What is Geographic Information Science (GISc)? The Online Masters in GISc from Kent State University offers the lowest tuition in the nation

geographic information scientist surveying

Have you heard of the term “geographic information science (GISc)”?

This term might be unfamiliar or seem a little obscure, but it’s a rapidly growing profession.

The need for GISc experts continues to grow with an expected five percent increase in jobs by 2019.1 GISc professionals with a master’s degree earn salaries, on average, 20 percent higher than those with a bachelor’s degree.

What is Geographic Information Science?

Geographic Information Science, also known as GIScience or GISc, is the scientific study of the methods and techniques used to research, process, and analyze geographic or spatial data. This information forms the foundation for GIS, which are the software tools that are used to better understand ourselves and our world.2

At its most basic level, geographic information systems (GIS) create, manipulate, analyze, and help visualize geospatial information from massive amounts of data used by businesses, governments, and individuals, but in its raw form, that information isn’t very useful. Geographic information systems take the disparate data and connect them in ways that allow people to use it to make important decisions about development, engineering, health, safety, climate, and more.

The online master’s degree in Geographic Information Science and the online graduate certificate in Geographic Information Science at Kent State University prepares students with skills that extend beyond simply understanding software features or capabilities.

GIS combines several different disciplines and fields of study, including:3

  • Cartography – the science of drawing maps
  • Geography – information about the Earth’s surface
  • Environmental studies – the study of interactions between humans and the environment
  • Earth sciences – the study of meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, and geology
  • Spatial analysis – the relationship between geography, maps, and data
  • Data analysis – compiling information and presenting it in a form that people can understand and use to make decisions
  • Computer science – developing and managing the hardware and software to create maps and analyze data

    GISc knowledge, skills, and expertise are highly rewarded in a wide range of surprisingly diverse areas of employment, including:

    • 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
    • Utility Management
    • Water Resource Management
    • Wildlife Protection

    Should I get a Geographic Information Science (GISc) Master’s Degree or Certificate?

    Getting an online master’s degree in Geographic Information Science (GISc)

    A master’s degree in geographic information science is the best way to acquire the skills necessary for a career as a geographic information scientist. In these programs, you will learn about cartography, geovisualization, programming, and data analysis to develop practical skills that will set you up for a successful career in GIS or GISc.

    Upon graduation, students will have an advanced understanding of theories and techniques for working with geographic information systems. They will also understand how to build and use maps, and how to incorporate algorithms and software tools to analyze geospatial data.

    Kent State University’s Online Master of Geographic Information Science (GISc)

    Kent State’s Online Master of Geographic Information Science (GISc) helps students develop a more robust understanding of how GISc functions across different sectors and have a positive impact on some of the greatest global challenges of our age, including climate change, and transportation, public health and more.

    The online graduate program in GISc is designed for busy working professionals and students seeking graduate education. With one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation, and no GRE requirement or on-campus visits, students can invest in their education without the financial burden and advance their careers on their schedule.

    For more information on Kent State’s Online Master of Geographic Information Science (GISc), visit https://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/geography/geographic-information-science/.

    Getting an online certificate in Geographic Information Science (GISc)

    Kent State’s Online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science (GISc) offers a great way to grow skills within a shorter timeframe than a master’s degree. This can help gain a quicker entry into a GISc career.

    Online certificates provide the same quality and flexibility as online master’s 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.

    Kent State University’s Online Geographic Information Science (GISc) Graduate Certificate

    Kent State’s Online Geographic Information Science (GISc) Graduate Certificate combines the quality and flexibility of the Online Masters of Geographic Information Science degree with the agility of a short-term, targeted professional skills-development program. In just 15 courses that can be completed in as few as 12 months, you can prepare for analytical and managerial roles utilizing geospatial technologies.

    • Complete the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in as little as a year
    • Choose from two certificates: Environmental GISc or General GISc
    • 15 credits
    • No GRE requirement

    For more information on Kent State’s Online Geographic Information Science (GISc) Graduate Certificate, visit https://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/geography/geographic-information-science/certificate.



    1 Retrieved on March 22, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/geoscientists.htm

    2 Retrieved on March 22, 2022, from https://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/geography/geographic-information-science/community/what-is-a-gisc-masters-degree

    3 Retrieved on March 22, 2022, from https://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/geography/geographic-information-science/community/the-most-affordable-online-gis-masters-program

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