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MSJC > SB 70 Grant > GIS


CTE Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – Website
Choose Your Path … Choose Your Success …
In a recent career focused survey conducted by Mt. San Jacinto Community College (MSJC), GIS was identified as one of the six critical shortages and is an expanding industry need in the Mid and Southwest corner of Riverside County, California (Insert Map of focus area)
This indicates that, the demands for specialists in geotechnologies will surge in the coming years. For this reason, efforts have been made through MSJC Career Technical Education  (CTE) Collaborative project to increase the quantity and quality of skilled workers to meet the high demand of technologically advanced workplace in Information Technology especially geographic information systems (GIS) 
Introduction to GIS (What is GIS?)
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information. In today’s digital age, billions of pieces of data are collected every day, and much of this information includes a component that tells the geographic location of the data. The digital revolution has created an unprecedented demand for people who understand how to make and use maps. Nearly, all maps of places on earth are created today using these computerized systems. As long as a project has a spatial component, GIS and mapping sciences can be involved.  Unfortunately, there aren’t enough professionals who are expert in GIS to go around. Becoming expert in GIS qualifies you for a huge array of jobs that use spatial information
GIS is much more than just making maps. It is used in many ways including modeling how far a toxic spill will reach given wind and water currents, analyzing the best location for a new cell phone tower, storing and maintaining data about global climate change, finding the most energy-efficient route for your mail carrier, helping government officials figure out how to get aid to storm victims, determining the vulnerability of a wetlands area to pollution, and analyzing crimes inn your community. To find out more about GIS technology, visit
Components of GIS
All GIS systems have three main components as described below
GIS requires a high-powered computer (or a series of networked computers) and high-resolution monitor to work with.  The software manipulates large quantities of geospatial data and produces maps, charts, reports, and tables as information products or outputs.
There are a number of GIS software packages available. The top four software packages with their  approximate use (in parentheses)  are :
·         ArcGIS by esri (79%) –
·         GeoMedia by Intergraph (33%) -
·         AutoCAD by Autodesk (22%) -
·         MapInfo (19%) -
The data used by GIS software is also known as geospatial data or attribute data. Most of the information we have about our world contains a location reference, which can be placed at some point on the globe. Examples of data include census numbers, health figures, crime statistics, weather incidents, and so forth.
A GIS also include the procedures, operating personnel, and spatial data that go into the system. 
The power of a GIS comes from its ability to integrate and  relate different information in a spatial context. Data is stored as a collection of thematic layers.
Data that share a common location allows the integration  from all sources and types under a single platform.
These geo-referenced layers are superimposed and can be queried. For example, when rainfall information is collected, it is important to know where the rainfall occurred
A GIS, therefore, can reveal important new information that leads to better decision-making.
1.     Career Opportunities in GIS
Recently the US Department of Labor lists Geospatial Technology as one of three emerging industries with the highest demand for workers and potential for growth in the coming decade!
Nationwide, GIS technology has been selected as one of the 14 targeted industries in the President’s High Growth Job Training Initiative primarily because it currently meets many of the criteria for an emerging market sector, and is growing in additional areas as well. GIS are central to many occupations that focus on land use planning, environmental management, emergency response, homeland security, and a multitude of fields. The demand for geospatial skills is increasing so rapidly that workforce needs are not being met. Job opportunities in GIS are in step with needs of the industry. General data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the architecture and engineering occupations group, including surveyors, cartographers, and surveying technicians, which represents key geospatial occupational categories, is one of the occupational groups projected to have the fastest job growth from 2002 – 2012.
GIS Job Market is Hot (Insert Brochure)
GIS Professionals are found in a variety industries (both private and public) , government agencies, and educational institutions.
Some federal agencies with careers in cartography and GIS
·         National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
·         National Geodetic Survey
·         U.S. Geological Survey
·         U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
·         Bureau of Land Management
·         National Park Service
·         U.S. Forest Service
·         Environmental Protection Agency
·         National Geospatial Intelligence  Agency
·         The Veterans Administration Hospital System
·         Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
·         Department of Housing and Urban Development
·         Federal Geographic Data Committee
·         US Department of Agriculture 
·         National Cancer Institute
·         US State Health Departments
·         National Library of Medicine
·         National Institute of Justice
Below are a few of the industries where you can build your  Career:
• Financial services
• Real Estate
• Retail & Commercial Business
• Media
Health & Human Services
• Clinical Services
• Public Health
• Managed Care
• Economic Development
• Elections
• Homeland Security
• Public safety and Law enforcement
• Sustainable Development
Natural Resources
• Agriculture
• Environmental Management
•Mining & Earth Science
• Petroleum
•Marine and Coast
• Electric & Gas
Water & Wastewater 
GIS Career opportunities (Insert Career Pathway Brochure)
Entry - Level Jobs (With a High School Diploma)
·         GPS Field Technicians
·         Imagery Analyst
·         GIS Technician
·         Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Architect
·         Computer Mapping Technician
·         Cartographic Technician
·         GIS digitizing Assistant
Technical Careers in Demand (with certificate or 2-Yr degree)
·         Data Publisher
·         GIS Technical Support Analyst
·         GIS Technical Specialist
Higher Skill/Higher Education (with 4 Yr Degree or Higher)
·         Geodatabase analyst
·         GIS Software product specialist
·         GIS Instructor
·         Geographic Information Officer
·         GIS Software Engineer
·         GIS Analyst
·         GIS Specialist
·         Geospatial information scientist & Technologist
·         Certified Mapping Scientist
·         Cartographer
GIS Professionals  (Potential Salary) – (Insert from Brochure)
Salaries vary by location
GIS Professionals earn between $ 30, 000.00 - $ 160,000.00 depending on the level of education, experience, and employer.
Median Salary for Geographers - $61,000.00 (2006 data)
Median Salary for Software engineers and database administrators - $ 77,000.00
Median salary for Catograpers and GIS Technicians -    or
CTE Collaborative - GIS Activities
Since its introduction, the CTE Collaborative GIS industry has embarked on several activities as listed below.
1.      GIS Career Pathway Model
Developing a GIS career pathway through collaboration between local GIS   industries and businesses, community colleges, universities, and regional school districts. was one of the first activities that was undertaken by the CTE collaborative GIS industry.  This paper provides a detailed description our GIS career pathway model that integrate local community resources and educational programs to create a sustainable GIS capacity to meet the spatial literacy competent workforce needed in Riverside county and beyond. The Model is a multidisciplinary roadmap that provides GIS training for teachers and project-based GIS learning opportunities for middle and high school students.
2.      Professional Development
a.       In-service for Teachers and Counselors
b.      GIS Career Education Options
·         Mt San Jacinto College – Menifee
                AS in Geographic Information Systems
                Certificate in GIS  
                  Contact: Cindy Nance, PhD,  (951) 639-5540;
Visit for more information
3.      Career Exploration
a.       Small projects for middle and High Schools
b.      Geomentoring program –
 - Identify individuals in service area that are willing to serve as a GeoMentor and make their contacts available that students can contact for help – Registration link to be created and registrants contacts be made available for students to contact
4.      Outreach and Marketing
a.      GIS Day activities
GIS day events  usually occurs on the third Wednesday in November each year  held in conjunction with National Geographic Society’s Geography Awareness Week
GIS Day 2010 will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2010.Details of MSJC GIS day events coming soon. For more information on GIS Day, visit
b.      Career Fair
Through our GIS Career fair program, GIS information have been distributed to the following schools
·         Perris High School  - (1/29/09)
·         Banning High School   
·         James L. Day High School (3/20/2009)
c.       Classroom presentations
·         Banning Unified School District – Recently approved a GIS course to be taught  -
·         Nicolet Middle School
·         San Jacinto Charter School – May 25, 2010
5.      Additional Resources
a.       Local GIS related businesses and industry
·         Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
·         City of Lake Elsinore GIS -
·         City of Beaumont GIS -
·         City of Riverside GIS- 
·         Murrieta City GIS -
·         Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K–12 Curriculum-
·         A Phase One Report Defining and Communicating Geospatial Industry Workforce Demand -
·         President Bush's High Growth Job Training  Initiative
·         Esri Searchable Database of GIS Programs
·         NSF GIS-TECH Grant -
·         Curricula Body of Knowledge