Geographic Information Systems:
The use of geospatial technologies is increasingly being used in a variety of fields.
GIS is being employed in many different industries and the skills required to be
a successful GIS professional have evolved over the years. Below are recommendations
on building a strong background in preparation for a career in GIS based on what the
majority of employers are looking for. However, keep in mind you will find a wide
variety of work and educational backgrounds among those working in GIS jobs.
The starting point in building a successful career in GIS is a solid education. This involves taking a combination of classes in cartography, GIS, spatial analysis, database management, web technologies, and remote sensing. At Stony Brook, we offer not only a minor in Geospatial Science, but also a Graduate Certificate.Depending on the industry of the job listing, that degree would preferably be in Geography, Computer Science, Engineering, or Urban Planning. Job seekers that have a bachelor’s degree in another major should supplement their college education with a certificate program.
Those striving for managerial positions in GIS may want to pursue a master’s degree.The current trend in GIS is customization and application. More and more companies are looking for GIS skills geared toward specific GIS purposes. This could range from an Emergency Response System to an application customized to allow a user to generate mailing lists based on a spatially selected area.As with all fields, nothing beats real-world experience.
Internships are extremely popular in GIS as they allow the employer an opportunity for entry level GIS tasks and, in turn, provide a valuable training experience for the intern.
The only way to truly become proficient in GIS is to simply use it. The coursework will serve to provide a base knowledge of the field which can and should, be supplemented with hands on experience.Once you’ve completed your coursework and have achieved some hands on work experience, where do you look for a job? There are many job sites on the internet specializing exclusively in GIS employment opportunities. Please Visit our Employment Page for more information.