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Degree Overview: Associate’s (A.A.) Degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Majors Overview November 2, 2013

Students planning to earn an A.A. in Geographic Information Systems will learn about how GIS are tools that collect, capture, and analyze digital and spatial geographic data. These tools are mainly used in areas of urban planning, land surveying, photogrammetry, and cartography. The Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems is the most common program in the field of GIS.

A.A. Programs in Geographic Information Systems

Students enrolled in Associate’s degree programs in GIS are provided with broad-based skills development and theoretical instruction in the field of geographic information systems. Coursework may augment strong foundational classes in microcomputer applications, geometry, physical sciences and mathematics with subsequent study of specific GIS technologies and tools.

A majority of GIS associate’s degree programs are designed to provide practical training to students, who learn how to use and apply geographic information systems. Students are trained in the use of global positioning technology and GIS tools in the collection of data, processing of data into images, storing and maintenance of useful data, and utilization of data to create land boundaries and maps. Courses that focus on programming and designing of GIS technologies and tools are also offered by some associate degree programs in the field.

Education Requirements

Applicants for admission are often expected to have completed classes in general education subjects such as communication, English, and algebra though some schools exempt students from these requirements if they complete placement tests.

Coursework

Coursework in many associate’s degree programs in GIS require the completion by students of a practicum or internship to augment core seminar courses before they earn the degree. Practicum and seminar courses may cover areas such as:

•Remote sensing
•Programming geographic information systems
•Cartography
•Data analysis
•Data acquisition and management
•Using GIS technology
•Introductory GIS
•GIS design with vector and radar analysis
•Database theory

Career Choices Popular for Students with an A.A. in GIS

Graduates can seek entry-level careers in various fields or pursue continued education. The career options they can choose from include:

•Mapping technician
•Photogrammetric technician
•Land surveyor-in-training
•Cartography technician

Continuing Education Choices

A majority of photogrammetrists, cartographers and land surveyors employed in the United States hold at least a bachelor’s degree; (source: <strong><a href=”http://www.bls.gov/” target=”_blank”>U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics</a></strong>). Graduates may consider transferring credits earned in the associate program to a four-year degree program in forestry, engineering, geography, cartography or surveying. Master’s degree programs in GIS management and technology are also offered at some schools.

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3 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
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  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor’s program options include Cybersecurity, Information Systems Technology, Computer Science, and more.
  • A BAS in Information Systems Technology is also available for students who already hold an A.A.S degree.
  • Regent University’s tech programs are designed to prepare students for careers in Software Development and Engineering, Computer Information Security, Network Administration, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
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  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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