What is GIS
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a system that’s used to collect, analyze, and create digital map displays. The GIS industry is projected to grow to $25.6B by 2030. The factors that are fueling GIS industry growth are due to more data, more computing power, and more analysis needs. This means there will be more entry level GIS jobs open for filling and the demand for GIS trained employees will increase. GIS is a unique skill to learn because it easily translates across industries, and once mastered the applications are endless. Environmental scientists use GIS to create 3D maps that tracks and predicts the spread of pollution in an area. GPS technicians collect field data on city potholes. While GIS analysts use GIS to predict a fires path and safely evacuate a neighborhood before the fire gets close. These are just a few examples of how GIS is used to collect, analyze, and display data for critical decisions.
GIS Analyst job descriptions
Since GIS is such a multi-industry tool, there are endless numbers of job descriptions for GIS certified applicants. Generally entry level GIS jobs fall into one of these three categories.
GIS intern- Companies often offer GIS internships. This is a great opportunity to earn a little money and more importantly gain experience to add to your resume. The more experience you have, the better you will do applying for jobs. Everyone knows that GIS internships are important because you get to see real work environments so you can eventually pick and choose what is interesting to you.
GIS Technicians- A GIS technician or GIS tech is a usual starting position for people with a GIS certification. You will usually work on routine data editing, data quality assurance, or map making. As an example, take a look at Indeed.com to see job descriptions for GIS technicians. These skills are learned and mastered through completing GIS certificate courses. Real world jobs include: GPS field data collection of resources like invasive weeds. Data editing of a city’s parcels. Data quality checking to load or edit utility infrastructure data.
GIS Analyst- A GIS analyst is a common starting position for someone with a GIS certification. They perform higher level analysis and application workflows. Job description for a GIS analyst involves data collection, data management, map making, creation and maintenance of databases, Data SOP’s. Again, see Indeed.com for job descriptions of GIS analysts. Real world jobs include: creating a field to cloud workflow for a utility company. Creating a live traffic map for a city. Data publishing for a company’s web maps.
Promotions in GIS
The GIS industry is just like any other when it comes to promotions. There are steps you can take as a GIS certified employee to fast track yourself to promotion. The tech sector has rapid upward mobility. We see people become managers in just a few years with attractive GIS salaries.
- Internships- allow you to gain experience on the job while marketing yourself to employers. The experience you gain will set you up for success in the future. An employee with more experience is a better candidate for promotion.
- Get the right education- Getting the right education is the cornerstone for the fast track to promotion. Mastery over technical skills allows employers to save money on training you, which can mean a higher salary, bonuses or faster promotions. Make sure that you learn the skills you need with a Cloud, Developer, or GIS certificate by completing GIS courses like the ones listed below.
- Networking- The pandemic has severely impacted the average persons ability to network. Services like Linkedin allow you to connect with peers in your industry while remaining safe from COVID-19. Online networking is not most peoples first choice, but neither is a pandemic. The ability to create and maintain connections is a vital skill that can help you earn more promotions. Try using online services to expand your professional network.
Get more information on how to get promoted in GIS. This industry has lots of opportunities as there are lots of industry applications and new software to master.