USGIF recently introduced a Workforce and Certification Development Initiative, offering organizations the opportunity to train and/or certify their workforces through the Foundation’s Professional Certification Program at discounted rates.
GEOINT professionals can be certified in one or more of the areas identified in USGIF’s GEOINT Essential Body of Knowledge (EBK), to include GIS and Analysis Tools, Remote Sensing & Imagery Analysis, and Geospatial Data Management.
In February, USGIF published version 2.0 of its EBK, which was drafted by volunteers from industry, government, and academia to provide background information and context as well as to outline standards for the broad practice of GEOINT. Because the GEOINT EBK is at the heart of USGIF’s efforts to professionalize the global GEOINT workforce, the Foundation also invested in matching its training and professional certification exams, so all reflect the appropriate knowledge and competencies.
“While the EBK sets the expectations for recent college graduates and working professionals at different stages of their careers, the Workforce and Certification Development Initiative aims to help our community meet those expectations,” said USGIF VP of Academic Affairs Dr. Camelia Kantor. “We hope to accomplish that by supporting GEOINT continuing education coupled with our certification exams. We developed Boot Camps designed to provide hybrid learning and practice opportunities for individuals seeking to refresh and upgrade current job-related skills. In addition, the initiative aims to provide a thorough examination as part of aggregated reports that assess the GEOINT Community’s readiness at large.”
Organizations who participate in the initiative will benefit from: discounts of up to 80% on individual registrations by training and/or certifying 15–25 employees at one time; refreshed GEOINT knowledge among their personnel; aggregated feedback; and Continuing Education Units and college credits for employees who participate in USGIF’s online Boot Camp.
- Click here to view options and rates. To learn more about the initiative, attend an information session Monday or Tuesday at 10 a.m. in USGIF Booth 1511.
USGIF Volunteer Spotlight: Talbot Brooks
USGIF’s Professional Certification Program would not be possible without the dedication of volunteers such as Talbot Brooks, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University. A longtime USGIF volunteer, Brooks chairs the Foundation’s Certification Governance Board (CGB) and led development of the GEOINT EBK.
According to Brooks, certification in the geospatial industry is inevitable as market pressures increasingly require organizations to demonstrate the qualifications of their GEOINT professionals. Brooks, who has been involved in geospatial workforce and professional development for nearly 20 years, said he sees many parallels between the GEOINT industry and professionalization that has already occurred in disciplines such as engineering and photogrammetry. He’s been involved with USGIF’s certification efforts since the outset.
“There is no better way to prepare my students than to be actively involved in that process that is going to establish certification for the National System for Geospatial Intelligence,” Brooks said. “We are giving definition, quite literally, to an industry. Doing so is a much-needed, revolutionary step forward.”
USGIF’s certification program reflects the uniqueness of the GEOINT professional overall.
“It’s not just GIS, remote sensing, photography, data management, or visualization,” Brooks said. “It’s all of these things. You can gain knowledge and expertise across the entire domain.”
Brooks recognized the contributions of the dozens of volunteers who helped shepherd USGIF’s EBK and exam process. But, he added, there remains much work to be done to sustain and grow USGIF’s GEOINT Professional Certification Program.
“We’re looking for volunteers to help us take this work into the next phase,” he said. “This is a stakeholder-driven process and there’s room for all who want to participate in defining our industry and defining what GEOINT certification looks like.”
- To learn more about GEOINT certification or to express interest in volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org.