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February 11, 2023

Unlock A World Of Opportunity: Exploring Careers With GIS

Ever wondered what a career in GIS could be like? Are you looking for information to decide if pursuing a degree in GIS is right for you? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll discuss GIS careers in depth and give you an idea of what it’s like to pursue a career in GIS. We’ll also tell you about the benefits of pursuing a degree in GIS and some of the career options available after graduation.

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What is Geographic Information Systems (GIS)?

GIS is a technology for gathering, analyzing, and displaying geographic data. It’s used in fields such as geography, cartography, geology, environmental science, geospatial intelligence, and remote sensing.

A GIS analyst uses the technology to collect data from multiple sources to create digital maps of the Earth’s features and resources. They use software like ArcGIS to analyze the data to determine location, height, shape, size, and other characteristics of geospatial objects.

Another common job title for someone working with GIS technology is spatial analyst. This job requires expertise in software like QGIS or Esri ArcGis. These analysts use their skills to create maps of varying scales and formats. They also use tools like satellite imagery to develop maps showing environmental conditions or patterns.

They might work on projects related to natural resources management or disaster response. Additionally, they may work on projects that involve digital mapping and geospatial analysis of data. This role also requires knowledge of computer programming languages like Python or R.

The benefits of working with GIS technology include increased access to spatial data and analysis tools for organizations across industries. As a result, organizations can more effectively use geographic information in their business decisions and operations.

Those with the skills required can find career opportunities in fields such as geography education or engineering geospatial technology (EGT).

Popular GIS careers

A career in geographic information systems (GIS) can be an exciting and rewarding experience. GIS professionals work with data to create spatial analysis and visualizations of data. This helps organizations make informed decisions and planning more efficient. The GIS analyst is responsible for collecting, organizing, processing, analyzing, and visualizing data. This job entails a broad range of tasks from developing data analysis plans to mapping data solutions.

The technician and developer role involves using computer skills and software to assist with the creation of geospatial products. They develop geospatial software applications for desktop computers or remote devices. The software engineer works on software development projects for geospatial software applications for mobile devices. The programmer focuses on creating high-level geospatial software applications using programming languages such as R and Python. Finally, the consultant and project manager focuses on managing projects involving geospatial technology solutions.

A career as a cartographer involves drawing geographic information in a variety of formats, such as maps, charts, graphs, and diagrams. A surveyor specializes in mapping data used in geography, geography education, cartography, surveying, geodesy, geography-related science, environmental science research, geography-related engineering research, geography-related statistics research, geography-related communications research, geography-related journalism research or any other field that uses geographic information or spatial analysis.

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Benefits of having a GIS career

GIS professionals have a wide range of career options in many industries as they are involved in the creation, analysis, and management of spatial data. The technology is constantly evolving, which means there's always something new to learn and experience. This makes GIS professionals valuable assets in any organization. Their skills of working with data, maps and spatial analysis are vital for planning and executing effective governmental, environmental, civil, and mapping projects. Having a GIS career can offer plenty of benefits such as the ability to work with data and information from various sources, develop processes and systems for analyzing data, and use computer programming skills to create advanced mapping tools. As GIS technology becomes more sophisticated and in-demand, gis professionals will be able to take advantage of the opportunities it provides.

Career Outlook for GIS Degree Graduates

A GIS career can offer a wide range of opportunities and possibilities. GIS professionals are in high demand in industries such as urban planning, environmental conservation, public health, transportation, and commerce. They work with data to analyze spatial trends and make decisions that affect a community’s well-being. GIS degree graduates can expect to earn competitive salaries and enjoy job security. They can work remotely or freelance for additional flexibility and freedom.

The field of GIS is growing rapidly and offers plenty of opportunities for those with the right skillset. GIS professionals have the potential to make a positive impact on society and help address challenges facing our communities and planet.

GIS jobs can be found in any industry

GIS technology is used in a wide range of industries and professions, from agriculture to transportation. As GIS professionals, we work with companies to analyze data and create detailed maps that help visualize important information. GIS jobs offer high salaries and the potential for growth and advancement in the field. Depending on the job, GIS professionals can work remotely or freelance, which gives them greater flexibility when it comes to their career path. Regardless of what industry you’re in, GIS technology is becoming increasingly important, making it an attractive choice for those looking for a rewarding career change.

Steps to get into a GIS career

The global information systems (GIS) industry is one of the fastest-growing fields in the world today. Due to its immense growth, there are plenty of job openings for skilled individuals who are interested in working in this space. However, it’s important to do your research and prepare yourself well before diving into a career in GIS.

Take courses related to GIS that will help you gain skills and qualifications relevant to the job role. Also, look for certification programs or diplomas that will give you an edge in the job market. A certification or diploma will prove to employers that you have the expertise to perform well in your role. As a starting point, internships or volunteer positions will also give you a feel of what working in GIS is like.

List of Careers for GIS Degree Graduates

As a GIS degree graduate, you can pursue a wide range of career options. Depending on your skills and experience, you could be a geographic information systems analyst, cartographer, surveyor, urban planner, or GIS technician. GIS professionals often need experience with different types of GIS software such as ArcGIS and QGIS. In addition to software skills, many jobs require experience with data analysis tools such as Python or JavaScript. Plus, it’s important to understand the job duties and educational requirements for each position before deciding which career path to pursue.

Networking with professionals in the field is a great way to explore potential careers in GIS. This can help you identify opportunities that interest you and learn more about the different roles and responsibilities of different positions in the field. By understanding the roles of geographic information system professionals in today’s society, you can determine which career path is right for you

Typical GIS Employers: Which Fields Can You Work In?

GIS professionals work in a variety of industries, from government to business to healthcare. They use geographic information systems (GIS) to create maps and analyze data related to land use, environmental issues, and other topics. Businesses often hire GIS specialists for data analysis and mapping projects. Educational institutions often hire GIS professionals for teaching and research projects. Healthcare organizations use GIS to locate healthcare facilities and track disease outbreaks. Regardless of the industry, GIS offers a wide range of exciting career possibilities.

Challenges associated with GIS jobs

GIS jobs are exciting. But they come with a slew of challenges such as balancing multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, meeting deadlines and working under tight schedules, understanding complex data structures and handling large datasets, among others.

A GIS analyst is constantly busy analyzing large data sets for mapping purposes, supervising the creation of geospatial databases and geospatial analysis tools, data management, software development, spatial analysis, mapping services etc. To effectively deal with these tasks, a GIS analyst needs to master the technical aspects of geospatial software and systems.

Also, to effectively cope with the challenges of a GIS job, it’s important to have ample experience in geospatial analysis.

Popular GIS software and tools

GIS software can be used to create maps, analysis tools, and databases that support decision-making. ArcGOS is a powerful GIS software suite that is useful for organizations and businesses. It includes the Esri World Geography App, which offers an array of tools for analyzing data, including spatial analysis and mapping. In addition to data analysis features, it has tools for designing maps, geospatial analysis such as geographic information systems (GIS) tools, and cartography. QGIS is an open-source GIS software with a wide range of features. Besides data analysis tools, it also offers tools for georeferencing and mapping. Some of its features include panoramic imaging and gis-analysis. Additionally, Google Earth Pro is a free program for creating maps and exploring satellite images. It has various mapping tools and the ability to add custom layers to maps. Finally, Mapbox Studio is a powerful tool for customizing interactive web maps. With its diverse set of features and easy-to-use interface, it’s a great choice for those looking to create stunning maps using GIS software.

Benefits of having a GIS Certification

GIS certifications are widely viewed as a gateway to a career in geospatial data management. They provide an assurance of knowledge and expertise in the field and serve as a basis for potential jobs. A GIS certification also helps open doors to new career paths and opportunities by establishing a track record of digital mapping skills. This will help in identifying the right job path and acquire valuable experience. A GOS certification can also provide access to job-specific training materials and resources, which can help significantly in enhancing one’s capabilities.

Moreover, GIS certifications are sought out by employers for specialized positions due to the added value they offer. The information gleaned from geospatial data analysis is important for many fields, including agriculture, natural resource management, environmental science, land use planning etc. Thus, obtaining a GIS certification not only helps strengthen one’s career prospects but also adds value to any profession.

The Alternative: GIS Diploma / Certification

GIS certification can be a valuable credential for professionals working in a variety of industries. It provides an invaluable tool for mapping and analyzing data, making decisions based on that data, and visualizing complex information. It can help organizations make better-informed decisions and value-driven decisions based on data analysis.

GIS certification can also help individuals stand out in a competitive job market. Employers look for professionals who have relevant skills and experience when hiring, so having a GIS certification can give them assurance of someone’s expertise in the field. In addition to these benefits, having a GIS diploma or certification gives professionals tangible proof of their knowledge and skills, making them more attractive to employers.

Find out more about my preferred GIS certification here.

Recommended GIS Career Resources

If you’re interested in a career in geographic information systems, there are a variety of resources available to help you get started. Some of the best resources for learning about and exploring geospatial data and tools include job boards and websites for GIS-related jobs, professional organizations, networking events, conferences, and workshops for skill development, degree programs, and online courses. Additionally, geospatial data analysis is an exciting field with many career opportunities. If you’re interested in pursuing it as a career path, you should study geospatial data science at a college or university and consider enrolling in a geospatial data analyst program or other geospatial certificate program. By taking these steps, you can unlock the world of geospatial data analysis as a career path.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Geographic Information System (GIS) and how can it be used?

Geographic Information System (GIS) is a system used to store, analyze, and manipulate geographical data. GIS software collects data from various sources such as digital maps, satellite imagery, surveys and geospatial databases. It is then used to create maps, analyze spatial patterns and relationships, and develop predictive models of the physical world around us.

GIS technology is used in many industries including transportation, urban planning, health and environment. In the transportation industry, GIS can be used to map out the most efficient routes based on multiple factors like traffic density, weather conditions etc. In urban planning, GIS can be used to analyze the availability of resources like water or electricity in different geographic areas. In health care, GIS can be used to study disease patterns and environmental hazards.

Careers in GIS include mapping technicians, GIS analysts, surveyors, cartographers and more. If you’re interested in GIS technology you can pursue courses at any university that offers GIS-related programs.

What types of careers involve the use of GIS?

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is a technology used to collect, analyze, store and visualise geospatial data. It’s one of the most important tools for professionals across industries and plays a crucial role in mapping, data analysis, decision making, urban planning, cartography, environmental science and more.

The types of careers that involve the use of GIS include geospatial engineers, GIS technicians, GIS analysts, cartographers, urban planners, policy makers, data scientists and marketing professionals.

Geospatial engineers use GIS to create spatial datasets for mapping projects and develop geographic information systems. Similarly, GIS technicians use GIS technology to maintain spatial data sets in geographic information systems. Whereas GIS analysts use advanced mapping software to analyse spatial data and solve problems related to geographic data analysis.

Furthermore, cartographers also use GIS technology to create maps of varying scale and complexity while urban planners rely on it to manage land-use decisions in cities. It’s also used in environmental science to monitor natural resources like water and forests. In the field of marketing and advertising, professionals use GIS technology to track customer behavior and market trends.

What are some of the benefits of having GIS skills in my resume?

Having GIS skills on your resume can be incredibly beneficial in helping you land a job. As geographic information systems (GIS) technology is becoming increasingly valued in many industries, from urban planning and development to natural resources management, employers are looking for professionals who possess the necessary skills to help their businesses save time and money.

Furthermore, GIS-trained professionals typically earn higher salaries than other professionals with similar qualifications. This is due to the fact that GIS skills are in high demand and companies are willing to pay more for experts who can apply spatial data analysis techniques to a variety of projects.

In addition, having GIS skills on your resume can also open up a world of career opportunities, as these skills are transferable across multiple industries. Whether you’re an experienced analyst or a student just starting out, possessing GIS knowledge can make you a valuable asset to any employer.

What educational resources exist to help me learn more about GIS?

If you’re looking for educational resources to help you learn about Geographical Information Systems (GIS), there are plenty of options available. One great place to start is the Esri Academy, which offers online courses, tutorials, and webinars that can help you learn more about GIS.

You can also look into professional organizations such as the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association and the American Geographical Society, both of which have resources to help educate people on GIS technology and concepts.

If you are interested in pursuing a career with GIS technology, many Institutes of Technology and universities offer degree programs or certificate courses to help you get started. Additionally, consulting companies often provide training resources to help job candidates gain experience in GIS.


GIS technology is changing rapidly and playing an increasingly prominent role in the way we live and work. As you can see, there are many promising GIS career options to pick from. If you’ve made up your mind to pursue a career in GIS, check out our resources section for further reading. Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or concerns you may have!

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