Career Development

Courses designed for current professionals or individuals interested in Geographic Information Science.

Essential Python Scripting for GIS Training Course

Python is the scripting language of choice for the ArcGIS platform. This course introduces fundamental Python concepts and the Python scripting environment in ArcGIS. Tips and techniques to help you master proper Python syntax, script flow, and error handling will also be presented. Upon completion of this course, students earn 9.6 Continuing Education Credits (CEU's) and 2.4 EDU-2 Total Course Points towards your GISP (see There are 96 total hours of instruction/course materials covered in a 6 week time frame.

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Recall basic concepts of the Python programming language.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write and modify Python scripts.
  • Recognize common types of errors that can occur in a script.
  • Apply several methods for debugging and solving errors in Python Script.
  • Identify ways to use Python within ArcGIS for Desktop to maximize workflow efficiency.

This course costs $499.00. Coursework is totally online and students will be using their own computers with trial version software downloaded from the manufacturer’s website (ESRI). In order for students to be successful in this course, they should have completed at least one introduction to GIS course and should possess at least the following basic knowledge and skills in order to complete this course:

  • A Competence with the Windows 7 operating system, including the storing, copying and management of multiple data types; managing multiple windows and applications; and discipline to save work frequently.
  • A familiarity with data entry, sorting, editing and filtering using Microsoft Excel.
  • A strong motivation to learn, explore and have fun with computer applications is essential.
  • This course will require a significant amount of independent work and relies heavily on student initiative.
  • An email account that you plan to check frequently.
  • Basic competence with ArcGIS 10.2 or higher  ‌‌


There is a recommended textbook– GIS Tutorial for Python Scripting, David W Allen Esri Press, ISBN: 9781589483569    2014  288 pages   $69.99. Students can successfully complete this course without the book. 

Data for this course will be provided within the course site, by module, as a zip file containing the documents and data required to complete the lab assignments. The data for the book exercises (if compelted) will be accessed according to the text instructions.

Other Required Tools to be Successful:

  • Internet Access
  • Active E-mail Account
  • A personal computer capable of installing Esri’s ArcGIS software
  • ArcGIS for Desktop with the Spatial Analyst Extension. Here are a few ways in which you can obtain a trial of the software:
    • 60-day free trial from ESRI.
    • If you have already used your ESRI free trial you can purchase the ArcGIS for Home Use for $100/12 months.

NOTE: Versions 10.2 and later are very similar. Any version after 10.2 will be adequate for this course. ArcGIS software only runs on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8. In order to run ArcGIS in Windows on an Intel-based Mac, virtualization software is needed such as Apple's BootCamp, SWSoft’s Parallels, or VMware Fusion. It is HIGHLY recommended that your personal computer have at least 2 GB of RAM installed, since ArcGIS is a very memory intensive application. Ideally, more than 2 GB of RAM (if your computer supports it) is recommended. You are responsible for installing and maintaining your software on a personal computer and for properly following ESRI’s installation instructions. Technical support is not provided for ArcGIS software installed on your machine. Contact ESRI support at for assistance with installing or troubleshooting errors with your trial version of the ESRI software.


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