Should You Pursue a GIS Degree?

As an advanced system of mapping and tracking, GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, is at the forefront of almost every major technological development of the past few years. Because of this, job opportunities for GIS graduates are more plentiful than ever. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about how GIS works to shape the modern world, you might want to consider going to a school like UC San Diego to major in the fast-developing field. To learn more about your GIS degree options, read on.

Advanced Technology

GIS is responsible for some of the most exciting new developments of the past few years, from innovations in medicine and anthropology to new advances in location-based apps and data gathering systems. As a GIS major, you’ll be party to the newest innovations in software and mapping systems years before they enter the market. This will come in handy whether you decide to pursue tech, business, a career in health administration, or any number of careers that depend on developing location-based technologies. A degree in GIS will cover a number of basics, like learning what is geography and figuring out how to use mapping software, as well as more sophisticated tools for working with maps.

Job Growth

As technology gets more advanced, the market for GIS specialists grows larger by the day. In the tech world alone, the demand for experienced GIS professionals is extremely high: Nearly every app depends on location software, from food and grocery delivery to dating sites to activity locating. Many companies are looking to make their mapping software as streamlined and bug-free as possible. Going into the field now increases your chances of being in on the ground floor of exciting new developments in tech and beyond.

Variety of Applications

A GIS graduate is by no means limited to the tech world. As other branches of specialized learning grow out of the typical GIS graduate program, there are more opportunities for students to make their mark in any number of fields. GIS is used in everything from healthcare and medicine, where mapping software is used to determine and organize patient inflow and outflow, to agriculture, where GIS technology allows scientists to use preexisting data to determine where and how a new storm or drought will hit, to business, which uses the technology to understand global trends in the financial market. Whatever your interest, a degree in GIS will serve you well in your chosen career.

Competitive Salary

A GIS degree will give you a competitive right out of the gate, with GIS professionals holding average salaries starting at around 53,000 a year. Related jobs in different fields, like those of Urban Planners and Environmental Scientists, come in slightly below this figure at 49,000 a year and 52,000 a year respectively. The potential for raises, as well as job stability and upward mobility, in GIS and GIS-related careers is also strong, making it one of the most versatile and useful skill-based majors in many universities.