GIS Jobs – How To Start Thinking Outside the Box

gis jobs

Last Updated: Feb 2, 2017

Know Where To Search for GIS Jobs

The key to finding GIS jobs is knowing where to search.

But us, multi-talented, tech-saavy GIS practitioners can go beyond other graduates because of our skill-sets

Don’t believe me?

We’ll show you how to get GIS jobs in some ‘outside the box’ searches.

Aggregate GIS Jobs On Your Mobile Phone

GIS jobs should be rolling in like clockwork on your mobile when you use job aggregators like Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com. Depending on your location, new GIS jobs should be popping up one after the other.




Government job sites like USAJobs have massive listing of federal jobs. While Monster.com helps you with cover letter writing and other job search basics.

Or if you just want to get some volunteer experience, there’s Idealist.org and GISCorps.

And here are some of the GIS jobs that aggregators don’t catch. This means less will know about these jobs, and better chances for your career gateway.

What is Your GIS Job Search Term?

You could simply type in ‘GIS’ and pray that something sticks. But if you’ve just graduated with a GIS degree or diploma, your school prepared you for everything.

GIS is diverse. It’s not a one-trick pony like some of the other fields. Take this to your advantage.

Here are some of the less-searched skills that GIS practitioners often forget. If necessary, boost your education slightly and go from novice to expert.

Aggregate these additional terms and you instantly have a leg-up on the competition:

• Programming
• GPS
• Cartography
• Remote Sensing
• Geostatistics
• Geomatics
• Surveying
• Developer
• Surveying
• Graphics Design
• Python
• CAD
• Mapping
• Database Administration
• Webmaps
• Project Management

Think Outside the Box

Don’t get discouraged if you’re out of luck on GIS jobs. Because GIS is such a new and emerging field, some companies don’t know where or how to use it.

Here are some of the outside-the-box GIS jobs where GIS has room to grow:

Field Work: Heavy construction, forestry, environment, archaeology and mining are industries begging for GIS. Setting up GPS, invasive species/endangered species surveys, site excavation, connecting production data with the operation and site analysis – you get a mix of desk work and site visits.

Surveying: Not really too outside-the-box. Surveyors go to construction to update legal boundary lines. No two days are the same for surveyors. Precise locations are taken for site exploration, land subdivision and civil engineering projects.




High Level Research: As part of a masters or PHD program, get funded for high level research. Write a research grant for a GIS-related hypothesis. Your university could point you in the right direction. Test your hypothesis and publish a paper.

Drone Pilot: When Amazon conceptualized their mail-delivery drone, the GIS industry eyes lit up. Drones gather valuable Earth information in fields such as agriculture, search & rescue and the environment. Even realtors use drones to advertise open houses.

Military Operations: The military is one of the biggest users of remote sensing and location intelligence. Ever since the Corona spy satellite, there’s been a growing demand for reconnaissance in our globalized world. But overseas deployment may not be in the cards for your life chapter.

Now, It’s Your Turn

If you’ve graduated and you’re left in the dark without an opportunity, it’s time to start thinking a bit outside the box.

It’s not over yet to think GIS is a bad career choice.

Not even close.

Think a bit outside the box, and you will be rewarded.

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