The Importance of Adopting GIS for Education

Businesses worldwide recognize the usefulness of geography. Geography has applications in many professions, such as business, marketing, criminal justice, public administration and social work. Increasingly, companies want employees with experience in GIS technology. Job candidates can stand out by learning GIS concepts and obtaining valuable geographic skills in college alongside core classes like math and English. However, sometimes students and faculty members in business school, for example, feel too removed from geography and may misunderstand the value science can have when applied to business concepts. Professors who welcome spatial science into their curricula acknowledge the powerful way geography supports decision-making in the business world—and they impart critical, experiential opportunities on their students.

What Is GIS Used for in College?

With GIS, students learn to be strategic and connect spatial strategies to business principles. Creating maps that show audience demographics, practicing research and analysis, and delving into business information and spatial logistics—these are all essential GIS elements that, when applied in the higher education classroom and carried into a career, help students become strong decision-makers, analyzers, entrepreneurs and leaders. To support students who want to lay the groundwork for a business career, professors interested in adding GIS technology to their syllabi have endless opportunities for instruction. GIS application in education can start with analyzing demographics, plotting pins and segmenting data. As students advance, instructors can use GIS as a tool for classroom projects that require students to work with a local business on marketing strategies informed by geographic trends—or, perhaps students learn to use GIS to schedule delivery routes for a nearby retail store. College students can take these classroom experiences beyond graduation and into job interviews and entry-level positions. Similarly, professors in the school of business or technology ultimately build bridges and break down siloed academic verticals for a more integrated, creative and science-based approach to education.

GIS in Education, Planning Curricula and Beyond

In academic institutions, mapping geographic information represents interdisciplinary collaboration. Geography brings together different degree programs and ideas, and it helps student synthesize and present information visually. These invaluable skills can be carefully integrated into the higher education classroom to encourage collaboration and help students learn how to wield geography for a liberal arts degree—and a brighter, more fulfilling career path. Learn more about GIS mapping and spatial analysis for academics and higher education.