Geographic information systems have been around for a long time. However, it’s only recently that the field has expanded. This gives way too many different career options and graduate degree programs in diverse areas across geographic information sciences. If you’re looking to pursue a college degree, further your expertise, or simply jump into an exciting, growing field of information technology, here are a few reasons why it pays to consider a GIS degree.
1. High Demand in the Workforce
As GIS technology becomes more advanced, there’s much more opportunity for jobs in the field. Being at the head of one of the most globally important industries in the world can only be seen as a benefit, and even if you should decide to pursue a different career or area of study later on, your expertise in this field will serve you well no matter what you end up doing. From medical research to city planning to politics and anthropology, GIS is a field with an incredibly wide range of real world applications. For instance, Hofstra University has a rigorous GIS program that has connected many of its graduates to careers in journalism, information technology, and digital humanities.
2. A Collaborative Medium
GIS is a field that depends heavily on research. This means that, should you choose to pursue a college degree in GIS, you’ll be partnered with a number of faculty and students to help you understand how to do geospatial research, assemble a field report, and apply your knowledge to real-world situations. Several of the best GIS programs involve rigorous fieldwork and collaborative research. For instance, should you decide to earn a masters in GIS from USC, committing to collaborative exercises and research will be a large part of your curriculum.
3. Understand Mapping Technology
One of the most practical uses of a GIS degree is in creating and perfecting new mapping systems. Whether it’s a car’s GPS or a dating app, GIS allows maps and applications to come as close as possible to creating accurate location-searching technology. As location-based services and apps become more and more in vogue, mapping technology constantly needs to be upgraded and fine-tuned. Committing to a GIS degree allows you to be at the forefront of the ever-changing technology.
4. Diverse Application of Your Degree
Many graduate students pursue a continuing education course without being sure of its final, real-world benefits. With a GIS degree, the job possibilities are endless. Whether you’re developing a new app based on location technology, planning new city structures, changing the way a city approaches transportation, predicting social trends or trying to stop a disease outbreak, GIS plays a major role in your success. As an extremely fast-growing industry that’s on the cusp of new breakthroughs in technology, GIS is responsible for the creation of 330,000 new jobs over the past ten years alone. A GIS degree can be parlayed into a career in journalism, medical science, engineering, business, and computer science in addition to a number of growing industries.