Join Jason VanHorn for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the types of GIS jobs, part of Real-World GIS.
Depending on your interest in GIS, we can typically organize GIS positions as either the analyst position, developer, or data base manager. When looking for GIS positions, usually they specify the expectations linked to one of these three. Although, it is good to have experience in all three of these areas getting depth in one of them will give you greater potential towards job promotion. Sometimes employers do not know exactly what they need, and so it's important to be able to describe back to them, in both their terms and your terms, what you can offer them with your level of GIS expertise.
You might not consider yourself an expert, but it is likely that you do have expert knowledge in GIS, especially if you've gone through this course. Now let's briefly look at each of those positions. The analysis position typically is one where GIS experts are using GIS to analyze the landscape, demographics, or spatially located phenomena for business purposes. For example, land suitability analysis is a typical GIS analyst procedure. For businesses to make decisions on where to put their next location. For example, if we had a fictitious business, Make A Lot of Pants, and they were collecting phone numbers from their customers during a three week span at the checkout aisle, which allowed them to collect geospatial locations of all their customers.
Then we could use a social and demographic analysis and average household size with census data to analyze, where they were living and build a social and demographic profile for where we want to put our next store. Of course, market analysis like this is much more sophisticated but it gives an example of what analyst do. As a GIS developer the business expectations from the employer is that not only will you provide analysis, but that you also develop applications that allow users, internal or external to the company, have the ability to visualize and analyze data on a map interface.
If you're currently in school, working on GIS, or looking to change jobs into GIS, building applications is the easiest way to demonstrate your skills. Finally, the database manager position best describes your abilities to handle server details. Positions in this type of GIS job require IT or CS development. In my experiences thus far, many of these positions are held by students with degrees in computer science and then learn some GIS. However, the more powerful scenario is someone whose able to do both.
Focusing training usually in a geography department while at the university. This will allow you the greatest flexibility in employment, but more it will give you the ability to expertly supervise the whole process of GIS development, analysis, and maintenance. This becomes even more important for those wanting to do development work using a GIS server. It is important to know that some job requirements exclude you because of lack of experience. However, most employers will recognize paid internships, and years in graduate school as points of experience.
Whatever your GIS interests, it is important that you're able to document your experience on a resume, and bring knowledge and enthusiasm to an interview.
- Exploring GIS trends
- Accessing data in proprietary and catalog formats
- Understanding GIS data formats
- Working with scale and graticules in projections
- Collecting geospatial data
- Building a GIS project from scratch
- Mastering GIS job interviews