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Geographic Information Systems or Geographic Information Sci

  1. Aug 31, 2015 #1

    Is anyone familiar with GIS? I'm thinking about switching for my BS then doing an MS or PHD.

    Does anyone know how these skills support other fields in the private sector or goverment?
    Also I want to do something 'sciencey'...so how 'sciencey' is it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2015 #2


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    I see that you also have a thread titled "Level of programming skill in non programming job" so I'll go out on a limb and guess that you're wondering how much you should focus on programming with a GIS degree. I can't address the requirements of the degree but I've done a fair amount of GIS-related programming in Java. Do you have more specific questions that I might be able to answer?
  4. Sep 1, 2015 #3
    Right now I am majoring in electrical engineering but I am leaning towards GIS as my plan B as I have doubts about being able to complete because its hard and I dont want to (maybe) risk failing out and thinking perhaps I should have done something less....difficult.

    Anyways my "level of programming" question was inspired by looking at EE jobs but it applies to other fields of ENG and GIS as well.

    I should also note that while I wasn't trained as such I did GIS for about 4 years in the army. We used ArcGIS and erdas imagine to make simple overlays for intelligence products and do some very basic terrain analysis. Truthfully, from knowing the actual civilian GIS analyst we had around the work we did didnt compare but it is what makes me think at the end a BS in GIS might be easier than EE and the job would be something I could live with.

    Yes, I have a few more questions if you dont mind?

    1. While my schools program is quite clear 1 semester of calcu, 1 stats and 2 programming. Do you find yourself needing
    higher levels of math or physics in your work? Or if I at least want a MS in GIS would how much physics and math is involved?

    2. What area of GIS do you work in? I had ideas about getting a BS in GIS and then maybe supporting this with something in the epidemiology realm. Also spatial analysis sounds interesting.

    Thanks for your help.
  5. Sep 1, 2015 #4


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    For the work that I currently do, I haven't needed higher level math. However, I find that in many jobs, the tasks find the skills. What I mean by that is that as your skills increase and people find out about it, it's more likely that you will get the opportunities to use those skills. For example I got my BS in Applied Physics in the 80's, worked in cartography in the 90's and have been working as a programmer ever since. While most of my programming doesn't involve GIS-related work, managers know my background and tend to look me up when there is a GIS programming task. My first GIS-related program did involve spherical coordinates. So, while you may not "need" higher level math, it won't hurt you to have it.
  6. Sep 2, 2015 #5
    Ah! make sense.

    Any other with more direct GIS experience care to chime in? I realize we are far a field from physics.....:cool:
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