New year's resolutions are in the making yet again. Maybe you want to get in better shape, save for that vacation you’ve always wanted to take, or learn something completely new. If you’ve got the techy gene, or have a things for maps then maybe 2016 will be a year of building up your skills in something like ArcGIS. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to look into some ArcGIS training to get yourself familiar with this complex software.
There are a few different approaches you can take to get ArcGIS training depending on what kind of learner you are, what your budget is, and how deep you want to go.
- Free Resources
When you’re first testing out the software and investigating the scope of its applications there are numerous free ArcGIS training resources that are a great place to start. Esri’s Getting Started with GIS is the perfect primer for anyone looking to get to know the basics, from what GIS is, to getting practice plotting geographic data. The American Association of Geographers also has a comprehensive GIS Overview text for self-guided learners.
- ArcGIS Training Classes
If you’re ready to make an investment of time and money into learning this software, then it’s probably worth signing up for a class. Check out the curricula at your local colleges and universities or the numerous online options. Be sure to choose one that is project-based so you get hands-on practice using the software in an environment where you will be held accountable for your work. GIS professionals always work in teams, so these classroom environments will give you great experience. Completing GIS-based projects will help you move quickly beyond the basics and instead focus directly on the value of using GIS to solve real-life problems, all the while discovering a good variety of spatial analysis tools.
If you’re unsure about taking on the expense of a course, some schools and professors allow students to "audit" on a trial basis. Another option is the esri Home License, which costs 100 dollars a year and is a great way to get some practice. ROK Tech is among the GIS experts and consultants who also offer onsite ArcGIS training for your team, so don’t hesitate to give us a call for more information. These private training sessions can be designed around the specific project work your company focuses on.
- Esri GIS Conferences
Held around the United States and the world all year long, these conferences offer many opportunities to learn on the spot by attending GIS Hands-On Learning labs and being exposed to the latest in GIS. These may be unfeasible, too expensive, or too much for inexperienced learners looking for ArcGIS training, but they are highly recommended for GIS professionals that are just getting started. Not only will you learn tons of new tools and tricks to make you better at what you do, but you’ll also get to meet others in the field, which is an invaluable resource in itself.
Diving into these ArcGIS training opportunities takes more than just a lack of fear, but lots of patience. Learning new software can be trying, even for professionals. There will be a lot of trial and error through your ArcGIS training process. Remember that ROK Tech has deep expertise in hosting and maintaining ArcGIS for their clients world-wide. Contact us to learn about custom training for your company!