How To Find A Great Career In Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

By David S. Chang

GIS – geographic information systems – is a computer system that is designed to collect, analyze and display geographic data. The field is expanding rapidly and by 2023 anticipated to be a $10 billion industry.

Organizations worldwide are increasingly relying GIS to make better decisions. As a result careers in GIS are in demand more than ever.
If you are looking to find a great career in this promising field, here are some tips on getting started.

Specialize

Like most industries, those who specialize in a particular field and niche have an advantage. In order to stand out, you need to specialize as much as you can. GIS is used in a wide range of areas, including health, city government, transportation, urban planning, business marketing, geology and archaeology.

Think Google Maps, Zillow, and a whole host of other uses for GIS. There are thousands of GIS applications being used in many different industries including:

  • Agriculture
  • Medicine
  • Environment
  • Astronomy
  • Archaeology
  • Politics
  • Sports
  • Geostatistics

These are just some of the growing fields within GIS to help determine the best places to start a business, conduct demographic, market, and political research. By focusing on a GIS specialty, you are more likely to be recognized as a subject matter expert and have a competitive advantage over those who just have general knowledge.

Get Qualifications

Obtaining the right qualifications for a career in GIS is essential. Take the time to invest in a degree in this field or get the necessary certifications. You can get an online MBA specializing in location analytics from the University of Redlands. The degree offers business training, giving you the tools to advance your career or lead you to start your own GIS-based business.

Try An Internship

An internship in a GIS company is a great way to determine what area in GIS you would like to specialize in. You can gain instant access to real-world GIS applications as well as help connect you with other GIS experts. Opportunities are tied to people. So if you are looking for an opportunity, you are looking for a person.

An internship is one of the best ways to find opportunities as well as expose yourself to a variety of different fields. This can help you choose the one you would like to specialize in without investing too much time in a field that you may not end up being interested in. On top of this, the company you intern at may even offer you position once your internship is over.

Apply For Everything

If you are truly serious about a career in GIS, then apply for as many jobs within your specialty (if you have one). For the first job, you should focus on the opportunity, not only the salary or the perfect location. Don’t be too picky or you may never be able to get your foot in the door. Once you become an expert and gain more experience over time, you will then have more leverage to negotiate what you want.

After you apply and get an opportunity for an interview, you should take the time to study and research that the company is a good fit for you and that you are a good fit for the company.

Plan Early

The earlier you start planning your career in GIS, the better. This is a growing field and starting early will give you a head start over others. The field will certainly evolve over time as technology continues to get better. The more you learn now, the better equipped you will be to navigate the future changes in the industry.

David S. Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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