3 Outside-the-Box Ideas for Finding GIS Jobs

gis jobs ideas

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018

Know where to search for GIS jobs

GIS is always answering where. And the key to finding GIS jobs is no different. You just need to know where to search.

Us, multi-talented, tech-savvy GIS practitioners can go beyond other graduates because of our diverse skill-sets in databases, programming and visualization.

It’s true.

Previously, we’ve listed 10 career tips to help find a GIS job. Now, here are 3 more ‘outside the box’ ideas to help expand your search.

1 Aggregate GIS jobs on your mobile phone

When you use job aggregators, GIS jobs roll in like clockwork on your mobile phone. For example, Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com can give you the necessary tools to never miss a GIS job posting again.

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, GISCorps pairs candidates with partner agencies only accepting the most qualified volunteer.

Also, job aggregators don’t always catch every opportunity for GIS jobs. For example, these websites are specific to GIS and improve your chances for your career gateway.

2 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 degree or GIS certification, your school prepared you with the right “book smarts”.

But GIS is diverse and you need a bit of “street smarts”. It’s not a one-trick pony like some of the other fields. And you can take this to your advantage. For example, here are some of the less-searched skills that GIS practitioners often forget.

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

If you aggregate these additional search terms, you can instantly have a leg-up on the competition. At least, it will help you get your foot in the door into the field of GIS with a bit of experience.

3 Thinking outside the box

If you’ve gone through our list of 10 career tips to help find a GIS job and are out of luck, don’t get discouraged. Because GIS is an 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. For example, you can setup GPS mobile apps in QGIS Field or ArcGIS Collector for any type of work (invasive species/endangered species surveys, site excavation, etc.). Best of all, 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.

And really, there are 1000s of GIS applications in use today.

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.

If necessary, there are opportunities to boost your education and go from novice to expert. For example, these 7 free Esri training courses will help you become an expert with the industry-leading software.

Start thinking a bit outside the box, and you will be rewarded. Nothing to lose. Do you agree? Let us know with a comment below.

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