What Is a Graduate-Level Online Certificate in GISc?

Learn all the details about earning a graduate-level online certificate in GISc and the excellent career advantages an online GISc certificate offers you.

Man collecting data waterside

Geographical information science (GISc) is a fascinating and diverse discipline, expanding rapidly into nearly every industry across the globe. Geospatial technologies support fields as widely varied as agriculture, climatology, disaster management, energy production, infrastructure, healthcare, law enforcement, logistics, marine sciences, national defense and real estate. If you’re detail-oriented and enjoy working with statistics, mathematics and powerful computer technologies, earning an online certificate in GISc will significantly boost your career opportunities as a GIS professional.

Keep reading to learn all the details about earning a graduate-level online certificate in GISc and the excellent career advantages an online GISc certificate offers you.

What is Geographic Information Science?

Geographic information science (or GIScience) is the foundational discipline upon which geographic information systems are built. GIScience professionals are concerned with the methods and technologies for storing, collecting and analyzing spatial data. They are the scientists developing innovative geospatial solutions to many of today’s challenges by utilizing a fascinating blend of geography, surveying, remote sensing, mathematics and computer technologies.1

Examples of the wide range of geospatial solutions provided by GISc experts include improving public transit systems, shipping/delivery logistical systems, infrastructure projects, real estate planning, delivering aid to refugees and mapping of coronavirus outbreaks during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

How Does GIScience Differ From Geographic Information Systems?

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer-based technologies offering powerful tools for examining spatial trends, patterns and relationships within a geographic context. By storing, analyzing and visualizing geospatial information in a GIS, scientists and other GIScience professionals are better able to understand and help resolve challenges that are impacting our daily lives.

In short, geographic information systems are high-tech tools and GISc professionals are the people who are trained in the specialized use of these tools.2

What is an Online GISc Certificate?

Offering a great way to grow your skills with a shorter timeframe than a master’s degree, postbaccalaureate GISc certificates can help you gain quicker entry to an exciting GIS career. Online certificates provide the same quality and flexibility as online master programs and might take place in the same learning management system. Certificates typically focus more on the practical skills of a discipline while a master’s will also give you time to dig into theory.

Additionally, earning an online GISc certificate might be a great jump-start for earning your master’s in GISc later down the line. Many institutions allow you to apply the credits of a certificate to credits necessary to attain a Master of Science in the same discipline.

What Can You Do with a GISc Certificate?

Earning an online certificate in GISc can put you in the driver’s seat of a powerful technology that is solving pressing challenges and helping meet critical needs. From government agencies to private and nonprofit organizations, GISc professionals are relied upon to operate and manage the high-tech tools required to store, analyze and visualize complex and often massive collections of geospatial data.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, careers for GISc professionals are expected to enjoy a much greater than average growth rate by the year 2029.3 Your GISc knowledge, skills and expertise may be highly rewarded in a wide range of surprisingly diverse areas of employment. Some of these areas include:

  • Agriculture
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Banking and Finance
  • Civil Engineering
  • Climatology
  • Computer Network Design and Development
  • Biofuel Resource Planning and Management
  • Construction Planning and Development
  • Disaster Management and Response
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental & Wildlife Protection
  • Epidemiology
  • Federal, State and Local Government Agencies
  • Gas and Petroleum Resource Management
  • Historic Site Preservation
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Landscape Design and Development
  • Law Enforcement
  • Logistics Support
  • Marine Resource Management
  • Military Intelligence
  • Mining Planning and Development
  • National Defense
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Public Health & Safety
  • Real Estate Planning and Development
  • Refugee Aid and Assistance
  • Renewable Energy Resource Management
  • Telecommunications Networks
  • Transportation
  • Shipping
  • Surveying and Site Preparation
  • Urban Planning and Development
  • Utilities Management
  • Water Resource Management
  • Wildlife Protection

Ready to Drive Powerful Technology?

If you’re interested in driving powerful technology that helps positively impact the world, consider how earning an online certificate in GISc will give you the specialized skills, training and expertise to achieve your goals. GISc is an exciting discipline, constantly riding on waves of cutting-edge technology and innovation. If you’re prepared to work hard and stay on top, your dreams will drive you to a world-class geospatial destination.

The 100% online certificates in GISc offered at Kent State give you total freedom over your schedule, allowing you to arrange your study time at any time, day or night, 24/7. And after earning your GISc certificate, if you decide to transfer your credits to earn your master’s degree, our 100% online Master of GISc is highly affordable and ranked among the top GIS programs in the US.

Whether you are interested in an online GISc certificate or an online Master of GISc, we are ready to help drive your high-tech dreams to state-of-the-art excellence. Talk to an Admissions Advisor to help determine which program is right for your career goals.


  1. Retrieved on 15, June, 2021, from gisgeography.com/giscience-geographic-information-science/
  2. Retrieved on 15, June, 2021, from gisgeography.com/what-gis-geographic-information-systems/
  3. Retrieved on 15, June, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm
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