5 In-Demand Careers in Geographic Information Technology

5 In-Demand Careers in Geographic Information Technology

There has been an explosion of digital information: An incredible 90 percent of the data available in the world today has been created in the past two years.

The growing number of ways that we can use Geographic Information Technology (GIT) to maximize this data has led the U.S. Department of Labor to predict that thousands of new GIT-related jobs will open up by 2020, as more industries recognize the ways to use geography-based data management.

If you take some time to examine the technical needs of your industry, you’ll probably find that geographic information technology is either already in use or badly needed in some aspect of its operations.

Here are some fields that are especially hot right now.

1. Food Services

Large companies that operate restaurant chains need to know where they should build next. By using detailed data, they can target an area with a certain demographic, income profile, and population density.

Maps can help them visualize transportation possibilities as well as giving key data on how many people could reach a destination in a given time. And since modern food supply chains are so globally interconnected, those in this industry can use location-based analysis to balance supply and demand from a full-picture perspective.

2. Large Governmental Agencies

Geographic information technology is transforming every aspect of government. Of course, the military needs analysts to use GIT to quickly identify patterns of behavior and movement, as well and threats.

Analysts at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency support national security for the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies in particular.  Check out the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation ’s site to look for these kinds of jobs and internships.

3. Public Health

Health surveillance allows us to track diseases and trends in whole new ways, opening up new avenues for prevention and treatment. Data on health disparities, accidents, and areas that are at-risk all drive medical research and governmental strategic planning. During emergencies, such as an outbreak in a certain city, analysts can use mapping data to communicate with the public.

Check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention , which relies on geographic information technology to generate accurate statistics and inform health-related policy decisions.

4. Relief Work

GIT specialists, as well as managers and researchers with GIT insight, are becoming integral parts of teams responsible for monitoring and responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.

Assessing risks allows these organizations to create preparedness plans, and when an event does occur, provides maps and data for response and recovery teams. This may be carried out at the local level of law enforcement or at a much larger scale in the United Nations or World Bank.

5. Towns and Cities

Geographic information technology analysts support municipal departments by providing geographic data management and the creation of maps, including digital and interactive online maps. It’s possible to create a comprehensive database of spatial information for mapping and analysis in support of town and city operations.

Mapping data such as streets, water, schools, political boundaries and zoning can inform all kinds of departments, from the highway department to tax assessment to conservation to urban planning. It can even assist with political campaigns.

Bonus: Salaries

Jobs range from part-time to full-time positions, and salary varies widely by location, discipline, and experience. Salary.com reports the range in the United States is between $31,387 for an entry-level analyst to $83,333 for a supervisor. Salary levels at the United Nations are higher and I encourage you to visit those websites. View the GISJobs.com Salary Survey for an in-depth look.

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About Cordula Robinson

Dr. Cordula A. Robinson is the academic director of the Northeastern Master's in Geographic Information Technology program. Her research interests include remote sensing for environmental applications and GIS.

One comment

  1. Thanks so much for writing this! As a technology enthusiast it is very helpful to me. I will definitely apply this! http://gsws.com/

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