A new, cutting-edge geography degree will prepare ASU students for jobs in the growing and dynamic realm of mapping technology development.
The new bachelor's degree in geographic information science (GIS), available beginning in fall 2014, pairs the practical skill of computer science with conceptual knowledge of geographical problem-solving and spatial thinking. Translation: many students will go on to work on the forefront of mapping, navigation and location-based software design for major companies.
"This is one of the first programs of its kind in
GIS stands for both "geographic information systems" - software tools that integrate maps with information - and "geographic information science" - the research field that expands the capability of the software. GIS falls into the group of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs that are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in other fields, according to the
Graduates of the new GIS program will be well positioned to find high-paying jobs (
"This degree is a wonderful intersection of computer science and geographical analysis and problem-solving," said
The skills that students will build in this program will allow them to create both new methods and new software for mapping, analysis and navigation. For example, a student might develop a new method to discover hotspots of crime - and also create the software that would allow a crime analyst to use the new technique.
A graduate of the program might find themselves in a software development company, implementing new web or mobile mapping applications - or enhancing existing sophisticated desktop mapping software. The new graduate would be able to customize software to meet a client's needs, whether to help environmental managers model animal migrations, help a community support its local businesses or improve military reconnaissance tools.
"Many schools across the country teach students how to use specialized Geographic Information Systems software - but ASU's program is one of the very few in the country that offers students the opportunity to learn how to develop the software," explained Wentz. "At the same time, we have some of the leading spatial scientists in the world at ASU - who also are highly involved in teaching the courses in the new GIS program."
"ASU offers a lot of opportunities - at ASU, if you can dream it, you can do it," commented
The Bachelor of Science in GIS program is housed in the
Students in the new degree program will have opportunities to engage with any of the school's more than 40 faculty members, who have expertise in methods that range from highly computational to humanistic, and who study and teach about diverse realms of geography and urban planning.
The school's nationally recognized faculty includes two members of the
To learn more about the new bachelor's degree in GIS, contact the
TNS 30TagarumaMar-140507-4726802 30TagarumaMar
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