7 Reasons You Should Pursue a GIS Masters Degree

7 Reasons You Should Pursue a GIS Masters Degree

As more dollars are earmarked for GIS technology in corporate and government landscapes, the demand is greater than ever for highly educated technologists to implement it. Check out the other seven reasons you should pursue an online GIS masters degree.

7. GIS is Crucial to Almost Every Industry.
Every second of the day, different types of data are being generated in different ways, within different systems, communities, and organizations – in different locations all around the world. Traditional businesses, not-for-profits and local and federal government organizations have identified that this complex flow of data is the next frontier of business performance, market competitiveness, and innovative, informed decision making in nearly everything we choose to do. While the data types may vary in their core content, their source, and their meaning, one key factor applies to all types of data and is proving to be the critical factor in allowing this data to be truly valuable – location.

6. Health Care is Bound by Geography. “Disease surveillance can highlight important information that hospitals can use to anticipate volumes and demands for resources and outreach,” says Kathy Wright, DNP, APRN, C-PNP, an American Sentinel University assistant professor of nursing. GIS can also be of vital importance to strategic planning, regulatory compliance, financial forecasting, business development, and risk management for hospitals.

5. Military Technology. The government spends more on new military technology than most states earn annually. Each year, the technology is enhanced with more superior GIS equipment than the year before. Unfortunately, most of the new technology is classified. But, we do know the military works with only the top minds to perfect the next big thing.

4. Google. Google has changed the world since it’s inception and it’s been one of the greatest GIS technology contributors since 2004. In October 2011, Google Earth announced 1 billion downloads. PC World also named Google Maps the most reliable and easy to use map on the Internet. The tech firm has also invested in smaller GIS companies, like Navagis, to build future GIS infrastructure. Simply put, Google makes smart business decisions and they’re investing a lot into GIS.

3. Foreign Governments. As smaller governments are just beginning to use GIS technology, the consulting opportunities for high-level GIS personnel are only just beginning in the international market.

2. Existing Positions Now Require GIS. As companies begin to understand that location-based data is the key to better decision making, many organizations are adding basic GIS duties, such as mapping demographic information, to existing positions. For example, a district manager in a fast food chain must now create theoretical customer models using GIS for purchasing real estate. Six years ago, a GIS technician would have executed this job, but now the average businessman or woman understands the software. However, these same companies still hire well-educated, highly experienced GIS professionals to build programs or educate these district managers. In other words, there’s greater opportunity for top level GIS pros.

1. GIS Saves Lives. Within the past two years years, GIS technology helped survivors in more than two dozen natural disasters, including the Japan tsunami, Joplin tornadoes and most recently, Hurricane Sandy. As it’s becoming more obvious every year that natural disasters will not stop, the world needs highly educated GIS professionals.

To use location-based information in assessing real-world problems and providing solutions, professionals must have an advanced level of higher education that includes knowledge and skills in areas such as spatial analysis, remote sensing, applied geography, cartography, and computer science. Click to learn more about how American Sentinel’s GIS master’s degree program can maximize your professional impact in almost any industry.