I've been thinking of professional development over the last month. Professional development are courses you undertake after achieving initial qualifications for that role. I have a Diploma in Spatial Information Systems but I need more training and it isn't quite straight forward as to what I'm supposed to do now.
Most tertiary education courses don't interest me because it is expensive as fuck (thanks to the Abbott Government) and it is difficult to fit it into my current schedule. With the 3 hour round trip commute it doesn't leave me a whole lot of time for extracurricular activities without hampering my performance at work.
"Stop playing computer games!"
No. Computer games are what keep me sane. It's been the one constant that has kept my moods in check. I spend 1-2 hours in virtual worlds daily but recently I'm spending most that time catching up on TV, reading and surfing the web.
Food preparation is time consuming and I need to be more efficient with groceries shopping.
Last night I saw a fee free courses offered by TAFE NSW at the Riverina Institute for Statement of Attainment in 'GIS Essentials' and 'Mapping on the Web'. It looks like both are offered through online delivery and are normally $500 each. I signed up to 'Mapping on the Web' as it is a component that wasn't covered in the Diploma in Spatial Information Systems. The other one was definitely covered under the Diploma as the modules are the same ones on my transcript.
Well those aren't supposed to start till February 2016 so I have time to revise my notes. I might even use QGIS as my software platform.
Professional certification options come in the form of the 'GIS Professional - Asia Pacific' (GISP-AP) with the Survey and Spatial Sciences Institute of Australia, and vendor certifications with ESRI and Autodesk.
The SSSI credentials are questionable as there are only about 121 GISP-AP registered on the SSSI website and it doesn't look like it is mentioned as a desirable or requirement in typical GIS job advertisements. Membership to SSSI is also quite dear and that $500 a year is probably better spent on actual portfolio building and professional development than earning a few extra letters on a business card. Maybe Hanno Khan - GIS Coordinator at Ryde Council and NSW Representative at SSSI could shed some light on the benefits.
The ESRI Vendor Certification for ArcGIS is a good choice since both Hawkesbury City Council and the Hills are an ESRI site. I will need to check with ESRI Australia to see if they've updated the ArcGIS 10.3 certification study material.