GIS Job Market Predictions

March 20, 2004

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In a recent article in the magazine Nature, entitled Mapping Opportunities, some interesting statistics were provided regarding the job market for GIS technology professionals.The article was highly complimentary of the roll of GIS professionals in combating SARS, fighting fires, and other natural resource disasters.According to the article, the U.S.Department of Labor identified geographic information technology as "one of the three most important emerging and evolving fields, along with nanotechnology and biotechnology.Job opportunities are growing and diversifying as geospatial technologies prove their value in ever more areas."

It highlighted other significant statistics:

  • The $5 billion worldwide geospatial market will grow to $30 billion by 2005; a dramatic increase that is sure to create new jobs, according to Emily DeRocco, assistant secretary at the US Department of Labor's employment and training division.
  • NASA says that 26% of its most highly trained geotech staff are due to retire in the next decade.
  • National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) [Now the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency]is expected to need 7,000 people trained in GIS in the next three years.
  • Of the 140,000 organizations globally that use GIS, most are government agencies
  • The U.S.military, the first industry to adopt GIS and remote sensing on a large scale, has spent more than $1 billion on commercial remote sensing and GIS in the past two years.
And so, trained, professional geoscientists will be in demand for some time to come.As spring approaches, so does "conference season." As such, many of the major conferences host GIS training sessions for attendees. Here are a few upcoming conferences that offer GIS professionals the opportunity to expand their skills:

American Congress on Surveying & Mapping : Nashville, TN 4/18/2004 - 4/22/2004
2004 MidAmerica GIS Symposium : Kansas City, MO, USA 4/18/2004 - 4/22/2004
GITA's 27th Annual Conference : Seattle, WA 4/25/2004 - 4/28/2004
GeoSpatial World 2004 : Miami Beach, Florida, USA 5/12/2004 - 5/14/2004
Bentley International User Conference : Orlando, FL, USA 5/23/2004 - 5/27/2004
ASPRS Annual Conference : Denver, Colorado, USA 5/23/2004 - 5/27/2004
Open Source GIS Conference 2004 and Second Annual MapServer User Meeting : Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 6/9/2004 - 6/11/2004
97th Annual Canadian Institute of Geomatics Conference : Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 6/20/2004 - 6/23/2004

See more EVENT listings at Directions HERE. And don't forget Directions' first conference on Location Technology & Business Intelligence, May 10-11, in Philadelphia.Click HERE for details.


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