Employment and Job Opportunities:
The local and national job markets for Geospatial professionals are very strong and are expected to grow substantially in the foreseeable future. Geospatial professionals work in a variety of settings, including the private sector (for example, logistics and market analysis), public sector at the local, state, and national levels, in academics and research, and in GIS software firms.
Employers are seeking individuals with the skills and knowledge required to solve the increasingly complex problems faced by today’s businesses and government agencies.
Several years ago, "planning your life's career" meant just that. People tended to
learn a relatively narrow set of skills and "settle in" to a professional life with
a simple career path and one or two employers. Today, this traditional employment
model is fading, and a current professional career may now involve multiple employment
relationships, participation in a "virtual" organization, self-employment, or pursuit
of many types of jobs during one's lifetime.
The bottom line in today's world is that it pays to be educated broadly, yet skilled technically, to meet the challenges and reap the tremendous opportunities of an information-based global economy. More and more, this information-based global economy is becoming a geospatial information-based economy. Such tools as aerial and satellite remote sensing imagery, the Global Positioning System (GPS), and computerized geographic information systems (GIS) are revolutionizing the conduct of business, science, and government alike.
Geospatial information is increasingly becoming the driving force for decision making across the local to global continuum. Tasks as varied as planning urban growth, managing a forest, implementing "precision farming," assessing insurance claims, siting an automatic teller machine, routing 911 vehicles, drilling a well, assessing groundwater contamination, designing a cellular phone network, guiding "intelligent" vehicles, assessing the market for manufactured goods, managing a city, operating a utility, improving wildlife habitat, monitoring air quality, assessing environmental impact, designing a road, studying human health statistics, minimizing water pollution, undertaking real estate transactions, preserving wetlands, mapping natural hazards and disasters, providing famine relief, or studying the causes and consequences of global climate change, can be greatly enhanced by the use of some form of geospatial technology. The pioneers, builders, and specialists in geospatial information collection and management are trained in such fields as photogrammetry, remote sensing, and GIS.
For more information on careers in Geospatial Science and links to job listings, see Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) careers page Careers in GIS.
Below are links to websites that advertise careers in Geospatial Sciences for applications specialists, developers, and managers. Some of the websites you can customize your search, and many allow searches for both GIS and remote sensing jobs.
Some of the positions you will be searching for have the following titles:
- GIS Analyst
- GIS Technician
- GIS Data Specialist
- GIS Specialist
- GIS Mapping Technician
- Engineering Technician
- GIS Mapping Assistant
- GIS Application Specialist
- Engineering Aide
Here are some of the skills that companies hiring GIS employees will be looking for:
- Strong GIS skills with two or more GIS packages
- Strong Macro / C / C++ / Visual Basic programming skills
- Understanding of and/or willing to learn math and statistical analysis
- Strong Oracle or related RDBMS skills including development skills
- Excellent verbal / written communication skills
- Genuinely excited and enthusiastic about learning and pushing technical limits / finding new solutions
- Good writing skills - for documentation, training, processes
- Formal training (eg. Degree) or high level of experience with GIS.
- "Hands-on" experience
- Good analytical / problem solving skills
- A basic understanding of the concepts behind data management in a relational database
- Good IT technical skills
- The ability to think and solve problems
Remote Sensing Opportunities