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#1
Grigs2thaB

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Howdy guys,

I just stumbled upon this site today and after looking around I really like it so far. Lots of good info and smart people floating around in here.

I'm posting this in order to ask you all for answers and advice...

I'm 24 and I graduated from UC Davis with a BA in Political Science and History last year. I then got a job at Google where I managed all the vehicles for Google Streetview and all sorts of other things. I've never really known what I wanted to do with my life but I've always loved maps. I've always been really interested in Geography and Cartography but have almost zero experience. I had some good introduction to a lot of stuff at Google but my contract ended with them and I'm unemployed (no fun in this economy!). I'm looking into getting a job with Airborne 1 as a LiDAR field operator down in LA so we'll see how that works out. Since I'm finally figuring out what I'd like to do with my life I come here asking for your advice on where to start?

Lately I've been considering taking a GIS certification class and getting a bit of experience and then going on to a MA program. BUT would it be a better idea to just go for a MA program right off the bat? Earliest I could apply now is for next spring or fall 2010. If you were in my shoes how would you go about getting good experience? I think going for GIS tech/analyst for a year or 2 would be great as well. Anyone in California need an intern, haha?

I know what I'd like to do but most jobs are out of reach at the moment because I have no experience.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you all and becoming an active member!

Thanks,
Matt

#2
frax

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Hi and welcome! Just for your information - I saw that you had made a duplicate post - I took the freedom to delete one. It is currently set up, to keep spammers away, so that new members needs to have the first few posts approved by an administrator. Please PM me or any other admins if you have any questions!
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#3
Grigs2thaB

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Cool thanks! I wasn't sure why it wasn't showing instantly!

#4
Greg

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Welcome Matt,

If you can get your foot in the door with an entry level GIS tech job, that is most likely the best way to gain "experience".
Most employers look for 2 -3 years of professional experience when hiring an analyst. Although a Master of Arts will look good on your resumé, it may not be your ticket into a solid GIS career. GIS tech contracts are abundant, if you have any ArcGIS experience and a good understanding of databases, you should have no problem cramming your foot in that corporate door!

It is good to see you are looking into LIDAR and Remote Sensing opportunities as well. Remote Sensing is a huge industry with rapidly expanding technology. A lot of people overlook it when considering a career in GIS.

Good luck!
Greg Moore

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www.cartographicdesign.com

#5
Grigs2thaB

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Greg,

Thanks for your advice. That's pretty much what I was thinking too. I'll try to get a little experience with ArcGIS and see where it takes me. Ideally I'm hoping I get that LiDAR job because I'd gain a lot of good experience and I'd get to travel all over the world :)

I guess the hard part for me is learning to use ArcGIS as I've never done much GIS before.

#6
MapMedia

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Hi Matt, Welcome!

I can offer a valuable perspective for what its worth - there are many GIS career paths you can go: technical (certificate), remote sensing (MS in GIS Remote Sensing wouldn't hurt) and GIS as applied to a science or engineering. A word of caution about the GIS technical field - this involves database development, programming (multiple languages), etc. so getting a certification is step one, followed by classes in database, programming, etc.

Glad Google connected you to your passion, but any thoughts what you're going to do with the poli-sci history degree?

Chris

#7
Grigs2thaB

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Chris,

Well I've always had a bit of a passion for teaching so I think eventually I'd like to go into teaching and use a bit of everything for that. I'd love to teach Geography or History at some point. I think I'm going to go with a certificate program out here to gain a bit of experience and hopefully a GIS job in the area and then go for a MS with some concentration in remote sensing.




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