The United States government predicts geographical information system (GIS) occupations will be in high demand in the next 10 years, while recruiting websites indicate GIS specialists can earn an annual salary up to $70,000.
This is a great time to be working on an online GIS degree. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the majority of GIS opportunities will be in rapidly growing affluent communities in cities that are developing cartography and database technology. GIS professionals also frequently find work with federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, and Federal Emergency Management Agency.
These jobs include:
- Urban and regional planer
- GIS analyst
- GIS technician
- GIS data specialist
- GIS specialist
- GIS mapping technician
- Engineering technician
- GIS mapping assistant
- GIS application specialist
In these GIS careers, you could be creating maps, developing computer programs, collecting and analyzing spatial data, surveying land, teaching interns and developing city plans.
Whatever the job, one thing is for sure: Recruiters and employers are looking for GIS employees with strong technological backgrounds. It’s especially appealing for individuals to have an understanding in ESRI products, MapInfo or other GIS software packages. They want GIS candidates who grasp statistical analysis and have database skills.
Firms need individuals willing to push technical limits to find new solutions. Ideal employees are not afraid of hands-on experience. They must also have confidence that you can securely work with sensitive data and maintain confidentiality.
In addition, according to one large firm’s recent job announcement, the company expects its entry-level GIS specialists to take a proactive role in representing and promoting the GIS vision within the company, while assisting with a variety of GIS applications and projects. This company’s GIS specialists participate in the development of corporate GIS web and desktop tools by providing programming assistance and operational support. “Team” player skills would be necessary for corporate positions like this, meaning GIS specialists are expected to do more than just work with numbers.
According to the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), commercial remote sensing firms are interested in GIS graduates because of their experience and education in geospatial fields. In the Bachelor of Science Geographic Information Systems degree program at American Sentinel University, individuals will obtain a multitude of skills including those required to design and implement new imaging, geospatial information procedures and systems for organizations like ASPRS. With a GIS degree and GIS experience, the career possibilities can be endless.