Industry Requirements

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    Senthil Thyagarajan

    I dont intend to make this as a linked in discussion but as a student I am trying understand what are the requirements in the GIS industry from a GIS graduate student.

    Thank You.




    Diana Sinton

    Hi Senthil.  Probably you’ll find more ideas and suggestions from other LinkedIn groups, as you noted, and other sources of professionally-related information.  It really depends on what you want to do after your student years, whether you want to work directly with GIS as a career or you are learning GIS as needed to do something else (be a biologist that will be interpreting spatial patterns, for example).

    Here is a fairly recent posting on the topic of GIS Skills, for example.   From the educational perspective, different programs aim to align themselves with different types of GIS-related learning outcomes.  Some programs strive to align directly with the Dept of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model, like this one at Salt Lake Community College.   Meanwhile, many programs follow content within the GIS & T Body of Knowledge as they design their curriculum, and this is a very broad collection of “knowledge” that is needed within a lot of different industries.  So there’s no one answer to your question.

    You might find this article interesting, Skills in Professional Geography: An Assessment of Workforce Needs and Expectations Solem et al., 2008,, Professional Geographer).   It’s not only about GIS, but I think it describes important ideas for anyone expecting to do work that is geography-related.


    Senthil Thyagarajan

    Thanks a lot Diana .



    Hello Senthil,

    Thank you for posing your question, afterall, an education should open doors and prepare one for the working world. The Association of American Geographers (AAG) has resources that may be of interest to you:

    1) Ask a Geographer ( From the dropdown menu, select GIS, you will be brought to a list of geographers working in the field of GIS (private business, academy, museum) who have provided their contact information. There are a few people listed who have stated specifically that they are willing to answer questions about GIS careers.

    2) Part of having a job is to receive a salary (and do something you love). AAG provides salary trends, there is one on geospatial technology (

    3) For leisure reading, I recommend short profiles of geographers working both in and outside of academia. These personal stories provide a summary of their work and knowledge/skills needed. There are a few GIS related examples (

    Good luck with your job search!


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