You may have an obsession with tech and a love of the visual arts, so consider combining both disciplines in a GIS degree. GIS stands for Geographic Information Science, which involves spatial sciences and GIS applications. You will be using technology to visualize areas and to communicate geographic information on a variety of platforms. Whether you want to earn a certificate, a bachelors or masters, your degree can be earned conveniently online and can be used in a variety of fields.
What You Will Study
The topics you will cover to earn a GIS degree depend on the program. Certificate degrees tend to deal general subjects and may require fewer courses, whereas graduate degrees involve a deeper level of specialization. You should have a strong grasp of technology before applying for the course and should be aware of standardized tests and prerequisites. You will study concepts on spatial thinking, field applications, the acquisition of data, spatial databases and specialties such as spatial analysis, geospatial technology, remote sensing, and cartography. Find out what classes are offered before applying to a specific program. USC offers a GIS program that may interest you, but make sure you do the proper research before making a decision.
What You Can Do with the GIS degree
Any kind of business or organization can benefit from the assistance of those who specialize in visualization technology, and the GIS degree can be used in almost any industry. The visual aspect of decision-making is essential for many areas of life and GIS graduates can contribute those skills to businesses and organizations. It is not unusual to see graduate work in diverse areas such as government, real estate, utilities, telecommunications and environmental causes. GIS can also help police departments fight crime and health departments locate areas of high health risk.
Insurance companies use GIS experts to assess risk and to take climate change into account when deciding on coverage. Everyone knows location is important in real estate, and GIS can help agents visualize neighborhoods and anticipate upcoming trends. Business owners can make their supply chains more efficient through GIS technology and come up with a more streamlined way to transport goods from the manufacturer to the warehouse to the customer. The decision to open a new store can be simplified through visualization technology, and geographical information is helpful for developing a marketing strategy.
Like many degrees nowadays, a GIS degree can be obtained online. This is a convenient option if you are choosing to study while you are pursuing a career. The quality of online courses is similar if not the same to those that are earned on campus, and it is easy to listen to lectures in your own time, to ask questions of instructors through chat and to submit your assignments through email or Dropbox. Web-based degrees may also be more affordable than traditional learning since the tuition is often lower and there is no need to pay for transportation to and from classes or fees for room and board on campus.