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GIS jobs with travel?

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#1
safejourneys

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Hi,

I have recently been contemplating a career change into an area which would not just be office-based work, and may involve some field work out there in the big wide world, doing something. Do jobs in GIS typically involve travel and remote field work?

For my background, I have a bachelors degree in computer science, and 5 years computing experience, mainly in web systems and IT, with a bit of web development. GIS Developer roles that I have researched seem to be office-based software engineering roles, with some use of spacial statistics and mapping technologies. I'm not keen to continue as an office worker.

I really want to travel as part of the job. Would an advanced qualification, such as a masters degree in GIS, allow me to move into these types of jobs?

Thanks,
David

#2
frax

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Hi,

You may want to look into more the surveying field, if you just want to go out, or jobs in development/consulting if you want to travel far. A masters degree would certainly help, but so would experience and skills that you can pick up other ways.
Hugo Ahlenius
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#3
safejourneys

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Hi,

You may want to look into more the surveying field, if you just want to go out, or jobs in development/consulting if you want to travel far. A masters degree would certainly help, but so would experience and skills that you can pick up other ways.


Thanks for replying, I wonder if you can help me with a couple of questions:

Is it true that GIS skillset jobs are mostly based in an office?

Is there a skills shortage in the UK/europe for GIS skills? From the number of jobs that are being advertised, it seems that I would not have a problem looking for work if I got into the GIS field, particually as a GIS developer. I know australia seems to have a GIS skills shortage, but how about the UK?

I've done some reading on surveying after you mentioned it. Would it be easier to get a job in GIS than surveying? I know there are some apprentice surveyor type jobs, but I'm 28 and may find it difficult to go on an apprenticeship. However I really like the fieldwork aspect of surveying.

Many thanks

#4
l.jegou

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Several international organizations are employing GIS specialists. A friend of mine worked for the UNO / OCHA, for example.

To have an idea of organization types and careers, look at the ReliefWeb site : http://www.reliefweb...;mode=simpleall

#5
Charles Syrett

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There are, of course, all kinds of outdoor jobs. Someone I know here in BC did a summer practicum doing on-site mapping during the fire season. She described it as not-fun -- but it was the bureaucratic aspect, rather than the outdoor aspect, that was most difficult. I'm guessing that, if you look around, there may be lots of well-paid GIS jobs like this available if you're willing to be posted in out-of-the-way locations and with a less-than-cushy lifestyle. B)

Charles Syrett
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#6
frax

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Thanks for replying, I wonder if you can help me with a couple of questions:

Is it true that GIS skillset jobs are mostly based in an office?

Yes, definately. Almost all, I would say...

Is there a skills shortage in the UK/europe for GIS skills? From the number of jobs that are being advertised, it seems that I would not have a problem looking for work if I got into the GIS field, particually as a GIS developer. I know australia seems to have a GIS skills shortage, but how about the UK?


Don't know about any of this...

I've done some reading on surveying after you mentioned it. Would it be easier to get a job in GIS than surveying? I know there are some apprentice surveyor type jobs, but I'm 28 and may find it difficult to go on an apprenticeship. However I really like the fieldwork aspect of surveying.


I think a lot of surveying work might be more engineering related, and maybe less qualified.

One thing to keep in mind - the majority of GIS work is quite 'unsexy' - facilities management, roads and public (municipal) administration. In Europe (at least), the oil and gas industry is also a big employer.
Hugo Ahlenius
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#7
Dennis McClendon

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You may want to look at the job postings from such companies as Navteq or TeleAtlas. Some appear to involve travel (though not hiking through the wilderness).
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#8
spesseh

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I am also looking into new jobs at the moment.
At the moment I am satisfied with what I do, but i would like to work abroad for a year or two. Currently I do some travelling to conferences and meetings, but that is not the same as living and working abroad.

I guess UNOCHA would be an interesting approach since I also have a masters in geography.

Have anyone worked with GIS in an NGO? Could you share some thoughts?
Andreas

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#9
johnnyh

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I travel quite frequently in my GIS job...

I travel to the coffee pot, to the plotter, the scanner... and I travel to the bathroom. Where I cry softly.

JK, but not much real travel. :P

#10
frax

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How about an academic career - starting with MSC or PhD? Not in GIS, but a subject where GIS is applied - conservation/ecology, earth sciences, demography, development, planning etc. You can look at schools and where they have existing projects. Keep in mind that a lot of development funding goes into research!

There is plenty of research where you would do most of the work yourself: field collection, surveying, ground truthing. How about tagging wildlife in Africa and analysing the tracks etc?
Hugo Ahlenius
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