>> GIS Education
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(Stranger )
05/13/02 01:48 PM
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Hi Friends,

I am very interested in GIS and I want to find myself a place in this industry. But the problem is that I haven't any background in GIS except that I did a small GIS project with VB years ago. My major is computer science. Should I go to university to get GIS eduation? Do you have any recommendations for me to start my career in GIS?

Thanks a lot

(Stranger )
08/03/02 07:47 PM
Re: GIS Career new [re: iris]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply


David Davis' article may be a good place to start.

(Stranger )
08/20/02 07:40 AM
Re: GIS Career new [re: iris]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply


I would strongly discourage you from a GIS career. I have been in the field for about 6 years now with a M.S. and B.S. degrees. The field is now completely integrated with IT (i.e. Database Technology, Internet, and programming). You would be much better off getting an advanced degree in CS/ ITand taking some professional courses in GIS. Most organizations underpay GIS IT people by 40% (check some job listings you will see).

The pay in GIS is very low (40K to mid50K), and is flooded with entry level people. There is little chance for advancement in management positions as most GIS positions are considered as technical and/or absorbed into other depaertments. Dont listen to the hype as I did, now I am stuck trying to raise a family off 48K a year, having to be retrained in Oracle, VBA, TCP/IP, and Interent technologies just to KEEP up with the field.

(Stranger )
10/05/02 10:45 PM
Re: GIS Career new [re: iris]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I saw very little response to this and a negative response and am disappointed in my supposive fellow GIS professionals.

I've been in the field for 9 years. I've had my frustrations and I've had my triumphs as well. I know you have a background in Computer Science, and I'm thinking we might have different objectives in a GIS career. My focus from day one has been on GIS and business. Business in the sense of how it can help your typical corporation plan, analyze, track, research,... customers, assets, and the like. I've never been interested in development of programs or anything like that. You can call me a very, very, very advanced user, planner, and implementer of GIS vs. a GIS developer.

Anyway, I don't know where the obviously frustrated "I only make 48K" responder is from and what 48K gets them, but I make more than that and live in Oklahoma and am doing quite well. This is even during a year where I've experienced a layoff. I stayed unemployed for all of 2 days before a former (now again present) client tracked me down and I began contract work with them.

But, what I believe has been the key to my success in a GIS career is more than my ability to learn and master any GIS software, understand the hardware, get the importance of good data, the spatial aspects, and so on. That's one thing in itself. What I believe has been the key for me could be key to anyone in any field. That is having cofidence to speak up, present your ideas, make presentations, coordinate directly with clients, etc. You can't sit behind a computer and do a good job and expect to get noticed. Additionally, I have a degree in Geography, an Associates in Business, and working hard on an MBA right now. Education is important to me and all of my former employers and clients to date.

Now info on GIS. Check out American Assoication of Geographers, local colleges/universities for GIS certifcation programs and/or degrees in Geography, giscafe of course,,,, and so many more.

These are the following organizations that I know you might be familiar with where ever you are that I know use GIS, FYI:

Circle K

Many cities, counties, states across the nation are using GIS. Even many healthcare organizations. Many, many oil & gas companies, pipeline companies, utility companies..... In general, most people don't "get it" as far as I've seen, but when they do, when companies do, they just can't live without it or you if you've done your job and provided them with a successful implementation of GIS.

P.S. At least around here, I don't expect to find a job in the paper that reads, "GIS Person". You've usually got to ferret them out. And usually, it turns out they are looking for more of an IT person. That's where I think you'll benefit by adding at least a GIS certification to your Computer Science.

(Stranger )
11/19/02 07:42 AM
Re: GIS Career new [re: eve_gis]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Lacky you, eve_gis!
I believe and see searching web I could find my place in GIS business, but unfortunately I live in Bosnia, and no many oportunities here. I am a mechanical engineer graduated with cranes and specialized in HVAC. Then I started helping architects in making 3D architectural projects and visualizations. In GIS field I am for 2.5 years but I feel like I do it all my life, making 3D terrains, analysis, visualizations and CAD integrations. Still, there are no many people here understanding what GIS is for, and no many people to exchange my knowledge and GIS/DTM experience.
Is there any way to work via Internet for some companies?
I work in spatial and urban planing firm as IT manager, but my salary is merely 350 EURO.
Where can I get GIS certification?

(Stranger )
04/29/09 12:43 PM
Re: GIS Career new [re: iris]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

i dont know where you're from but there are alot of IT jobs in the GIS World... take your pick. if i were you i wouldnt do anything until after ive landed a job< most places will pay for your education once you're on board, but if you must have some knowledge of GIS before hand just take a couple of GIS classes to get your feet wet and go from there.

(Stranger )
06/19/09 02:28 PM
Re: GIS Career new [re: iris]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Depends on what you want to do. If you want to get rich, look elsewhere. If you want to make a good living and have job security, combine GIS and Computer Science. Many software firms hire programmers for their commercial off-the-shelf products and hire programmers for their for their custom products. I like teaming a Computer Science with a GIS/Remote Sensing domain specialist to work on projects. If you have a solid Java, C++, and strong research capability in your background with GIS/Remote Sensing education as well, you will rise steadily to the top.


Watch how fast you rise, too fast and you will not be ready for the next challenge. The biggest error most young people make is associate success with managing people. Manage projects, improve your skills on your own time monthly, and do not be in a hurry. IF you are in a hurry, you will radily rise to you highest level of incompetence.

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