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Sep 05

How to Advance Your Career in the Environmental Sciences

INTRODUCTION:

If you love the environment, you likely also want to do everything you can to make our world a better place in which to live. In fact, you may have considered pursuing a career in the environmental sciences. Even if you don’t work in the environmental sciences or your current degree doesn’t have an earth sciences focus, you can still work towards one. By working towards a master’s degree in something like geographic information systems, you open up a world of career possibilities, including planning and design, cartography, and the like. All these fields and others help make the world a better place, for now and for the future.

WHAT IT IS:

A degree in geographic information systems is about more than data acquisition and mapping. It can be a fundamental part of a process to develop solutions for sustainability. These should be made with social, environmental and economic factors kept at the forefront. You will learn how to design a sustainable world using sustainability management workflows. You’ll also learn to model complex spans of land, transportation and resource problems as well, all using geospatial technologies.

You get to exercise your advanced spatial thinking skills, and many schools offering a degree program in geographic information systems also offer concentrations in sustainability management.

In short, those who really enjoy working with the environment and learning about sustainability, as well as trying to determine workable solutions for our planet’s future, should give serious consideration to pursuing a career in geographic information systems.

CAREER PROSPECTS:

Careers in geographic information systems are often associated with map making, but geographic information systems technologists are not reliant on cartography for their bread and butter. Other career prospects include:

– Cartographic design

– Data analysis

– Computer programming

– Database administration

– Project management

– System administration

The responsibilities of those working in geographic information systems can also include business development, managerial, and administrative roles. Anyone working in geographic information systems is going to have to be well-versed in a variety of technologies in order to survive and thrive. In addition, GIS workers will have to put a wide range of organizational skills to use in order to balance all their responsibilities.

SALARY:

Your pay can vary depending on what branch of geographic information systems you want to go into. For instance, geographic information systems analysts can make anywhere from $34,000 USD to $72,000 USD. A GIS technician will see a significant drop in pay by comparison; a technician makes anywhere from $27,000 USD to $50,000 USD. A GIS specialist can make anywhere from $36,000 USD to $65,000 USD, while a GIS manager can earn $46,000 USD to $93,000 USD.

CONCLUSION:

One thing is clear: geographic information systems offer a career which continues to evolve and change with the advances in technology and time. It will likely continue to grow as we explore alternative ways to keep our environment relatively healthy and safe. Certainly, it’s a career which will continue to appeal to audiences of any age who are interested in ensuring our world remains safe for years to come.

RESOURCES:

http://www.outreach.washington.edu/pmpgis/
http://www.esri.com/what-is-gis/careers-in-gis.html#prodo_panel
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Geographic_Information_Systems_(GIS)_Analyst/Salary
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Geographic_Information_Systems_(GIS)_Technician/Hourly_Rate
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Geographic_Information_Systems_(GIS)_Specialist/Salary

Author Bio:
Guest post contributed by Sarah Rawson. Sarah is tutoring various online Master GIS programs. Sara is also a freelance writer and her articles mainly appear on education blogs.

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