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

Princess Ogono-Dimaro - May 22, 2022


The best online geographic information systems bachelor’s degrees teach students software development, geospatial programming, and photogrammetry. They also develop marketable skills for a real-world geographic information systems (GIS) application using coding, data science, and math skills.

An online Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems also covers a wide range of tools and concepts in the field. These include GIS data analysis, web mapping, and visualization. As a prospective student, you can choose degree specializations as you gain academic experience. You’ll begin to see the direction you want to take as you go deeper into this degree in geography.

If you want to work to pursue a career as a geographic information systems analyst, this comprehensive guide will give you all the information you need. It covers top online Bachelor’s Degrees in Geographic Information Systems and geographic information systems bachelor’s degree jobs to prepare you for your future career.

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

You can get a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree online at Arizona State University, Southern New Hampshire University, Oregon State University, Old Dominion University, and Western Illinois University.

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

  • Arizona State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Western Illinois University

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree?

The admission requirements for online geographic information systems bachelor’s degrees include a high school diploma, official transcripts, a letter of intent, and in some cases, ACT or SAT scores. The requirements may vary from one school to another, but these are the most common admission requirements for online bachelor’s degree programs.

Some universities require a satisfactory high school GPA. Top universities peg their GPA requirement at 3.5 or higher, while others accept students with a 2.0 GPA score. Some schools may require English proficiency tests from international students.

Note that your official high school transcripts are required and should be physically sent to the university or college from your previous school. Some universities use SAT or ACT scores if a candidate does not meet specific requirements. It is advisable to check the requirements of each school individually to ensure that you qualify to apply.

Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Transcript
  • Letter of intent
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • Satisfactory GPA
  • High school diploma

How to Get a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Online

You can get a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree online by applying, enrolling, and fulfilling the requirements for graduation. Start by identifying your goal and choosing an accredited college to apply to, then decide on the program and whether you’d like to study on-campus or online.

Gather admission documents, such as transcripts and standardized test scores, and apply for student loans or other financial aid. Once you’ve met all the graduation requirements, you can complete your bachelor’s degree in four years.

Geographic Information Systems Degree Requirements

  • 120-180 credits
  • Capstone project
  • Core courses
  • Elective courses
  • Cumulative GPA

Best Online 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
North Carolina A&T State University Bachelor of Science in Geomatics Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Old Dominion University Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Ohio State University Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Higher Learning Commission
Oregon State University Bachelor of Science in Geography and Geospatial Science Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Southern New Hampshire University Bachelor of Science in Geoscience New England Commission of Higher Education
University of Arizona Bachelor of Science Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST) Higher Learning Commission
University of Maine at Machias Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geographic Information Science New England Commission of Higher Education
Unity College Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geospatial Technologies New England Commission of Higher Education
Western Illinois University Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Higher Learning Commission

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

The best online geographic information systems bachelor’s degrees are properly accredited to ensure employers and the government recognize the program. The section below gives more details on each school listed in the table.

1

Arizona State University

Scottsdale, AZ

Arizona State University is a public research university founded in 1885. This reputable institution has numerous distance learning programs for working professionals. It offers more than 200 programs online and in person.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science

This online program covers geographic information systems, computer programming, and statistical analysis. It is a hands-on program and aims to help students gain a foundational understanding of GIS applications and how they affect society and environmental issues.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $561-$661/credit hour
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 10 terms at 6 to 8 credits per term
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 24%

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 in competency courses
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, precalculus or college-level algebra

Applying to Arizona State University

  1. Complete online application
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit transcripts (optional)
  4. Check the application status online
  5. Complete FAFSA application
2

North Carolina A&T State University

Greensboro, NC

Founded in 1890, this public research university is now known for its liberal arts, sports, fitness, criminal Justice, and psychology programs. North Carolina A&T State University has an average acceptance rate and is quite affordable for students.

Bachelor of Science in Geomatics

This online program is ideal for working professionals who want to become licensed professionals. It requires 124 credits to complete and covers topics like photogrammetry, forensic surveying, geographic information systems, hydrography, construction, manufacturing, and traditional boundary surveying.

Bachelor of Science in Geomatics Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $120/credit hour (in-state); $576/credit hour (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 124 credits
  • Program Length: 8 semesters at 14 to 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 52%

Bachelor of Science in Geomatics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.7
  • Standardized Tests: SAT/ACT
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements:
    • Transcripts
    • English (4 units)
    • Math (4 units)
    • Science (3 units)
    • Social Studies (2 units)
    • Foreign Language (2 units)

Applying to North Carolina A&T State University

  1. Apply on either Common App or Aggie Admissions Portal
  2. Submit transcripts
  3. Submit SAT/ACT scores (optional)
  4. Pay the application fee
  5. Check status
3

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA

Old Dominion University is known for its multidisciplinary composition, psychology, criminology, and rhetoric programs. The public research university is also one of the largest in Virginia.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems

The GIS program at Old Dominion University offers three main concentrations for students. They include environment and resources, urban planning and emergency management, and geographic information systems.

The 120-credit program offers a broad understanding of the interrelationships between people and the environment. The program is hands-on and teaches communication and critical analytic skills. On completion, students get a bachelor of science or arts, depending on their chosen concentration.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $374/credit (in-state); $407/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 8 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 53%

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: None stated
  • Standardized Tests: SAT/ACT optional
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, activity resume, and personal statement (recommended)

Applying to Old Dominion University

  1. Apply online by creating an account
  2. Pay application fees
  3. Submit supporting documents
  4. Check application status
4

Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

This public land grant university is known for its world-class graduate and undergraduate degrees in both online and in-person programs. Ohio State University is also home to the Wexner Medical Center.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science

This online program offers a GIS and geography major with spatial analysis specialization. It requires 121 credits to complete, and students learn to use software for geographic information analysis and management. The curriculum also covers tools and methods needed to thrive in the field.

The coursework involves technical mathematics, surveying and measurements, statistics, graphics, and remote sensing. It prepares students to qualify for professional certification such as GIS Professional from the GIS Certification Institute.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $286/per credit
  • Required Credits: 121 credits
  • Program Length: 8 semesters at 15 to 16 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 32%

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 for students without a college-ready test score
  • Standardized Tests: ACT/SAT or ACCUPLACER
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to Ohio State University

  1. Test early
  2. Apply on the Common App
  3. Submit supporting documents
  4. Check application status
5

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University is a public institution and one of the largest public research universities in the state. It is known for its computer science, mechanical engineering, business administration and management, psychology and human development, and family studies programs.

Bachelor of Science in Geography and Geospatial Science

This online program requires 180 credits to complete. Coursework focuses on physical geography, geospatial analysis, geovisual analytics, and geovisualization and cartography. To enhance global awareness, students learn about climate and society, water, resources, and hazards.

Bachelor of Science in Geography and Geospatial Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition: $331/credit
  • Required Credits: 180 credits
  • Program Length: 16 terms at 11 to 12 credits per term
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 69%

Bachelor of Science in Geography and Geospatial Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 preferred
  • Standardized Tests: SAT/ACT (optional)
  • Application Fee: $40
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements: Preferred subject area course with C- or above
    • English (4 units)
    • Math (3 units)
    • Social studies (3 units)
    • Science (3 units)
    • Foreign language (2 units)
    • Personal statement

Applying to Oregon State University

  1. Apply online
  2. Send transcripts
  3. Submit other required documents
  4. Check application status
6

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH

Southern New Hampshire University is a nonprofit institution and offers some of the cheapest online tuition fees. Founded in 1932, some of its most common programs today include general studies, registered nursing, business administration, and healthcare administration management.

Bachelor of Science in Geoscience

This program uses instructor-led lab courses to help participants gain hands-on experience. It offers a foundation in physical sciences such as earth systems science, geology, geography, physics, and chemistry. Students learn to use geoscience data to solve problems. They develop skills in public policies, effective environmental protection, and resource management.

Students can choose their direction of study in this flexible program and can tailor it by taking elective courses or adding a concentration. Options available to students include fiscal management, public administration, and public health.

Bachelor of Science in Geoscience Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $320 per credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 8 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 37%

Bachelor of Science in Geoscience Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.00 (provisional acceptance), 2.75 (full acceptance)
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to Southern New Hampshire University

  1. Apply for free online
  2. Fill out the transcript release form
  3. Work with admission counselors
  4. Explore financial aid options
  5. Check application status
7

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

University of Arizona is a public land grant research institution. It has a high acceptance rate and is a top global university. The school offers distance learning and in-person learning programs at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST)

This online program covers applied GIS and professional GIS for students who want to work in the field. It is a hands-on program that includes project-based coursework and a senior capstone project that gives students professional skills for the job market. Topics in this program include cartography, GIS programming, and web and mobile applications.

Bachelor of Science Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST) Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $525/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 8 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 65%

Bachelor of Science Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST) Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $90
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to University of Arizona

  1. Create account
  2. Apply online and fill out the application
  3. Submit transcripts
  4. Apply for financial aid (if applicable)
  5. Check status
8

University of Maine at Machias

Machias, ME

University of Maine at Machias is an annex of University of Maine. The public institution is known for its relatively high acceptance rate. University of Maine at Machias offers graduate and undergraduate programs for in-person and distance learning students.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geographic Information Science

This online program requires 120 credits to complete. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and it incorporates topics like data acquisition, geospatial technology, geographic inquiry, environmental studies, data science, design, and programming. Since it is a hands-on program, students work on projects and learn soft skills such as ethics, professional communication, critical thinking, and project management.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $289/credit (in-state); $361/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 8 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 56%

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements:
    • Transcripts
    • Recommendation letter (optional)
    • Personal essay (optional)
    • Official copies of SAT/ACT scores (optional)

Applying to University of Maine at Machias

  1. Complete the application online
  2. A counselor will contact you if more documentation is needed
  3. Submit transcripts
  4. Complete FAFSA application
  5. Track application
9

Unity College

Unity, ME

Founded in 1965, this small private institution prides itself as the best environmental college in the world. Unity College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees online and in person. Students also have the option of hybrid learning.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geospatial Technologies

This program prepares students to solve environmental problems in the world today and to apply geospatial technologies in the workforce. Students acquire earth-related data and use it in analyzing, modeling, simulating, and visualizing.

The program has different concentrations, and students can choose renewable energy, environmental GIS, wildlife ecology, sustainable business, and emergency disaster management. To complete this degree, students must work on a senior capstone project. This project enables them to replicate the skills they have learned during the program.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geospatial Technologies Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $470 per credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 8 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: Not stated

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geospatial Technologies Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation

Applying to Unity College

  1. Fill out online the application
  2. Follow prompts
10

Western Illinois University

Macomb, IL

Western Illinois University is a public institution known for its agriculture, psychology, liberal arts and sciences, and criminal justice programs. It offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs both online and in person.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science

Students can choose their concentration in geospatial science, geoenvironmental and planning, or remote sensing. The coursework covers skill development, theoretical understanding, and problem-solving of real-world issues. It is a hands-on program that gives students the technical skills they need for the job market.

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $308/credit (in-state); $462/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 8 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 46%

Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma
  • Other Requirements:
    • Transcripts
    • English (4 years)
    • Social studies (3 years)
    • Math (3 years)
    • Science (3 years)
    • Miscellaneous (2 years)

Applying to Western Illinois University

  1. Create an account and apply online
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit transcripts and self-reported test scores
  4. Check the application status

What Is an Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree?

An online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree is a four-year college credential for people who want to pursue a career in geographic information systems. The online degree program teaches students to use tools and analyze geospatial data. During the program, they also learn about databases and how to use them to solve real-world problems.

An online Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems focuses mainly on math, geography, and natural sciences. Students enrolled in a remote degree program can take part in internships to gain hands-on experience. Other programs involve practicals within the class in place of an internship. On completion, students will be able to work with computer and software systems for gathering and analyzing geospatial data.

Online vs In-Person Geographic Information Systems Degrees

An online geographic information systems degree is an equivalent alternative to in-person degrees. It is ideal for working professionals who want to maintain their jobs while studying. Besides its convenience, it is a cheaper option than regular programs and requires only an Internet connection.

An online Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems removes on-campus accommodation, transportation, and other related expenses. In-person geographic information systems degrees are traditional programs for people who prefer to learn on-campus with face-to-face interaction. In-person degrees are more expensive but ideal for those who want the whole college experience.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems

  • Affordability. Online bachelor’s degrees in geographic information systems are more affordable than traditional programs. Tuition fees are the same as traditional programs, but you save money by not paying for transport, accommodation, and other campus fees.
  • Convenience. Another benefit of an online bachelor’s degree is the convenience of the learning format. Studying online gives you the flexibility to pursue other activities in your life, such as work or family.
  • Communication skills. Learning online can help you develop advanced communication skills. You will learn to express yourself and work with others in a virtual environment. This skill is quite helpful in preparing you to be a good leader.
  • Time management skills. Whether synchronously or asynchronously, learning online can help you develop better time management skills. Students are responsible for their schedules and must learn to juggle school, family, and work.
  • Hands-on learning. Despite being 100 percent remote, the best online geographic information systems bachelor’s degrees include hands-on projects that give students more opportunities to replicate what they are learning in the real world. They learn to handle individual projects and work virtually with classmates on group projects.

Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems

  • Practical application. In-person bachelor’s degrees in geographic information systems offer students more opportunities for practical applications. In most cases, students have access to top-class laboratories for practicals.
  • Minimal distractions. In-person programs also stand out because they reduce distractions. Classes take place in auditoriums or halls dedicated to that purpose. There are no distractions from television, family members, or phone calls.
  • One-on-one support. In-person programs make it easier for students to get one-on-one support. They can collaborate face-to-face with their fellow students and instructors in real-time and get the support they need.
  • On-Campus Sociability. For some people, college is an opportunity to make lifelong friends. They can take part in social gatherings around campus and make new friends.
  • Ease of collaboration. In-person programs make collaboration between students simpler. It is far easier to collaborate in person while working on group projects or simply studying for exams.

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

Types of online bachelor’s degrees you can get in geographic information systems are a Bachelor of Arts in Geographic Information Systems or a Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems. Bachelor of arts degrees focus on the human element, while a bachelor of science is more theoretical and math-heavy.

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 Science in Geographic Information Systems degree if you enjoy math and a specialized technical program. This degree often requires more credits because it focuses on a single major.

It is better to get a Bachelor of Arts in Geographic Information Systems if you enjoy a more humanistic aspect. A bachelor of arts is usually a broader program that allows students to take different liberal art subjects like literature, humanities, social sciences, history, and communications.

How Much Does a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Cost?

A geographic information systems bachelor’s degree costs an average of $9,349 at public universities, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It can get more expensive if you opt for private universities, which cost about $35,807 per year. However, financial aid and scholarships can help reduce the cost.

It is important to note that the tuition depends on several factors such as program format, type of university, and student location. In-state tuition is always less than out-of-state tuition, and non-profit universities are cheaper than for-profit schools.

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

It takes four years to get a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree online. It could be shorter or longer in some cases, depending on the program. Some schools offer accelerated degrees that make it possible to finish the program in less time.

Online students in self-paced programs may complete the degree in more than four years. The average online program has eight semesters, with students taking 15 credits per semester to complete 120 credit hours.

Are Online Geographic Information Systems Degrees Respected?

Yes, online geographic information systems degrees are respected. According to the NCES, there were 7,313,623 students in distance learning programs in 2019. Online degrees allow working professionals to fulfill their dreams of getting a degree.

Is Geographic Information Systems Hard to Learn Online?

No, geographic information systems is not hard to learn online. Like all degrees, there are challenging aspects to studying online. You shouldn’t find it too difficult with proper support, structure, and learning tools.

Geographic Information Systems Bootcamp vs Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree: Which Is Better?

The best option between a geographic information systems bootcamp and online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree depends on your goal. If you want a short and intensive program, a bootcamp is your best bet. Alternatively, there are long-term benefits to a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree program.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree

  • Intensive training. Most degree programs offer intensive GIS training and other general subjects to give you both the knowledge and technical skills you need for well-paying jobs.
  • Accreditation. Degree programs are accredited and more widely recognized than bootcamp certificates.
  • Continuing education. GIS degree programs give you a chance to continue your education with an advanced degree.
  • Employer requirements. Many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. It can increase your chances of securing a good job.
  • Financial aid. Find out if you are eligible for financial aid from the federal government. This can significantly reduce the cost of your education.

Top 5 Benefits of a Geographic Information Systems Bootcamp

  • Shorter duration. Bootcamp programs are short and intensive, so you can finish within a few months and enter the workforce.
  • Hands-on experience. Bootcamps employ practical learning systems to give students real-world experience before completing the program.
  • Flexibility. Bootcamps stand out when it comes to flexibility. They allow you to study at your own pace and choose your schedule.
  • More affordable. Bootcamps cost $13,000 on average, and some are even cheaper. Compared to degree programs, this is a much more affordable option.
  • Career support. Most bootcamps incorporate career training into their programs to help their students navigate the job market after completing the program.

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

You should get a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree online if you are a working professional or live far away from main centers. It is an excellent way to get a degree without quitting your job or leaving home. Online geographic information systems bachelor’s degrees allow you to earn the degree at your own pace.

What Courses Do You Take in an Online Bachelor’s Degree Program in Geographic Information Systems?

Courses you take in an online bachelor’s degree program in geographic information systems include general education courses, GIS-focused courses, and electives. Depending on the school and degree type, you need between 120 and 180 credits to complete the course.

Geospatial Science

This course introduces students to foundational concepts in geospatial science. It covers problem-solving approaches, computational thinking, geometry, trigonometry, physics of motion, geospatial data, and statistics for measurement analysis.

Introduction to Remote Sensing Technologies

This introductory course covers remote sensing systems, data reduction, object space control, and stereoscopic instrumentation. Students also learn about the theory of electromagnetic radiation, systematic error analysis, and photogrammetric image calibration.

Geovisualization

This course focuses on maps and how they can be used for communication. It explores science, history, and cartography. Geovisualization teaches students to use color, visual balance, typography, and other principles of cartography to create informative and aesthetically pleasing maps. They will also learn to use GIS software to make thematic and reference maps.

Human Geography

Human geography introduces students to social, environmental, cultural, political, urban, and economic forms. It focuses on human populations and human interactions with themes from cultural diversity, globalization, and migration.

Geospatial Research Methods

This course reviews basic ontological and epistemological approaches and the process of handling geographic research. It also focuses on constructing hypotheses, identifying research problems, and research design development. It is a hands-on course with a variety of geographic theories.

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

Continuing education paths for online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree graduates include pursuing a master’s degree online. Another option is to solidify what you’ve learned by earning GIS certifications.

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

Things to look for in the best geographic information systems bachelor’s degrees include accreditation, cost, type of program, career support, and accelerated options. Other things to consider are retention and graduation rates. These will tell you how much support a school gives its students to complete their academic programs.

Cost

The cost of the program is important, especially if you are on a budget. Public universities offer more affordable programs, but a private university is an option if you can afford to pay more. Although, a more expensive program doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. Both offer the same value as long as they are accredited.

Accreditation

Employers and other universities recognize degrees that are accredited. If you plan on studying further or hoping to apply for federal financial aid, you must ensure the institution you study through is accredited.

Type of Program

Know which direction you want to take before you apply to schools. The type of program you choose will depend on what you enjoy more. Research the differences between a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science program to see which one appeals to you more. If you intend to continue working full time, you must ensure the program gives you enough flexibility.

Career Support

Career support is important for students who want to enter the workforce at the end of the program. Good online programs provide career support for their students to help them navigate the entire process of finding and applying for jobs.

Accelerated options

If you wish to complete the degree faster, then it is ideal to consider programs with accelerated options. These programs allow you to complete your degree within a shorter period. It may require taking more credits per semester.

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

The most affordable online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree program is the Bachelor of Science in Geomatics offered by North Carolina A&T State University, costing only $6,733 per annum.

Can I Get a Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Online for Free?

No, you cannot get a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree online for free. However, you can opt for an affordable program such as North Carolina A&T State University. There is also the option of applying for financial aid and scholarships.

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

graduating students throwing their hats in the air
GIS professionals earn more than the national average.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected employment growth rate for geographers is one percent between 2020 and 2030 . Despite being slower than average, this field creates 1,600 jobs per year, and the salary is higher than the national average.

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

It is not hard to get a job with a geographic information systems online degree. Many jobs are available for people who want to become cartographers, geographers, and GIS analysts.

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

The average online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree salary is $64,000 per year. A project manager’s salary can go up to $127,000 per annum, while an urban planner’s annual wage can range from $45,000 to $103,000 per year.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree?

Jobs you can get with an online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree include roles such as a GIS network engineer or work a GIS analyst. There are also options to venture into epidemiology and conservation.

Geographic Information Systems Degree Jobs

  • GIS Analyst
  • GIS Engineer
  • Epidemiologist
  • Conservationist
  • GIS Specialist

Potential Careers With an Online Geographic Information Systems Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree?

You can make $41,000 to $127,00 per year with an online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree. However, the final amount you earn depends on your location, job title, and professional experience.

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

Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Epidemiologist $67,702
GIS Engineer $62,058
GIS Analyst $56,749
GIS Specialist $55,923
Conservationist $44,667

Best Jobs for Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Grads

The best jobs for online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree grads include roles as epidemiologists, GIS engineers, GIS analysts, and GIS specialists.

1

Epidemiologists

Average Salary: $78,830

Epidemiologists are responsible for designing, implementing, and analyzing the geographic spread of diseases. They look at patterns and trends of diseases and work alongside others to find ways to contain the spread of disease. These experts often work on pandemics such as the COVID-19.

2

GIS Engineer

Average Salary: $62,058

Geographic information systems engineers manage spatial databases for urban planning projects. They create maps and work with different types of organizations. To some extent, GIS engineers are cartographers and may require a solid background in programming and computer science.

3

GIS Analyst

Average Salary: $56,749

Geographic information systems analysts are mapmakers who create digital presentations with technology. They work on geographical and spatial information and build databases to create digital maps. These experts also compile data to determine routes to track wildlife patterns.

4

GIS Specialist

Average Salary: $55,923

GIS specialists are responsible for designing, building, and implementing databases and systems to access geospatial data. The experts also analyze the data with mapping software and design digital maps with geospatial data.

5

Conservationist

Average Salary: $63,750

Conservationists are responsible for managing natural habitats such as rangelands, parks, and forests. It is a green career, involving the use, conservation, and protection of the environment. Conservationists can specialize in water or soil and are mostly employed by the federal government or private landowners.

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Is an Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Worth It?

Yes, an online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree is worth it for people who want to transition to a new field without disrupting their present responsibilities. Another benefit of an online Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems is that you can study anywhere. Many people who live far from major cities now have access to these distance learning programs.

Choose a program that offers flexibility. Some online programs have a stipulated schedule with live classes, while others allow students to work asynchronously. When choosing an online geographic information systems bachelor’s degree, ensure that you consider its accreditation status, cost, career support, and accelerated options.

Additional Reading About Geographic Information Systems

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Online Geographic Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree FAQ

What can you do with a geographic information systems degree?

With a geographic information systems degree, you can work as a cartographer, geographic information systems analyst (GIS), GIS specialist, GIS engineer, or conservationist. These jobs are available in the public and private sectors.

What is a geographic information systems bachelor’s degree?

A geographic information systems bachelor’s degree is a four-year program that prepares students for a career in the GIS field. Students work with computer systems to gather and analyze geospatial data. Other topics include environmental sciences, social science, and cartographic design.

Is GIS a good career?

Yes, GIS is a good career because it touches on several environmental challenges the world faces, such as climate change. Geographic information systems help in conservation, an ideal direction for those who want to leave a positive imprint on the world.

Is GIS hard to learn?

No, GIS is not hard to learn with the right structure and support. Once students learn the basics of loading data and using GIS tools, the course will become easier. As with all degrees, there are always challenges. Many schools offer support that distance learners should take advantage of to help with setbacks or obstacles.

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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Princess Ogono-Dimaro

About the author: Princess is an expert tech content writer whose work has appeared on Raffela, Play Junkie, Blockster, and Smartereum. She writes about arts and tech, and she has studied blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Benin and also attended The Nigerian Law School.

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