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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental ScienceUndergraduate study

Qualifying as a GIS specialist

A career in GIS tends to require more study than a bachelor's degree but there are still several ways to get into this career path.

This area is generally open to all graduates, though having a geography degree may strengthen your application as it is seen as a relevant subject.

Other degree subjects which may assist you in getting into the GIS sector are:

The most common route is through a degree or postgraduate qualification in geographical information systems (GIS), geography or computer sciences. Though many geography degrees now include GIS modules, GIS degrees offer the best mix of skills and knowledge with most departments boasting links with industry.

A range of postgraduate GIS courses are available and may make your application more attractive to employers, especially in management roles.
MSc Geographical Information Systems/Science.

Many universities offer postgraduate qualifications in GIS. A few examples are listed below. This is by no means a recommendation or an exhaustive list.

Other universities combine the Masters with remote sensing. (MSc GIS and Remote Sensing)

Work experience

Work experience, internships or sandwich year placements may give a candidate an advantage in job applications, especially if you are planning on progressing into management roles in the future.

Many companies offer internships as they benefit both the student and the employer. Internships are generally lower paying and part time but you will gain valuable experience in using GIS. The best way to learn about a GIS package is to use it.

Relevant experience

Experience can be gained in many places, some examples are listed below:

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