Geographic Information Science involve the theory and methodology of capturing, displaying, querying, analyzing, modifying and storing digital information about human, physical and environmental phenomena distributed on or near the Earth's surface. GIS is powerful because it brings together tools for working with geographic data in many different ways. For example, with GIS you can display spatial information in maps, charts, or tables; investigate patterns, relationships and details about places at different scales and in different map projects; or perform statistical analyses and database functions.
The application of GIS has extended to domains that range from physical to social sciences and from basic research to applied problem solving. For example, GIS is used to plan school bus routes based on student residences; study water consumption patterns in arid areas; design noise abatement buffer zones around airports; profile bank customers by branch office; research changing wildlife habitats; model hurricane evacuation scenarios; analyze patterns of toxic waste in soils; and document archaeological sites and findings.
The local and national job markets for GIS professionals are very strong and are expected to grow substantially in the foreseeable future. GIS professionals work in a variety of settings, including the private sector (for example, logistics and market analysis), public sector at the local, state and national levels, and in GIS software firms. The geography program at Texas State has been successful in placing undergraduate and graduate students in numerous employment areas that need skilled GIS professionals. Employers are seeking individuals with the skills and knowledge required to solve the increasingly complex problems facing today's businesses and government agencies. To meet these needs, Texas State Geography offers a certificate in GIS.
The Geographic Information Science Certificate provides the recipient with a working knowledge of Geographic Information Science (GISci) in sufficient detail that they are prepared for professional positions involving the theoretical and applied aspects of implementing and administering a Geographic Information Science.
To the prospective employer, the certificate is a professional endorsement that the recipient has received five university level courses on issues fundamental to the design, implementation, and management of Geographic Information Science. Completion is possible within a single, 12-month year. With permission, some course work may be transferred from another institution.