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July 18, 2016 Schools and Libraries

Oakton offers new GIS online course

Sometimes career success comes down to being in the right place at the right time, or as they say in real estate, “location, location, location.”  But what if it were possible to know precisely the right place, the right time and the right location? Oakton Community College is offering a new online geographic information systems (GIS) course designed to help students master this fascinating new technology.

GIS Technology I (GIS 190 - 0C1) is an online course with an optional Saturday lab that teaches students how to use mapping technology with ESRI ArcGIS® software to explore geospatial modeling techniques for analyzing spatial data, patterns, and databases to build relevant maps in various disciplines.

Nearly every decision in business, technology and public service has a geographic or spatial dimension.  If one could only know exactly where to start and where to go next… What is the best way to organize products on store shelves or distribute customer orders for the most profit? How can public health officials best fight a communicable disease when patients are showing up in multiple locations? What is the best way to lay out a computer network for greatest efficiency?  How can police best predict where crime will strike next? When can the agriculture industry harvest vegetables as they ripen with the least waste? All of these questions can be simplified and understood by learning to use GIS.

Employment of GIS specialists and cartographers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022—faster than average across all occupations. Median salaries are in the mid-$50,000 range. Career options in GIS quite literally range from A to Z including agriculture, anthropology, cartography, economic development, engineering, environmental science, facilities management, finance, fire and emergency services, homeland security, land surveying, marketing, meteorology, police and crime prevention, politics, public health, real estate, recreation, transportation, urban planning and zoology.

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