected to community colleges for training delivery. None is universally recognized.
Many workers choose a community college when they want to upgrade their skills or to enter a new field. It is now common for a person with a college degree to attend a community college to update work skills. Community colleges are also flexible. Nearly 50 percent of their students work full time, so they offer courses at convenient times.
What Do You Want to Do Next?
Find community colleges that offer training/programs in geospatial technology:
The U.S. Department of Education has a web site, Prepare for My Future, which gives you some questions you'll want to ask. There are many schools to choose from. You can use this web site to help you choose the right school to meet your career goals.
Finally, there are different certifications available via the Certification Finder.
Whatever you decide, you are in the driver's seat!