Recognizing the need for a standardized, industry-accepted, entry-level certification for the geospatial industry, Digital Quest, Inc. recently held the first annual STARS Geospatial Forum at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Representatives of the geospatial industry, government and educational community came together to discuss the need and support for the STARS Geospatial Certification. Digital Quest, is a Mississippi-based development and training oriented company with a primary focus of enabling educational institutions to provide skill training in the new and ever-more vital field of Geospatial Technology.
STARS (Spatial Technology and Remote Sensing) is a fully-developed “turn-key” certification program for high schools, colleges and universities as well as career professionals looking to integrate GIS tools into their on-the-job skill set. Through STARS, students master the use of geospatial problem solving, software, data, and tools standard in the geospatial industry. The industry is among the top three fastest growing career fields in the U.S., with a 15 percent growth in new jobs projected over the next decade. Major participants included NASA, the Department of Labor, private geospatial businesses, and the Geospatial Technology Apprenticeship Program. One of the keys to the success of the Forum was participation by leaders in the geospatial industry including DigitalGlobe, ESRI, 3001, Inc., Radiance Technologies, and NVision Solutions.
The STARS Certification, a product created by SPACESTARS, LLC, (a partnership between Digital Quest and the Berkley Geo-Research Group), is offered through Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MsET), a geospatial cluster with over 20 geospatial companies which is the home of the Center of Excellence in Geospatial Technologies at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center.