This degree program prepares students for careers as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysts, while the certificate program prepares students to work as GIS Technicians. Students receive specialized training in geographic fundamentals, GIS database design, spatial analysis, demographic analysis, computer programming, digital image analysis, cartographic design and global positioning system (GPS) principles. Students become skilled in using popular GIS software packages and GPS mapping products. They gain the knowledge and ability to use modern analysis tools to display information relative to features on the ground, below ground or above ground. Small, economical computer systems now have the speed and software to empower a trained user to manage, present and analyze geographic information.
GIS has multi-disciplinary applications, therefore, employment opportunities are varied. Career opportunities include, federal, state and local government; public utilities, law enforcement, natural resources, parks and recreation, real estate, transportation, market analysis, defense and military. Many positions include field work along with office work.
The GIS courses are offered in the evenings at the Oak Ridge Campus.
Salary ranges vary widely depending on type of organization, previous work experience, and additional credentials of graduates. However, an entry-level salary of $30,000 - $35,000 can be anticipated in the local area. Salary can be expected to increase significantly along with work experience.
Additional expenses include books and digital storage media (CD-ROMs, DVDs). Online students will need to have access to a computer that will run the GIS software and optionally purchase a GPS unit. GPS units sufficient for coursework can be purchased for approximately $125. Timed licenses of the GIS software are available at no cost to students.