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knarfy Posted - 02/02/2009 : 12:44:02
I am considering a career switch to a Geograpic Information Science related profession and I am currently trying to establish best way forward. I like studying maps and demographic statistics and this is why I am thinking to move in that sort of area.

First of all, I have a Bsc/Msc in chemistry. Do you think this will be acceptable for entry to PGdip/PGcertifcate/MSc post graduate courses ? There are plenty of transferable skills after all, but will they be recognised ?

Thinking about a distance learning programme. Anyone can recommend one ? I thought the one from Leeds looks good. I am aiming to do this besides a full time job. Anyone done this and if so, how did it work out for you ?

Would one be able to get a job in that field after doing such a course ? Or is experience essential ? In other words: is it likely to be employed after doing just that course ?

What has the job market been like and what sort of salaries should there be achievable for a first job ? Are there any specific employers known to take on staff without practical experience ? It would be good to contact them to see what they might have to say what could increase my chances of employment.

Thanks in advance
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davidforrest Posted - 11/02/2009 : 11:16:43
Your background would be acceptable for the MSc in Geoinformation Technology & Cartography at the University of Glasgow, the only UK programme to focus on cartography (with GIS). Several GIS programmes include some cartography, such as Edinburgh, Kingston, Leicester, Nottingham & Portsmouth.

Distance learning in GIS is provided by UNIGIS, City University and Kingston University. All would be acceptable as a route to employment.

The job market still seems OK. As many local authorities & utility companies make extensive use of GIS there is a secure core of jobs. There has been a shortage in recent years and developments in Location Based Services are likely to create increasing pressure, even in the current job market.

Generally, don't expect to make a fortune, but there are exceptions!

David Forrest PhD, FBCart.S
University of Glasgow
Chair, UK Cartography Committee

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