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Career and Education Opportunities for Geographic Information Systems Analysts in Madison, Wisconsin

For those living in the Madison, Wisconsin area, there are many career and education opportunities for geographic information systems analysts. The national trend for geographic information systems analysts sees this job pool growing by about 26.2% over the next eight years. In general, geographic information systems analysts study nature and use of areas of earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena.

The average wage in the general category of Social Sciences jobs is $29 per hour or $59,765 per year in Wisconsin, and an average of $33 per hour or $68,239 per year nationwide. Geographic information systems analysts work in a variety of jobs, including: urban and metropolitan policy director, geographic information systems analyst , and imagery analyst.

The Madison area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Madison where you can get a degree as a geographic information systems analyst. Geographic information systems analysts usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a geographic information systems analyst if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Geographic Information Systems Analyst

In general, geographic information systems analysts study nature and use of areas of earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. They also conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.

Geographic information systems analysts conduct fieldwork at outdoor sites. They also develop and modify maps, graphs, or diagrams, using geographical data software and related equipment, and principles of cartography such as direct systems and map scales. Equally important, geographic information systems analysts have to gather and compile geographic data from sources including censuses and existing maps. They are often called upon to locate and obtain existing geographic data databases. They are expected to design and maintain geographical data (GIS) computer systems and video cameras. Finally, geographic information systems analysts furnish consulting services in fields including resource development and management, business location and market area analysis, environmental hazards, regional cultural history, and urban social planning.

Every day, geographic information systems analysts are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for geographic information systems analysts to teach geography. Somewhat less frequently, geographic information systems analysts are also expected to collect data on physical characteristics of specified areas, such as geological formations and vegetation, using surveying or meteorological equipment.

and write and present reports of research findings. And finally, they sometimes have to study the economic and cultural characteristics of a specific region's population.

Like many other jobs, geographic information systems analysts must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Madison include:

  • Atmospheric Scientist. Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses.
  • Community Planner. Compile data from various sources, such as maps, reports, and field and file investigations, for use by city planner in making planning studies.
  • Economist. Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution of economic problems arising from production and distribution of goods and services. May collect and process economic and statistical data using econometric and sampling techniques.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • Geological Specialist. Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the earth's internal composition, atmospheres, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, and seismologists.
  • Historian. Research, analyze, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
  • Hydrologist. Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; study the form and intensity of precipitation, its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and its return to the ocean and atmosphere.
  • Industrial Psychologist. Apply principles of psychology to personnel, administration, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee screening, training and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to reorganize the work setting to improve worker productivity.
  • Market Research Analyst. Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas to determine potential sales of a product or service. May gather information on competitors, prices, and methods of marketing and distribution. May use survey results to create a marketing campaign based on regional preferences and buying habits.
  • Market Survey Representative. Design or conduct surveys. May supervise interviewers who conduct the survey in person or over the telephone. May present survey results to client.
  • School Psychologist. Investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.
  • Urban Planner. Develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of local jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, and metropolitan areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Geographic Information Systems Analyst Training

University of Wisconsin-Madison - Madison, WI

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 500 Lincoln Dr, Madison, WI 53706-1380. University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large university located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 41,581 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Wisconsin-Madison has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Geography which graduated eleven, six, and eight students respectively in 2008.


Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin photo by Dori

Madison is situated in Dane County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 231,916, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Madison, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Madison are valued at $243,800 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Madison, down from three hundred seventy-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Madison are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 48.2% of Madison residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 20.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Madison is 5.2%, which is less than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Madison residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Gates of Heaven Synagogue, Abundant Life Church and Grace Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Madison. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Madison is home to the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Annie C Stewart Memorial Fountain as well as Bordner Park and Brigham Park. Shopping centers in the area include Brookwood Village Shopping Center, Whitney Square Shopping Center and Walnut Grove Shopping Center. Visitors to Madison can choose from Comfort Inn Madison, Howard Johnson-Plaza Hotel and Country Inn Sts Madison for temporary stays in the area.