GIS career planning: some tips

Discussion created by ntheagle-co-nz-esridist Employee on Feb 1, 2015

I have considered what individuals can do to plan for their future careers in GIS and have found some hyperlinks to resources that you might find useful.


Finding the right job is a complex problem. Whenever I face any complex problem I like to break it down to it's basic components and then re-assemble the pieces to generate a solution. At the core of this problem are two very simple parts:

  • What is important to you?
  • What are employers looking for?


"What is important to you?" can be further broken down into these questions:

  • How much do you want/need to get paid?
  • Is job security important to you?
  • Are there some jobs that interest you and others that you would definitely avoid?
  • What kind of people/team/customers do you want to work with?
  • How much value do you place on contributing to 'social good'?
  • Is professional recognition/respect/fame important to you?
  • How important is ongoing personal development/training etc to you?

"What are employers looking for?" can be extended to these questions:

  • Someone willing to work for $X salary
  • Relevant previous work experience and evidence of the application of skills
  • Personality traits
  • Education in GIS concepts
  • Knowledge of specific software packages
  • Skills in complementary disciplines
  • Someone who is willing to work in Y location and perhaps is willing to travel to A/B/C locations.


I have detailed some tips on how to plan for the above topics in my blog post here: