Starting mid-January you will be able to register for a series of Technical Certifications from Esri and I was interested in doing this, but have not been able to find out too much information about it online.

Does anyone know the format of the test? From the Skills Measured section I get the impression that you will be working on a computer but I could not find anything definitive.

My only other question is if anyone has even heard much about this and how much weight it is going to carry? I got a notification about this once a couple months back but otherwise I have not heard anything. Just curious if anyone in their jobs or GIS circles are being told/recommended that they need to get this or if people are just different for now.

  • 3
    Never needed any certification in 15+ years of using ESRI products - have been to ESRI training courses across the world but have always self-taught & explored advanced topics with success without the cost (only time). Not saying if you want to do the certifications then do them.
    – Mapperz
    Jan 6 '11 at 15:12
  • @Mapperz I agree. ESRI's products, despite their foibles, are pretty digestible when practicing RTFM methodology. Even so, having a piece of paper to point to as proof can be empowering.
    – Nathanus
    Apr 1 '11 at 20:36
  • 1
    Would do the certification if work (budget) would accommodate it (including self employed), but there is more focus on getting things (data) done and invoiced. Certification is at the bottom of the list.
    – Mapperz
    Apr 1 '11 at 20:41

Any certification is meant to provide solid evidence that a person is familiar with a product. A person could put "ESRI Expert" on their resume whether or not it is true, but the certification would at least allow them to back up that claim.

As far as how much weight the certifications will hold, that will depend entirely on the company and what their feeling is on ESRI. If they are an ESRI partner company, then they would probably be looking for the kind of skills that the certification tests are examining. Based on ESRI’s position in the industry, they definitely should carry a lot of weight.

Either way, it looks like most of the certifications are testing a wide variety of GIS skills and not just the person’s ability to work with ESRI products. Even if you can't predict which companies will concern themselves with hiring ESRI certified employees, the knowledge you would develop studying for the test will benefit you.


Esri Technical Certification exams are offered worldwide through Pearson VUE, Esri's global testing partner. The computer-based exams consist of 90-95 multiple-choice questions and take approximately two hours to complete. Currently, they are offered in English only.



i did the beta for the desktop associate exam (bottom rung on the certification).

Multiple choice questions. All on the computer. Some diagrams as well.

  • Def need to read up on the v10 stuff (or whatever is the latest version). Most of my experience is 9.2-->9.3.1, and there was quite a few Qs around specific new things at v10 which would have caught me out, but luckily I did a bit of revision with the web-help the week before.

Check out ESRI Speaker Series Podcast. The speakers talk about the about the exam and its importance in GIS Industry.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.