Careers in Geospatial Analysis

Geospatial technology has been identified as a high-growth area by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Occupational Outlook Handbook identifies occupations under the geospatial industry sector as having a growth rate “higher than average” and an above average median pay (citation). Multiple occupations are listed under the heading “geospatial” – for example, cartographers and photogrammetrists are described: cartographers and photogrammetrists collect, measure, and interpret geographic information in order to create and update maps and charts for regional planning, education, and other purposes. More modern job descriptions are geospatial analyst, geospatial engineer, GIS specialist and the like.

Much of this growth is within UMW’s region. A 2012 study showed that almost 15 percent of all geospatial jobs advertised across the nation in February 2012 were in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. This clustering can still be seen in any job search.

GIS graduates will be prepared to succeed in careers such as:

  • Geospatial intelligence: crime analysis, disaster management, emergency preparedness, and crisis management
  • Urban and regional planning
  • Architecture, engineering
  • Technical consulting and GIS analysis
  • Environmental resource management: environmental science, scientific research, and health specialties
  • Federal, regional, or local government
  • GIS management
  • Cartography and geovisualization: surveying, cartography, photogrammetry, and mapping

 “The work that the EGPSC [Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center of the U.S. Department of the Interior] does would be difficult to accomplish without the support of staff trained in geospatial technologies. We have been very pleased with the relationship that we have developed with UMW’s Geography Department over the past 16 years. This program [Master of Science in Geospatial Analysis] will provide students with the necessary skills to fulfill the growing needs of a variety of geospatial science positions within the Federal Government, including those here within the EGPSC.”

–Peter G. Chirico, Research Geographer