Today, the world has come down to the touch of the button. Thanks to the advancement in technology, no distance is too much these days. The improvement in digital technology and communication is what has paved the way for a much smaller world today. It is this very advancement that has paved the way for geoinformatics to become an established line of study.
Broadly speaking, there are a very few things in the modern world that are not under the reigns of geoinformatics. This field of study is a multidisciplinary one. It covers the various aspects of geology, geography and informatics.
Professionals in this field use the applications of electronics and communication technology, like that of RADAR, GS, remote sensing and GIS, and apply the same in the study of the geographical conditions of the earth. It is this that has led to the development of a number of branches of study like cartography, hydrology and climatology.
Most of the aerial photography that takes place today is due to the advancements of geoinformatics as a subject. This article explores how you can make this subject a field of study and then carve out a successful career from the same.
• Job Description
The primary job of geographic information systems (GIS) professionals is to use appropriate technology to map the digital data that has been obtained and then deduce information out of the compiled data. Multiple layers of information are contained in the detailed maps and a thorough understanding of the job-specific applications and programs is required in order to gather maximum information out of the given data.
The applications of this type of data are seen in the world of government administration, architecture, engineering and a variety of other fields.
• Educational Qualifications
For eligibility to the bachelor's course, one needs to have completed their 10+2 with 55% of higher marks from any recognised board in the country. A few colleges offer a bachelor's degree in geoinformatics.
Alternatively, candidates can pursue their undergraduate degree in geography, geology, environmental science, chemistry or physics and then take up a postgraduate degree or diploma in this field. The postgraduate degree may be in geoinformatics, geoinformatics and sustainable development or geoinformatics and sustainability.
For those seeking to pursue a postgraduate diploma, spatial economics, photogrammetry and remote sensing are viable options. Candidates who are keen to take up research-oriented jobs or are keen on making a mark in the world of teaching can also choose to pursue a PhD in geoinformatics.
There are a number of government grants and scholarships for candidates pursuing master's degree or PhD in this field.
• Skills Required
The primary requirement of this job is to analyse the data that is available. Thus, a good knowledge of data sciences and an inclination towards numbers are an absolute necessity here. Since this job involves the coordination of the data obtained from different teams, good communication and interpersonal skills are needed here.
Since the nature of the job may get repetitive after a while, you need to have a lot of patience if you are looking forward to a long-term career in this field. However, if you are able to hold on to it, the monetary compensation and job satisfaction will be worth all the efforts.
Since the job involves monitoring multiple factors at the same time, you should have good multitasking abilities. Thus, this career path is recommended for people who have an eye for details and the tenacity to put in their best foot forward all the time.
• Scope Of Employment
This is one sector that has a tremendous scope of employment both in the government sector as well as that in the private. In the private sector, companies like Here, TomTom, Transverse Technologies and Google Map are the major recruiters.
If you are someone who looks for stability in a job and are keen on pursuing a job in the government sector, then you can choose to work with the Ministry of Defense or that of the environment. The Natural Resource Management, Indian Agricultural Research Institute and the Meteorological Department are also major recruiters in this field.
Every state has its own urban development authorities and municipalities and all of these require qualified personnel from the world of geoinformatics. If you have specialised in the space-related applications of geoinformatics, there are ample job opportunities for you in organisations like the Indian Space Research Organisation, different Space Application Centres and aviation centres.
• Work Environment
The typical office setting of a GIS expert involves working on multiple computers at the same time. Since the job role here involves monitoring, there is not much physical labour involved. The office hours may be standard 9 to 5 or rotational in nature depending on the organisation that you are working for.
Since there is a lot of physical set up involved, most of the jobs in this field do not allow the employee the privilege of working from home. However, on a positive note, there is not much of a risk involved and, in most cases, there isn't really any travel involved either. In some rare instances, one may have to occasionally travel to mapping sites.
A fresher in this field usually starts off as a geographic information systems (GIS) analyst trainee. The starting salary here is about Rs 2 lakhs in the private sector. In the government sector, the value is higher and stands at something close to Rs 3 lakhs. With due experience, the value rises up.
Someone with an experience of 3 to 5 years in this field and a thorough knowledge of ArcGIS is likely to make more than 7 or 8 lakhs in a year. However, since this is a very dynamic field, it is necessary to keep yourself updated with the changing times if you want to continue making money here.