GIS is a Rapidly Growing Field and a GIS Degree Opens Doors to a Variety of Careers
AURORA, Colo.– March 23, 2011 –Geographic Information Systems (GIS) degrees are paying big dividends in the multi-trillion dollar oil industry.
Just ask American Sentinel University GIS graduate Kurtis Poettcker, manager of a team of five GIS developers for Abacus Datagraphics Ltd., Western Canada’s leading supplier of maps for the petroleum industry based in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
Poettcker’s oil and gas clients depend on his team’s ability to create digital mapping products to ensure the integrity of their pipelines and oilfield facilities.
As he looks back on his career path to becoming an integral part of a major company, Poettcker is thankful that he went back to school and earned his online GIS degree at American Sentinel University in this rapidly growing field.
“My main reason for returning to school was to enhance my knowledge of GIS. I was already interested in adding some credentials to complement the work experience I already had,” says Poettcker. “I was a little hesitant returning to school as I had tried earning an online degree once before, but had failed mostly due to lack of motivation.”
Poettcker worked at Abacus Datagraphics while in school, but noted that juggling work and school was not as difficult this time around. In fact, he believes his American Sentinel University courses enhanced his work performance long before he graduated. And now, after graduation, Kurtis has definitely been able to apply what he’s learned to his job.
GIS Degree Opens Doors to Variety of Career Paths
American Sentinel University’s GIS degree program teaches students to use and develop databases containing spatial data. With an American Sentinel online GIS degree, students will learn about interpreting and visualizing spatial data for the purpose of uncovering relationships, patterns and trends.
A degree in GIS opens doors to a variety of careers. A Bachelor of Science Geographic Information Systems degree can be used in science, CAD, enterprise systems, servers, mobile data and cartography. Its applications are endless – and increasingly necessary: national retail chains use GIS to determine where to open a new franchise; police use it to analyze crime data; transit systems use it to plot bus routes; even farmers use GIS tools to plan what crops to plant and where.
American Sentinel University courses also introduced Poettcker to new GIS software, such as ESRI products, which would become of value to Abacus Datagraphics.
“Our company has always worked with another GIS software provider and we never looked at other choices,” says Poettcker. “Using new GIS software in school opened my eyes to its benefits – and now my company is in the process of adopting ESRI software into products.”
Poettcker currently works with ESRI ArcGIS, Autodesk, Map 3D, Map Guide and safe Software’s FME Suite.
American Sentinel is partnering with ESRI for student licenses for the ArcGIS latest version. “In addition to ArcGIS, our students are introduced to open source products,” says Danette Lance, Ph.D., dean, business and information technology at American Sentinel University.
“Just like in the oil industry, GIS is being used in the rescue efforts in Japan. It is also being used to monitor the fallout from the nuclear power plants as a result of the disaster in Japan. The application of GIS is limitless.”
American Sentinel Made the Difference
Poettcker credits his American Sentinel University professors with helping him better understand the GIS industry.
“I enjoyed the classes at American Sentinel University and found that the instructors were quite knowledgeable in their field,” says Poettcker. “Most importantly, the time commitment was reasonable. Starting classes monthly instead of twice a year allowed me to maintain momentum and finish my degree faster.”
Now Poettcker thinks the possibilities for his future are endless. “The positive feedback I receive from users about our application suggests that the GIS field is quite valuable,” he adds.
In other words, GIS technology is booming in the oil industry.
Is a Geographic Information Systems Degree Right for You?
GIS professionals are problem-solvers who like applying technology to new fields. The GIS industry is perfect for someone who wants to work with software that visualizes data rather than displays numbers and charts.
American Sentinel University’s GIS program teaches fundamental business and information technology skills and the specifics of geographic information systems. The program prepares students for entry into the GIS field, but provides training in information systems that befits other business areas as well. Learn more about American Sentinel University’s GIS degree at http://www.americansentinel.edu/online-degree/bachelor-degree-online/bachelor-gis-degree.php.
For information about American Sentinel University’s online information systems bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs, please visit http://www.americansentinel.edu/online-degree/bachelor-degree-online.php and http://www.americansentinel.edu/online-degree/online-masters-degree.php or call 866.922.5690.
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About American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s online degree programs focused on the needs of high-growth sectors, including information technology, computer science, GIS, computer information systems, and business intelligence degrees. It also offers online health systems management and health informatics programs. The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.