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Best Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Ajayi Abimbola Samuel - May 23, 2022


The best geographic information systems bachelor’s degrees provide specialized knowledge of the tools and techniques used to analyze and document the surface of the earth. They train students for job roles in geographic or cartographic work for government agencies, health science organizations, universities, and architecture and engineering companies.

If you want to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems, then this article can help you with your school search. We’ve listed in detail the best geographic information systems bachelor’s degrees as well as the best geographic information systems bachelor’s degree jobs.

Where Can I Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

Some of the best schools to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems are Arizona State University, The University of Texas at San Antonio, South Dakota State University, Texas A & M University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An undergraduate degree from any of these institutions will help you in your job search after graduation.

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What Schools Offer the Best Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degrees?

  • Arizona State University
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • South Dakota State University
  • Texas A & M University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

What Are the Admission Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

The admission requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems are different from school to school but usually include having a high school diploma or equivalent and submitting your standardized test scores. Make sure to review the admission requirements of each program before beginning the application process.

You can usually begin your application from the online application page on the school’s website or through college application platforms such as Common or Coalition App. Some schools require additional requirements such as letters of recommendation, essays, and interviews so prepare accordingly.

Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Standardized test scores
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Essay or letter of intent
  • Interview

How to Get a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree

The best way to get a geographic information bachelor’s degree is by fulfilling all the graduation requirements set by the institution offering the program. Each school will have its own set of requirements that every student must fulfill before successfully completing the program and being awarded the degree.

How Many Credits Do You Need for a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

You need 120 credits, on average, for a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems. You will need to earn these credits from a specific number of general education courses, core courses, and elective courses, with each specific program having its own split. You will also need to maintain a minimum GPA and stay in good academic standing throughout your studies.

Geographic Information Systems Degree Requirements

  • General education course credits
  • Core course credits
  • Elective course credits
  • Minimum cumulative GPA
  • Good academic standing

Best Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Arizona State University Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Higher Learning Commission
Oklahoma State University Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Information Science Higher Learning Commission
Salem State University Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Science New England Commission of Higher Education
South Dakota State University Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Higher Learning Commission
Salisbury University Bachelor of Science in Geography, Geographic Information Science Track Middle States Commission on Higher Education,
Texas A & M University Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Texas State University Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Geographic Information Science Higher Learning Commission
The University of Texas at San Antonio Bachelor of Science in Geoinfomatics Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of Wisconsin Madison Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems Higher Learning Commissiom

Best Schools for Geographic Information Systems: Top Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Programs

The best schools for a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems include Arizona State University, Salem State University, and Texas State University.  As you begin your search for schools for geographic information systems, you will find a lot of options.

This section contains a list of the best colleges that offer Bachelor’s Degrees in Geographic Information Systems and other related information, including admission requirements, credit requirements, and how to apply to each school.

1

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Founded in 1886, Arizona State University is currently considered to be the most innovative university in the country , according to the US News & World Report, ahead even of schools like MIT and Stanford. It offers 87 elite programs, which have produced over 559,300 alumni who have gone on to build careers that shape the world.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science

The Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems at Arizona State University provides a solid foundation in statistical analysis, computation programming, and geographic information systems. Its courses provide students with a well-rounded understanding of the applications of geographic information technologies and environmental and societal issues.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $5,355/semester, full time (in state); $14,400/semester, full time (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 66%

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Minimum SAT score of 1120 (in state) or 1180 (out of state), or ACT score of 22 (in state) or 24 (out of state)
  • Application Fee: $50 (in state); $70 (out of state)
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Arizona State University

  1. Apply online through the ASU’s Application for Admission, Common Application or Coalition Application.
  2. Fill out and submit your application form.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Submit your official transcripts and standardized test scores.
2

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK

Oklahoma State University is a public land-grant research university with a total enrollment of over 35,000 students. It was founded in 1890, with its primary objective being to make college education accessible to students. It offers a wide range of academic programs across all educational levels.

Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Information Science

This program teaches students to use spatial data to solve problems and maintain spatial and nonspatial databases. Students learn to use advanced technologies such as geographic information system mapping and global positioning systems in state-of-the-art labs. The program also has a training partnership with students and faculties in Vietnam.

Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $464/credit (in state); $981.33/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 64%

Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT, minimum requirement dependent on high school GPA and class rank
  • Application Fee: $40
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Essay, letters of recommendation, and leadership and involvement resume

Applying to Oklahoma State University

  1. Submit your completed application form through the Oklahoma State University Application page.
  2. Submit your essay, letters of recommendation, and leadership and involvement resume.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Submit your official transcripts and standardized test scores.
3

Salem State University

Salem, MA

With over 7,131 student enrollments in the last academic year, Salem State University is one of the largest state universities in Massachusetts. It was established in 1854 to provide excellent, student-centered education that trains students to thrive in the ever-evolving workforce.

Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Science

This is a technology-focused program that equips students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to visualize and analyze spatial data. Students learn to use geographic information systems and geospatial technologies for mapping and surveying, transportation and urban planning, environmental analysis, natural resource management, and business planning.

Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,675.20/year (in state); $18,480/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 59%

Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT, minimum dependent on high school GPA
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Salem State University

  1. Submit your application online through the Salem State University admission portal.
  2. Fill out your personal and academic details.
  3. Submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores.
  4. Pay the application fee.
4

South Dakota State University

Brookings, SD

South Dakota State University is a premier land-grant university founded in 1881 to provide a liberal and practical arts education to students from across the country. It is the largest post-secondary institution in the state, offering 36 majors, 38 specializations, and 56 postgraduate degree programs.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science

The Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science at South Dakota University allows students to gain hands-on experience in geospatial technologies, including cartography, computational analysis, and remote sensing. Students learn how to use data to reveal relationships, trends, and patterns on reports and maps.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $310/credit (in state); $427/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 59%

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum 2.6
  • Standardized Tests: Minimum ACT score of 18 or SAT score of 970
  • Application Fee: $20
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Applicants must rank in top 60% of class if unable to meet minimum GPA, ACT, or SAT requirement

Applying to South Dakota State University

  1. Create an account on the South Dakota University Undergraduate Application Self-Service Center.
  2. Fill out and submit your application form.
  3. Submit official transcripts and standardized test scores.
  4. Pay the application fee.
5

Salisbury University

Salisbury, MD

Salisbury University was founded in 1921 and has established itself as one of the best schools in the country. It ranks number 14 on the list of the top public schools on US News & World Report. It offers 46 undergraduate majors, 15 master’s programs, and two doctoral programs in a wide variety of fields.

Bachelor of Science in Geography, Geographic Information Science Track

This program prepares students for careers in geographic, earth, and atmospheric sciences, as well as geographic information science, by teaching students how to use geographic information science technology to solve environmental, government, and business problems. Coursework covers remote sensing, spatial statistics, and cartographic visualization.

Bachelor of Science in Geography, Geographic Information Science Track Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and Fees: $866.33/credit (in state); $1739.33/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 69%

Bachelor of Science in Geography, Geographic Information Science Track Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum 3.5
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT if GPA under 3.5
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation and personal statement

Applying to Salisbury University

  1. Submit your completed application form through the Common App or Salisbury University App.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Create an account on the application management page.
  4. Submit your official transcripts and, if required, standardized test scores.
  5. Submit your letters of recommendation and personal statement.
6

Texas A & M University

College Station, TX

Established in 1876, Texas A & M University was the first public university in Texas. It has a total enrollment of over 70,000 students in over 133 undergraduate and 287 graduate degrees across different fields, making it the university with the highest student population in the country.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology

This bachelor's degree teaches students about the applications of geographic information science and technology in physical and human geography. It’s a 120-credit degree program with courses covering advanced concepts such as CyberGIS, geocomputation, artificial intelligence, health science GIS, and GIS-based modeling.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $5,815.67/semester, full time (in state); $19,758.32/semester, full time (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 83%

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required, may be submitted
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Self-Reported Academic Record, resume (optional), and letters of recommendation (optional)

Applying to Texas A & M University

  1. Submit your application through the ApplyTexas App or Coalition App.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit your Self-Reported Academic Record.
  4. Submit your standardized test scores (optional).
  5. Submit your resume and letters of recommendation (optional).
7

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

Texas State University was founded in 1899. It holds a reputation for being the only university in the state of Texas to graduate a US president. It boasts over 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in its wide variety of educational programs in its diverse areas of study.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science

The Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science at Texas State University is a 120-credit program that introduces students to the application of geographic information science technology. During their studies, students take courses in physical geography, maps and map making, geoprogramming, cartographic design, and global positioning systems.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $307.36/credit (in state); $715.36 /credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 55%

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT dependent on high school class ranking
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Essay (optional)

Applying to Texas State University

  1. Fill out and submit your online application form on the ApplyTexas App or Coalition App.
  2. Submit an admission essay (optional).
  3. Submit your official transcripts.
  4. Pay the application fee.
  5. Submit your standardized test scores.
8

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL

Founded in 1867, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a research-based institution offering transformative learning experiences to students. It is ranked as one of the top public universities in the country and has a total enrollment of over 51,000 students hailing from over 100 countries.

Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Geographic Information Science

This program teaches students about the applications of geographic information science technology to solve social and environmental issues. It has two concentrations, the general geography concentration and the human geography concentration. The program’s curriculum covers spatial analysis, earth systems modeling, remote sensing, and digital cartography.

Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $17,660/year, full time (in state); $38,132/year, full time (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 86%

Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required, may be submitted
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Writing prompts

Applying to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  1. Submit your completed application form through the myillini App, Coalition App, or Common App.
  2. Submit your official transcripts and answers to the writing prompts.
  3. Submit your standardized test scores (optional).
  4. Pay the application fee.
9

The University of Texas at San Antonio

San Antonio, TX

The University of Texas at San Antonio is renowned for its focus on student success and research excellence. It was founded in 1969 and has produced over 145,000 graduates. Currently, the University of Texas at San Antonio has over 34,734 students enrolled in different programs.

Bachelor of Science in Geoinformatics

This is a multidisciplinary program combining computer science, geological sciences, civil engineering, environmental science, architecture and urban planning, geography, and anthropology. Students learn how to use to geographic information systems, cloud computing, earth science, and remote sensing technologies to analyze spatial patterns.

Bachelor of Science in Geoinformatics Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $10,966/year (in state); $26,352/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 121 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 46%

Bachelor of Science in Geoinformatics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required, may be submitted
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Essay (optional) and letters of recommendation (optional)

Applying to the University of Texas at San Antonio

  1. Complete and submit your application form on the university website.
  2. Pay the non-refundable application fee.
  3. Submit your official transcripts.
  4. Submit your standardized test scores (optional).
  5. Submit your essay and letters of recommendation (optional).
  6. Receive the myUTSA ID to check your admission status.
10

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI

The University of Wisconsin-Madison was founded in 1848 and is a public, four-year college with over 47,932 students enrolled in its undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. It has 13 schools and colleges offering a wide range of academic degrees across numerous academic fields.

Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems

The Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison teaches the conceptual foundations and technical skills to utilize maps and geospatial data to solve social and environmental problems. It covers big data analytics, graphic design, web mapping, and geographic information systems.

Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $5,360.16/semester (in state); $19,304.04/semester (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES Grad Rate: 88%

Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required, may be submitted
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Two essays and a letter of recommendation

Applying to the University of Wisconsin-Madison

  1. Submit your application form through the Common App or school application portal.
  2. Pay the non-refundable application fee.
  3. Submit your official transcripts.
  4. Submit your standardized test scores (optional).
  5. Submit your two essays and letter of recommendation.

What Is a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems is a four-year bachelor’s degree program where students learn to use geographic information systems technology to collect, analyze, interpret, and visualize data about the earth’s surface. It is an interdisciplinary program that combines geography, physics, computer science, earth science, and sustainable development.

This degree provides a strong foundation of knowledge in the field and is a great stepping stone for students looking to get a graduate degree or doctoral degree in geographic information systems. Graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems can also apply for entry-level jobs in places like the federal government.

How Important Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems is very important for students who want a career in geography, land surveying, cartography, or geospatial designs. Students can gain skills in mathematics, information technology, research, critical thinking, and planning. Most, if not all, jobs related to this field require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to apply.

What Types of Bachelor’s Degrees Can You Get in Geographic Information Systems?

The types of Bachelor’s Degrees in Geographic Information Systems you can get include a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts. The first is a science-oriented degree offering a more specialized education and focusing more on technical and scientific topics. The second is a humanities-oriented program allowing students to study a wider range of topics.

Is It Better to Get a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems?

It is better to get a Bachelor of Arts in Geographic Information Systems if you plan to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in the same field. It is the ideal option for students who want to work in education or research. The wide array of humanities courses Bachelor of Arts students take often provides them with a more well-rounded education.

A Bachelor of Science is the better choice for students who want to learn more technical skills during their program. Bachelor of Science programs usually require more hands-on laboratory work, exercises, and practical experiences. Students in a Bachelor of Science program have more core classes and fewer general education courses.

What Is the Difference Between a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree and a Geographic Information Systems Certificate?

The difference between a geographic information system bachelor’s degree and a certificate in geographic information systems lies in the coursework, time, and cost of each one. Moreover, a GIS certificate is different than a degree because it is shorter, offering practical knowledge in the application of GIS. In contrast, a bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree giving students a much deeper understanding of the subject.

The coursework in a geographic information systems certificate will only teach you the actionable skills you need to succeed in the industry. However, bachelor’s degree programs focus on producing a well-rounded professional with a thorough understanding of the industry. That being said, certificates are great for working professionals looking to upskill or reskill.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems costs around $28,775 , according to the National Center for Education Statistics. However, the actual cost of your baccalaureate degree can depend a lot on the type of institution you attend. Public university students spend less than those in private schools, who spend an average of $48,965.

Other expenses that can affect the cost of schooling are accommodation, transportation, educational supplies, board, and other miscellaneous expenses. The best way you can reduce the cost of your bachelor’s degree is by applying for financial aid such as federal loans or internal and external scholarships.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree?

It takes four years to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems. Most bachelor’s degree programs require the completion of 120 credits divided between major courses, general education courses, and elective courses. To graduate within four years, students need to take 15 credits per semester.

How Hard Is It to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

Getting a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree is hard primarily due to the complexity of the subject matter. Moreover, some of the coursework may be challenging as it involves learning how to manipulate complex databases and derive actionable insight from map data. Although the learning curve is steep, it eventually gets easier as students become more familiar with the technology.

Why Should You Get a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree?

You should get a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems because it is a valuable asset if you want to build a career in cartography, project management, urban planning, data analysis and visualization, or emergency management. It will teach you how to analyze problems, patterns, and trends in maps and create solutions to environmental and social issues.

Graduates of geographic information systems bachelor’s degree programs gain the necessary technical skills to land high-paying job roles such as GIS technicians, computer systems managers, real estate researchers, project managers, cartographers, and city planners.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Bachelor’s Degree Program in Geographic Information Systems?

Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems courses will vary depending on the school and specific degree. Most programs have common key courses that are crucial to the GIS curriculum. Here are some of the courses you may need to take in a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree program.

Political Geography

A political geography course teaches students to look at political concepts and issues from a geographical perspective. It covers topics such as geopolitics, imperialism, nationalism, ideology, boundary issues, and cultural hegemony. These provide instrumental knowledge for students wanting to work for a government agency.

Spatial Analysis and Modeling

This course introduces students to fundamental concepts in spatial analysis and modeling and covers the different types of statistical methods used to solve spatial problems. Students will learn various techniques such as how to map algebra functions, the overlay approach and fuzzy logic approach, as well as point pattern analysis.

Cartographic Design and Production

In this course, students learn the art and science behind cartography. This course teaches them how to use computer cartographic technologies, also known as ArcGIS ,  to create analytical maps. It covers topics including cartographic compilation theories and generalization, spatial analysis, and stress data acquisition.

Maps and Geographical Information Systems

This is often one of the first courses students take in a GIS bachelor’s degree program. It teaches students how to use maps as a medium of communication and introduces students to geographic information systems. It covers basic topics such as spatial data, data capture and acquisition, map history, and spatial queries.

Remote Sensing

Remote sensing is the study of the earth from space. This course provides students with a solid foundation in remote sensing, starting from the physics of light energy to the mechanics of satellites. Students also learn about the various techniques, principles, and applications of remote sensing.

Continuing Education Paths for Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Graduates

The best path for geographic information systems bachelor’s degree graduates is to pursue a Master of Science and a doctoral degree in geographic information systems, geospatial science, spatial analysis, and other related fields. This is because most of the best positions in the field require applicants to have a master’s or doctoral degree.

Graduates can also increase their professional skills and expertise in GIS by enrolling in GIS certification programs. Professional certifications allow you to better climb the ranks of the geospatial industry and earn a higher annual wage. The two major GIS certifications are the Geographic Information Systems Professional and ESRI technical certifications.

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What to Look For in the Best Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Programs

The things to look for in the best geographic information systems bachelor’s degree programs include legitimate accreditation, a wide variety of student services, positive employment outcomes for graduates, the cost and financial aid options of the school, and its graduation and retention rates.

Accreditation

Before anything else, you should confirm the accreditation status of the school. National or regional accreditation ensures that the geographic information systems program the school offers meets an acceptable level of quality and will provide you with what you need to succeed in the industry.

Student Services

It is crucial to inquire about the available student services that the school offers. Check out what support system the school has in terms of financing, course material, and student counseling. Learn about the school’s protocol to support students and ensure that there are services in place to help you if you were to encounter any difficulty throughout your studies.

Career Services

The best geographic information systems bachelor’s degree programs equip you with the skills you need to begin your career and act as a springboard into the job market. During your school search, look into how the school prepares you for the industry. Does it offer career coaching, an alumni network, resume review, and interview prep?

Cost and Financial Aid

Getting a college education can be pricey. When determining which is the best geographic information systems bachelor’s degree for you, consider your budget.  Find the best school for your financial situation. You should also research the availability of financial aid packages for students, such as federal loans or scholarships.

Graduation and Retention Rate

If a large percentage of the students are not completing the program in four years, there might be a problem with the school’s programs. If the retention rate is below average, that means a significant number of the students are transferring out. This is often a sign that the school does not provide a great learning environment to its students.

What Is the Most Affordable Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree?

The most affordable Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems is the one offered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is a 120-credit-hour program and costs $5,360 per semester for in-state students. Over four years, it will cost about $42,881 to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems when considering just tuition and fees.

Salary and Job Outlook for Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Graduates

A land surveyor taking measurements using geographic information systems technology. Best Geographic Information Systems Bachelor's Degrees
There is a variety of career options for geographic information systems bachelor’s degree graduates.

Geographic information systems bachelor’s degree graduates go on to pursue geographic or cartographic careers at universities, research institutions, government agencies, as well as architecture and engineering companies. While many positions in the field do require a master’s or doctoral degree to apply for, a bachelor’s degree will qualify you for many entry-level positions.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor Degree?

It is not hard to find a job with a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree. The GIS field has a projected job growth rate of 12 percent between 2020 and 2030, according to Prescient & Strategic Intelligence. This growing market signifies that there will be plenty of opportunities for GIS bachelor’s degree grads to find work.

Geographic information systems bachelor’s degree programs also often provide career services such as career advice, internship opportunities, industry partnerships, and alumni networks to aid students in their job search after graduation. Your university program is also a fantastic place to network, as professors often serve as excellent recommendations.

What’s the Average Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Salary?

The average salary for someone with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems is $51,000 per year , according to PayScale. The actual amount of money you can make with this degree depends on many factors, including your job title and responsibilities, your location, your level of experience, and the company or institution you work for.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree?

The jobs you can do with a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree include working as a cartographer, land surveyor, urban and regional planner, GIS analyst, or geographer. Geographic information systems bachelor’s degree grads can work in government, construction, education, surveying, energy, research, and publishing industries.

Geographic Information Systems Degree Jobs

  • Cartographer
  • Land Surveyor
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Geographer
  • GIS Analyst

Potential Careers With a Geographic Information Systems Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

You can make between $56,749 and $85,220 per year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems. There are many high-paying career options in various industries, and your salary will depend on your employer, industry, location, and job title. The next section contains a list of the highest-paying geographic information systems bachelor’s degree jobs and salaries.

Highest-Paying Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Geographer $85,220
Urban and Regional Planner $78,500
Cartographer $68,900
Land Surveyor $61,600
GIS Analyst $56,749

Best Jobs for Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Grads

The best jobs for geographic information systems bachelor’s degree grads are geographer, land surveyor, and cartographer. Below you will find information regarding these jobs, including their projected job outlook, the number of jobs in the country, the highest-paying states for that position, and their average annual salary.

1

Geographer

Average Salary: $85,220

Geographers study the land, features, and inhabitants of the earth. They analyze the physical and human geographical properties of regions through field observations, maps, photographs, and satellite imagery. They also conduct surveys and use GIS to gather geographic data.

2

Urban and Regional Planner

Average Salary: $78,500

Urban and regional planners gather and analyze data from economic and environmental studies, market research, and censuses to create land-use programs for community development and growth. They use statistical software, data visualization software, financial spreadsheets, and digital maps to create strategies that address economic and community issues.

3

Cartographer

Average Salary: $68,900

Cartographers collect, measure, and analyze geographic data to develop, revise, and update maps. They employ ground surveys, satellite images, aerial photographs, and reports to collect GIS data for environmental and educational purposes.

4

Land Surveyor

Average Salary: $61,600

Land surveyors are important professionals who greatly contribute to engineering, construction, and mapmaking projects. They measure the shape and contour of the earth to determine property boundaries. They also used GIS technology to visualize spatial data through charts, reports, and maps.

5

GIS Analyst

Average Salary: $56,749

Geographic information systems analysts work with large sets of data and analyze them before turning them into easy-to-understand formats such as maps, charts, and graphics. They use computer software and programming languages, including ArcGIS, Python, HTML, and Microsoft Office.

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Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems Worth It?

Yes, a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems is worth it if you want to learn to manage, analyze, manipulate, store, and capture spatial and geographical data. This degree provides all the necessary analytical skills you’ll need to become a skilled land surveyor, cartographer, geographer, GIS analyst, or land architect.

A geographic information systems bachelor’s degree prepares students for immediate employment in the industry or serves as a stepping stone to gaining advanced degrees in the GIS field, such as a master’s degree or doctorate.

Additional Reading About Geographic Information Systems

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-geographic-information-systems-masters-degrees/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/gis/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-online-geographic-information-systems-bachelors-degrees/

Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree FAQ

What can you do with geographic information systems?

Geographic information systems can be used in many fields, including scientific investigations, environmental consulting, resource management, urban and regional planning, mining, military intelligence, and transportation.

Is GIS a growing field?

Yes, GIS is a growing field, with a projected growth rate of 12 percent between 2020 and 2030, according to Prescient and Strategic Intelligence reports. The report also states that the GIS market will be worth $25.6 billion by 2030.

Is GIS a good major?

Yes, geographic information systems is a good major. It is a field with many great opportunities for its graduates. Picking GIS as your major can help you enter a highly rewarding career and contribute to society.

What do you need for a career in GIS?

You will need a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems or a related field such as geoscience or geography. Graduates can start their careers in entry-level positions that do not need prior experience to apply and move to higher-paying roles as they gain work experience.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Ajayi Abimbola Samuel

About the author: Ajayi Abimbola is an expert content writer who has written for sites like LocalPrana and Junkar Ninja. He holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, where he also studied Java and Python.

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