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ArcGIS Desktop Professional Certification Exam


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I am thinking of taking the ArcGIS Desktop Professional Certification Exam in the next few months time. I've never taken such an exam before but do not want to take the Basic and Associate certification and jump directly to the Professional.


Has anyone taken such an exam? How would you advise for or against taking it (it costs 225 USD)? And do you have any advice on exam preparation?





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It depends on whether or not your job market requires it. I'm in Canada and its relatively a non-issue if you have already proven track record. I don't recommend taking it in Canada unless you have extra money to burn.


I have seen no benefit to the professional accreditation I received from ESRI in the job market here. The other issue is that if a company is asking for that accredation, usually they want it up-to-date. That means you will have to keep retaking it with every major new release (as the exams are tied to major releases). At the end of the day, your proven skills and who you know are much more relevant than a paid accreditation. I mean, I guess if all things are equal between candidates at the end of the day, it might get you the job.


As far as exam preparation goes, I believe there used to be some old course materials on this website at one point. You can do a search for that. Other than that, look at sample questions and take the free course here:




It will give you an indication on how questions will be asked and what to expect. Be aware that the professional exam is much more technically inclined and specific. I've taken that particular exam and there are some tricky questions. Personally, I don't think its worth the money and isn't an industry standard here.

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The most important thing is the connections, esp. in Canada.

As much as I hate to agree with this. I have to. At least from the environmental GIS sector.

Just as an example I had to walk a GIS "professional" from the provincial government on how to export to shapefile from Civil3D the other day. It makes you wonder.

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  • 2 months later...

I too was considering taking this exam for 10.3


However like the user above said exams are based off major versions 10.3, 10.4 etc.... as time goes on newer exams will be created and your cert for the outdated version will be useless. However I guess it does promote your knowledge of their software which is crucial in many job markets.

My employer said they will pay for my exam as well as purchasing a study guide text book supplied by ESRI for that particular exam so the money isn not really an issue for me. I guess it will look decent to have on a resume but don;t rely on that as your only source of credentials.

I have spoken with several individuals who have taken the exam and they say questions are very technical and can be tricky. (few answers may be right so which is the "best" answer..... which can be debated).


If you do end up taking the exam please post back here and let us know what you think! 




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