Below is a summary of a recent presentation given by Richard Serby of GeoSearch, Inc. at the 2015 GIS in the Rockies Conference. This presentation was focused somewhat on the state of Colorado, however, there are national numbers included as well.
The Good News
Unemployment in Perspective
Number of Geospatial Employees
Prediction for Geospatial Employment
Where the jobs are in Colorado:
Fort Collins – Boulder – Denver – Colorado Springs (Front Range Corridor)
Hot Cities in the US for GIS Jobs:
Denver – Raleigh – Portland OR – Provo – Atlanta - Seattle – SLC – Indianapolis – Warren MI - Des Moines – Sioux Falls – Omaha
An outstanding skill resource: Geospatial Technology Competency Model
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the following for occupational growth in the United States through 2022. It is especially interesting to note that occupations requiring an apprenticeship or internship will grow faster than any other occupational field.
Occupation and Employment
Projected industry employment is distributed among occupations based on how industries are expected to use those occupations.
Of the 30 occupations projected to have the largest percentage increase between 2012 and 2022, 14 are related to healthcare and 5 are related to construction.
The 30 occupations with the largest projected increase in employment from 2012 to 2022 will account for 7.4 million new jobs, almost half of the total projected employment growth.
Four major occupational groups are projected to grow more than 20 percent--nearly double the overall growth--from 2012 to 2022: healthcare support occupations (28.1 percent), healthcare practitioners and technical occupations including geospatial technologies (21.5 percent), construction and extraction occupations (21.4 percent), and personal care and service occupations (20.9 percent).
Education and training
In addition to projecting employment for each detailed occupation, BLS depicts the education, related work experience, and on-the-job training typically needed for occupations.
Nineteen of the 30 occupations projected to grow fastest from 2012 to 2022 typically require some form of postsecondary education for entry.
Two-thirds of the 30 occupations with the largest projected employment increase from 2012 to 2022 typically do not require postsecondary education for entry.
Occupations typically requiring postsecondary education for entry generally had higher median wages ($57,770) in 2012 and are projected to grow faster (14.0 percent) between 2012 and 2022 than occupations that typically require a high school diploma or less ($27,670 and 9.1 percent).
Occupations that do not typically require postsecondary education are projected to add 8.8 million jobs between 2012 and 2022, accounting for more than half of all new jobs. These occupations employed nearly two-thirds of workers in 2012.
Occupations that typically require an apprenticeship are projected to grow 22.2 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than any other on-the-job training assignment. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013)
Geography Job Opportunities
Urban Planner/Community Development
Writer / Researcher
Teaching / Faculty
Librarian / Information Specialist
National Park Ranger
Real Estate Appraiser / Developer
(Matt Rosenberg, Geography Expert, 2015)
Job seekers who are interested in the geospatial science such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Photogrammetry, Satellite Imaging, Aerial and Land Surveying, Remote Sensing, Software Development and related technologies and sciences are in a very good position for entry-level to senior level career opportunities.
Because the uses for geospatial technology are so widespread and diverse, the market is growing at an annual rate of almost 35 percent, with the commercial subsection of the market expanding at the rate of 100 percent each year. (Geospatial Information & Technology Association)
Emerging occupations within the geospatial technology industry require developing competency models for new applications of geospatial technology. Aligning training in geospatial applications with industry developed competency models is essential to developing the necessary pipeline of skilled workers. This approach is necessary for preparing entry-level workers with basic skills to ensure career success.
Increasing demand for readily available, consistent, accurate, complete and current geographic information and the widespread availability and use of advanced technologies offer great job opportunities for people with many different talents and educational backgrounds. (U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
College preparatory courses that emphasize the sciences are suggested for individuals interested in pursuing careers in photogrammetry, remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS).
For individuals who do not wish to pursue an advanced degree, there is a substantial demand for technicians in geospatial information technology. Many 2-year academic and technical institutions offer education and training in photogrammetry, remote sensing and GIS and related fields. Associate degree and certificate programs in GIS, surveying, photogrammetry and similar curricula provide a sound foundation for work experience or for transfer to other academic institutions for further education.
It is highly recommended that any individual wishing to pursue a career in photogrammetry, remote sensing and GIS participate in an internship program to obtain hands-on experience as part of their preparation for employment, in addition to formal education. (ASPRS: The Imaging and Geospatial Information Society)
For additional background information about the industry and details on the grants, information about employment and training opportunities and workforce development tools for employers, educators and workforce professionals, please visit: www.doleta.gov/business, www.careeronestop.org, and www.workforce3one.org.