Dr. Daniel Goldberg presented early findings at a Professional Development Panel session at the Esri PUG on Wednesday morning, April 27, 2016. Seventy-seven (77) responses to the online survey have been evaluated so far. Highlights were that spatial data management and related areas, plus geodetics were amongst the top required knowledge and skills areas that current industry desires graduates to have upon entering the workforce. Developer skills were ranked lower than expected, but Python was ranked as an important programming language as compared to others.
These were reported as a surprising early result to the researchers, as was the lower than expected rating of the value of having a master’s degree given by most online participants; yet panel members, mostly comprised of participants from majors and super-majors expressed that a master’s degree education and additional study is valuable and even required. There was a lively discussion in the room about the ongoing findings.
The early findings show some of the “disconnects” that will continue to be explored in the ongoing study. Dr. Goldberg and his colleagues, Dr. Andrew Klein, Dr. Sarah Bednarz, and Mr. Forrest J. Bowlick, are co-investigators in the study, along with Gus and Ellen Nodwell of IntegraShare Solutioneering, Inc. The Nodwells are conducting in person survey interviews with participants from across the industry. Dr. David Cairns is the Head of Department of Geography at Texas A&M University out of which the research is being conducted.
Tarun Chandrasekhar, moderator of the session, who is Vice-Chair of the Esri PUG, said that he will continue to encourage PUG members who have not done so to complete the survey online, which remains open. The link to the online survey is here:
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