The Many Aspects of a Career in Geospatial

Sangeeta Deogawanka


The geospatial career choice most often stems from college degrees in Geography, Environmental studies or Civil Engineering.  For the more geo-aware, it may be a deliberately chosen trajectory through University and community engagements.  However, confusion and lack of awareness is often a barrier to the pursuit of a profession in this space.

This article aims to shed more light on a discipline that is increasingly embracing new technologies within the spatial fold.

As application areas of GIS increase, a seamless merging of knowledge base, the sciences and the technologies, is called for. A blend of degrees and certifications in various subjects has become the norm.

This means, one can study Marine Science or Information Technology, and migrate laterally to a ‘location-driven’ industry.

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For an idea of how to pursue a profession in the geospatial landscape while incorporating field of interest, here is a list of disciplines one may choose to study. This is the fountainhead of a ‘spatially driven’ career roadmap.

Disciplines that lead up the GIS path

A table showing the disciplines that can lead to a career in GIS.

The Geospatial Learning Trajectory

Although specializations and subject expertise has become the order of the day, the GIS roadmap offers a wonderful opportunity of learning on the fly.

You can choose to add-on to your studies and skill sets while continuing to work, volunteer or engage in crowdsourced mapping.

Flow chart showing the different levels for university degrees in GIS.

Geospatial Career Scope

  • Community engagements
  • Disaster management / First responder initiatives
  • Government departments / Local councils
  • Industry – Utilities (Water, Power), Defense, Intelligence, Consultancy, Oil and Gas, Social Sciences, Health, Public safety, Geology, Environment, Space / Satellite, Geo Analytics, Location Intelligence, Marine Sciences, Urban planning, etc
  • Organizations like NASA, URISA, GIS Corps
  • Research
  • Analytics firms (leveraging location intelligence)
  • Mapping portals
  • Non profits
  • Education and training
  • Start-ups
  • Software development
  • Self designed career paths
  • Consulting / Management Consulting

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Sangeeta Deogawanka