New Continuing Studies program supports growing GIS field
Vancouver, BC - Langara Continuing studies now offers a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate Program to start January, 2016. Each 18-hour course will be offered over six three-hour sessions on evenings and weekends.
“I am excited to launch the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate Program, a wholly new program area for Langara Continuing Studies. GIS is an important field of study that is bringing new precision to a wide range of professions, including cartography, urban, and rural planning,” said Dan Thorpe, Dean, Continuing Studies.
Natural Resources Canada recently cited the geomatics industry as a $2.3 billion industry across 2,450 firms in Canada. The study, Canadian Geomatics Environmental Scan and Value Study, identifies benefits beyond simply economic terms, including environmental, health, safety, knowledge, and social benefits.
“GIS used to be a complicated and specialized tool, used only by a narrow range of professionals,” added Thorpe. “Our certificate will bring the use of GIS software and techniques to a much wider audience. Two unique qualities enable this: a part-time format accessible to working students, and the use of affordable and accessible open source software.”
Unlike other GIS programs in B.C., Langara’s program does not concentrate on GIS implementation, science, programming, or enterprise-level management. The focus is on teaching the skills related to understanding and using GIS to create cost-effective, professional-quality results.
“We are excited to be at the forefront of a whole new wave of GIS, thanks to high-quality, open source software. This free software eliminates the barriers that commercial GIS software had imposed,” said Jim O’Leary, instructor. “There is no limit to what we can do with GIS when the tools are freely available.”
Students who graduate from the program will have a good grasp of the fundamental concepts of GIS as well as hands-on experience with Open Source software such as QGIS, GRASS, and Inkscape.
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 21,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path.
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