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What is GIS?


A Geographic Information System uses computers and software to leverage the fundamental principle of geography – that location is important in people’s lives. It is a tool for managing information according to where it’s located. There is currently a shortage of qualified professionals to fill GIS related positions ranging from engineers to telecommunications experts. GIS is one of the most important components in approaching global problem solving. It helps us look for patterns in both the man-made and natural worlds. People in business, government, education, and natural resources are using GIS to analyze markets, manage parcels of land, conduct research, and protect natural resources.

Watch an excellent video demonstrating how  GIS is applied in different fields.

The growth of GIS applications is expanding exponentially, creating new and exciting developments. GIS technology represents a billion dollar industry worldwide, growing at 25% per year, and serving 50,000 to 100,000 users in more than 100 countries.  At this time, job opportunities outnumber qualified graduates. There will continue to be a need for environmental engineers to deal with newer and tougher air and water regulations, as well as civil engineers to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there will be a national projected 5-7% growth in the GIS industry from 2019-2029. At the national level the average GIS worker earns $88,550, but the California average wage is $97,600.  A recent,  local GIS job search within the Mt Sac service area resulted in 20 advertised GIS positions.  Look at this site to see the type of jobs offered and the qualifications desired by employers:  https:// www.gjc.org

By completing the GIS program at Mt. Sac you will develop an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of geospatial technologies, gain the skills need to construct high-quality applications and enhance your marketability in the workforce.  The program requires completion of the following courses:

Required Courses 

Term Offered 

Geog 9: Geospatial Concepts 

  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023 

Geog 10: Intro to GIS 

  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023 
  • Summer 2023

Geog 12: Cartography 

  • Winter 2022 

Geog 13: Geospatial Data Management and Acquisition 

  • Spring 2023 

Geog 14:  Spatial Analysis 

  • Fall 2022 

Geog 15: Raster Methods 

  • Spring 2023 

Geog 16: Capstone Project 

  • Summer 2023 

 

Mt. Sac offers both a GIS Certificate of Achievement and a GIS AS Degree.   

GIS Frequently Asked Questions