Last Friday's Chicago Sun Times article Under-the-radar job growth highlights "little-known growth industries" including high tech set building, geospatial technology and physics researcher. The geospatial student profiled, Margaret Yagen, a senior at Elmhurst College, is working as an intern in the west Chicago suburb of Westchester.
She's doing data collection and database creation mapping trees, street lights, water-main breaks and other public works related features. While focusing on her local government use of geospatial technology, the article describes geospatial technology's use in farming, utilities and location based services. The best news of course, is Yagen's likelihood of finding a job after graduation in late May. She'll hold a bachelor’s in Applied Geospatial Technologies with a minor in human geography.
The number of such jobs nationwide is projected to skyrocket by 42 percent, to 850,000, by 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Most of the entry-level positions start at $45,000 and can exceed $50,000 yearly.
Elmhurst itself is breaking new ground; it' the first liberal arts college to offer a bachelor’s of science degree in Applied Geospatial Technologies. R.B. “Rich” Schultz who coordinates the school's non-degree GIS certification program explains the number of graduates can't meet the yearly demands for 50 to 60 geospatial technologies internships. Clearly, it's time for GIS and geospatial technologies to get out from under the radar!