GIS minor introduced in the fall

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Tu To
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Troy University will offer a geographic information system (GIS) minor in the fall 2016 semester.
The Department of Mathematics and Geomatics, collaborating with the Department of Social Sciences, decided to offer GIS as a minor because of the high demand for GIS-related jobs and GIS’s broad application.
According to Steve Ramroop, director of the surveying and geomatics sciences program, students from many different majors and minors can consider minoring in GIS.
“The minor does not have high prerequisites,” Ramroop said. “Students just need to take Pre-Calculus Algebra and Computer Concepts and Applications, which are required general studies already.”
“GIS is extremely practical and can be applied to any professions,” Ramroop said.
“GIS simplifies property tax collection by using accurate data assessed from the map. It also helps police officers with locating criminals,” he said. “Urban planners utilize GIS to conduct analyses, to maintain the efficiency of infrastructures’ locations and to display their new plans in realistic view by 3D model.”
Ramroop said that GIS also provides demographical data for marketers to segment their target customers and then design appropriate approaches to reach them.
“Just randomly pick some fields like agriculture. You can still see the employment of GIS,” Ramroop said. “People with large areas of land would not take days to go check whether they need to fertilize their crop or not and which part they need to water.
“Compiling data from GIS, they would get all information needed in few seconds.”
According to Area Development, GIS software saves time, reduces costs and improves the quality of information needed to make decisions.
“For example, FedEx uses GIS to keep track of their delivery trucks. If any accident or traffic jam happens, they would re-route all the trucks to maintain their efficiency and, accordingly, trust in customers,” Ramroop said.
According to Ramroop, studying GIS helps students build skills in cartography and geographic analysis, which he said he believes to be absolutely useful in various occupations.
He stated that in Alabama, students with a GIS minor can find internships and jobs in the Department of Transportation, Alabama Forest Services, 911, or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Having a GIS minor in addition to students’ majors gives them better opportunities for employment,” Ramroop said. “It will make students more marketable.”
According to Environmentalscience.org, GIS specialists working in architectural, engineering and related services make an average of $55,260 a year, while those in state government make an average of $51,910 a year.
The United States Department of Labor also ranks Geospatial Technology among a short list of targeted industries in its High Growth Job Training Initiative.
Ramroop said he strongly recommends students who major in environmental science, political science, marketing, economics, human health and criminal justice to take a minor in GIS.
He expects to get at least 25 students choosing the GIS minor this fall.

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