Usually most people during and after University/College in different parts of the world will start to look for ARCGIS DESKTOP FULL DOWNLOAD in Google to get an illegal pirate copy of it to continue doing what they have learned. Unfortunately most education programs teach people to push buttons with a specific tool instead of solving real life issues with a wide diversity of tools. I mean you can still teach a heavy ARCGIS oriented class but you can also introduce your students to other software out there, be it proprietary or open source.
Amongst the open source software I would highly recommend QGIS, why? Well it’s an impressive GIS software that has many outstanding capabilities and it also has a very active community of developers.
Download QGIS and start working with it and you will see immediately that it has a lot of the most common functions and even better you don’t need to worry about breaking the law with licenses. If you are a business well it has some bonus also, here is a quick list
* No License fee / Maintenance fee, but feel free to donate please. I mean you are already saving a ton of money, so consider giving the amount you feel appropriate, the software is indeed free for you to use but someone has to devote their time and effort to make this happen. See it this way, in QGIS you pay once and the features added are then released to all the community
* No additional cost for extensions, you don’t need to buy additional ones, you can just download plugins that extend QGIS to your particular case, of course if you got some extreme case then a custom solution may be needed
* Commercial Support, if you still feel you need it where just contact one of the many companies
Now one thing to remember is that all software has bugs and the only difference with other GIS proprietary software vendors is that QGIS has a list of them at hub.qgis.org so you actually know if there is a bug reported and you can always submit feature requests!
I would like to encourage you to take the time to file bugs, we don’t like them, they make our life miserable, we get discourage by them but reporting and testing them is the only way to get them fix. If you like something added to QGIS or improved file a feature request let know developers and the community what else can be added
Now don’t download that illegal GIS software copy and try something that I know you will end up liking to do your work.