A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system used to combine, catalog, maintain, and analyze geographically referenced information. It has widespread applications because it presents the user with a wealth of information. Government agencies use GIS to determine which regions in a state, city, or country have the highest risk for earthquakes. They then use this information to correct building codes in these areas. Marketing companies use GIS to help their clientele focus their marketing efforts. This is done by using GIS to catalog and display the spread of zip codes representing young families with high income. Similarly, government health officials use the system to check if all areas are being adequately served by public services such as law enforcement and health care.
Because of their ability to handle large tracts of data and easily organize them, global information systems have become increasingly important in the operation of most companies. It is not surprising then, that there is a need for professionals who have the education to handle these systems effectively and direct them to the correct task.
How Can I Learn To Operate GIS?
Some universities in the US offer students degrees at an undergraduate and graduate level, and they specialize in the construction, implementation and maintenance of a global information system. Students could use these degree programs to gain all the relevant training they need in the field, and then use these skills in the professional field.
The duration of the degree programs will vary; they might depend on the school you apply to and the state you are in. It will also depend on whether you are enrolled as a full-time or part-time student. Typically, an undergraduate degree takes around four years to complete, while the master's program will vary between one and three years.
Completing your degree, however, does not mean that you are ready to become a professional. Because the field is growing continuously, students must continue to take courses which help them understand the updates in the field. On the other end, there are students who wish to enroll in a GIS program, but cannot because the location is too far for them or the program is too expensive. For these people, taking GIS online courses is an effective solution.
What Are GIS Online Courses?
Universities and private institutions are now starting to offer these courses for students who are unable to attend classes on their campuses. They are aimed at helping both new and returning students learn how to operate a GIS for their specific purposes. Students will learn how to obtain data, ensure its quality, and how to interpret the output of the GIS as well. Because course material is released online, it is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Students could review course materials and complete assignments without leaving their homes.
Upon completing these programs, students will be able to use their newly acquired knowledge to improve the way GIS works within the company where they work. These skills are highly useful to have, and employers may look favorably upon your credentials.