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How to Use ArcGIS: The Best Courses and Resources

Businesses need to be strategic and know their market. The geographical information system (GIS) is one of the many ways that businesses can learn from their data. ArcGIS is one of the most popular spatial data visualization platforms.

Spatial data helps you see numbers and information situated in a specific location. ArcGIS has been useful for many businesses and other institutions because it helps anyone understand data.

Every aspiring data scientist expert should learn ArcGIS as more organizations are likely to turn to it. It has the power to visualize data through maps and modeling. Read on to learn how to use ArcGIS to your advantage. 

What Is ArcGIS?

ArcGIS is a platform that creates and analyzes spatial data. With ArcGIS, you can visualize data through 2D and 3D modeling. This is the perfect way to present data that has to do with geography and populations. One of the main purposes of spatial analysis is to show patterns of human behavior through maps. 

ArcGIS uses cloud computing space so it is easier to exchange information from within your organization. The security feature ensures that your confidential data will be safe from leaks.

What Jobs Use ArcGIS Skills?

Most jobs that use ArcGIS are location intelligence positions. In location intelligence, you use geographical data to gain insights. This data can help you address issues and communicate solutions. ArcGIS can help you with everything from customer service to social issues.

Location intelligence is most often used by computer and information research scientists. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earn an average of $122,840 per year. In the next ten years, this salary is expected to grow by as much as 15 percent.

Here are a few more jobs that use ArcGIS every day.

  • Data Analyst. These workers are responsible for collecting and analyzing an organization’s data. Traditionally, data is presented as numbers in Excel files. With ArcGIS, data analysts can use maps and modeling to present their data.

  • Helicopter Firefighter. Firefighters find GIS maps more reliable, especially for areas prone to bush or forest fires. They can respond faster when they can visualize fires from up the air. This job is high risk, but high reward as you save lives.

  • GIS Manager. ArcGIS can provide data and information to improve cities. City planning has improved due to new technologies and ways to share ideas. Spatial data can help city leaders to notice problems they never saw before.

  • GIS Analyst. The main job of a GIS analyst is to combine data analysis and programming with map-making. They analyze spatial data through ArcGIS to discover patterns and trends. Many different fields use GIS analysts.

  • GIS Specialist. These specialists have a higher scope of work than analysts because they develop and improve GIS applications and apps. GIS specialists are also responsible for conducting training and optimizing geotagging technology.

Steps to Learn ArcGIS

A software is used to monitor a specific area for information and data.
ArcGIS is a powerful tool to visualize and map data. Numerous institutions and organizations turned to ArcGIS to understand data better.

GIS and location intelligence requires a certain level of expertise. You need to be adept with data gathering and analysis. Some jobs require you to take an engineering course, such as geodetic engineering.

Your ArcGIS training will depend on your current level of expertise. The training will vary depending on whether you are a student or a professional. There are a few options out there so you can find what’s right for you.

If you want to learn ArcGIS, you should plan your steps to get there. Below are the best steps to learn ArcGIS.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Many different jobs use GIS and location intelligence. If you’re leaning toward data analysis, then a business degree might work for you. Geodetic engineers also make use of GIS, so you could also try for a degree in engineering.

As a professional, years of studying can help you become an expert in the field. You can try taking separate courses, but a college degree is often the way to go. You should get a well-rounded education because GIS uses mathematics and geometry as well as other skills.

Step 2: Download ArcGIS and Study the Platform

If you are a student learning the platform for the first time, you can download ArcGIS for free. ArcGIS wants to prepare students for what comes next in their careers. Through the free software, you can get more experience using spatial tools and GIS concepts.

If you are a professional or an expert, you can try out the Esri ArcGIS Pro. This has more features including 4D data modeling. You can also enjoy more efficient data visualization and analysis through ArcGIS pro.

Step 3: Take ArcGIS Online Courses

Whether you are a student or a professional, learning ArcGIS takes time. It often comes out with new updates and improvements to make your analysis better. ArcGIS is just as fast-paced as data generation.

There is an ArcGIS learning hub that you can check out for online training and courses. You can choose from six experiences: new user, student, GIS professional, data scientist, teacher, and professor. Each category offers a unique set of resources.

Step 4: Improve Your Analysis Skills

To be an expert in ArcGIS, you must be good at analyzing information. Data and maps are useless if you cannot draw conclusions from them. Data is always available, but it’s what you do with it that would matter the most.

Try taking online courses to improve your analysis skills. You can also read more about ArcGIS and the ways you can use location intelligence in your field. There is so much to learn from checking out available resources, both offline or online.

The Best Online Courses to Learn ArcGIS

There are many online ArcGIS courses, so you can study anywhere. These courses are taught by experts and curated to match your personal study preferences. If you don’t want to commit to in-person school, this is a great option.

To learn ArcGIS, you should explore both mapping and data analysis. Spatial data is not hard to learn, if you find the right courses. Below are the best courses you can take to learn ArcGIS.

ArcGIS Online Basics

This beginner course introduces you to the ArcGIS platform and shows you what you can do with it. It will establish a solid foundation and help you navigate ArcGIS easily. 

You will learn the specific terms and the ways you can use the platform to your advantage. If you’re new to data analysis or mapping, this is a great option for you. It’s also short enough to complete in one afternoon.


Cartography, or map-making, is essential knowledge for ArcGIS. This class provides coaching from experienced cartographers, so you know you’re getting a good education. You’ll work on exercises via ArcGIS Pro and get all the help you need to become an expert.

Creating Maps and Visualizations with ArcGIS

This course is geared towards providing fundamental knowledge on the principles of cartography. The goal is to produce quality print and web maps as well as 3D animations and charts. You will also learn how to tailor your content to the intended audience. This course demonstrates all the practical ways you can use ArcGIS.

Learning ArcGIS Python Scripting

Python is known for its ability to automate GIS tasks. With Python knowledge, you can guarantee easier projects and better presentations. This course will teach you the necessary scripts to generate data, create maps, and execute commands. Through Python, you can produce deeper insights from GIS. 

Spatial Analysis with ArcGIS Pro

Analysis is an integral part of GIS and location intelligence. This course trains you to analyze and produce information from GIS data. You will need ArcGIS Pro to work on the exercises for this course, but it’s with it if you planned on going pro already. This course is great for serious learners.

Why Learn ArcGIS?

You should learn ArcGIS if you’re interested in data analysis or GIS career. ArcGIS can help you express and learn from data more easily. There are more ways than ever to ensure that data and information are reliable and accessible.

Organizations need workers with ArcGIS skills to help them use data to their advantage. GIS can find concentrations of qualities, preferences, or statistics in specific locations. This is especially helpful for business and humanitarian fields.

ArcGIS is a popular platform for GIS data. Jobs related to GIS look for individuals who are adept in ArcGIS, so you should explore it if you’re serious about your career. Learn how to use ArcGIS and advance your career to even greater heights.

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