What Can You Do With A GIS Degree?

Is a GIS degree worth it? What types of jobs can I get with a GIS degree? Are there alternatives for GIS certification, online programs and diplomas? A lot of people tend to ask these questions. Well, we only have one answer for you and that’s a big,


If you’re asking these types of questions about a GIS degree or alternatives, then you’ve come to the right place for answers.

It’s said that you don’t truly know your data until you can see it geographically. Because we can connect information to locations, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is changing the way we do decision-making.

The main functions of a GIS are to create geographic data, analyze it and display it on a map. And this fits the three main career options you can land as a career:

  • First, the humble GIS technician creates geographic data.
  • Second, the artistic Cartographer displays it on a map.
  • Next, the analytical GIS specialist and programmers analyze and automate.
  • Finally, GIS managers coordinate projects and people.

But there are tons more for potential career options with a GIS degree. For example, this table lists typical job titles for GIS degree graduates. As you can see, positions can range anything from entry-level to senior-level.

I bet you are already asking yourself what are these entry point? Well without wasting much time we have listed them all for you right below:

Entry Positions

  • CAD Drafter
  • GIS Technician
  • Survey CAD Technician
  • Cartographic Technician
  • Land Survey Technician

Low to Mid-Range Jobs

  • GIS Analyst
  • Geodesist
  • Geographer
  • LiDAR Analyst
  • Cartographer
  • Geoint Analyst

Mid to High-Level Jobs

  • Remote Sensing Analyst
  • Geographic Information Systems Specialist
  • GIS Administrator
  • Senior CAD Designer
  • GIS Developer

Senior Positions

  • Senior GIS Analyst
  • GIS Coordinator
  • Senior CAD Engineer
  • GIS Software Engineer
  • Survey Manager
  • GIS Project Manager
  • Senior Geomatics Software Engineer

With these fields of entry listed above, now where can a GIS practitioner work?

Worry not as we have listed all the fields in which GIS Graduates are essentially relevant in the operations of the day to day activities.

Actually, there are too many to list. But based on job listings, here is a list of typical employers who employs GIS degree graduates:

  • Government (Federal, state and regional)
  • Engineering
  • Utilities (Electrical, telecommunications)
  • Academic
  • Environment and natural resources
  • Military intelligence, emergency and public safety
  • Agriculture and soils
  • Transportation and navigation
  • Surveying, engineering and construction
  • Mining and oil
  • Health and epidemiology
  • Archaeology and history

As GIS is still a relatively new technology, there are thousands of GIS applications waiting to fuse into various industries.

About the Author


Kumbirai is a 4th year Surveying & Geomatics students at the Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. He is also the Founder and Team Lead at African Surveyors Connect. He enjoys spending time writing web-applications and is more of a GIS enthusiast who mainly focuses and grew interests in Health and Land Administrative Applications of Geographic Systems.

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