Community member Michelle Ballinger has put together a short tutorial on creating an open source web map using GeoServer.
This tutorial is designed for a beginner and is easy to follow. The steps she uses are:
Creating and editing data with QGIS
Designing SLDs with uDig
Serving maps with GeoServer
Creating a custom OpenLayers application
Posting to the web
The introduction mentions the benefits of using open source and also, interestingly, discusses the pros and cons of making a “mash-up” versus serving one’s own data.
Once again, we see Penn State as a proponent of open source GIS. Have you looked at their Master of Geographic Information Systems program lately?