Alistair Collow - Geospatial careers profile

Alistair is studying by distance for a PGDipA in Geospatial Science at Massey University

Alistair Collow, geospatial student, standing on a snowy mountain with sunrise in the background
  • Qualification and GIS component studying for: PGDipA in Geospatial Science
  • Tertiary Institute: Massey University

What Year 13 school subjects did you take?

Physics, Chemistry, calculus, outdoor education, and drama.

What secondary school did you attend?

Kapiti College

Why have you chosen to study GIS?

Because of the multidisciplinary nature of GIS, it has the potential to solve complex real-world problems. As someone with a background in structural and earthquake engineering, I saw how spatial data and analysis could greatly enhance decision-making and problem-solving in various fields. This ability to analyse and interpret spatial data captivated me and led me to pursue advanced studies in Geospatial Science.

How important is GIS for your future career options, and why?

The use and integration of geospatial data for a range of sectors such as urban planning, environmental management, disaster response, and business analytics, is becoming increasingly vital internationally. I intend to use my background in both engineering and geospatial science to address the complex challenges we currently face.

How has studying GIS shaped your career goals?

Studying GIS has broadened my career goals. While I started with a strong engineering foundation, my exposure to geospatial science has opened new avenues for applying my skills. These GIS skills will allow me to contribute to various industries and communities domestically and internationally.

What advice would you give to future students considering adding a GIS component to their studies?

My advice would be to fully embrace the interdisciplinary nature of GIS. Seek opportunities to integrate your GIS knowledge with other domains. Whether you're studying engineering, environmental science, social sciences, or any other field, GIS can enhance your ability to analyse data and derive meaningful insights.

You applied successfully for a Toitū Te Whenua LINZ external tertiary GIS scholarship.  What difference has this made to you and your GIS study courses?

The Toitū Te Whenua LINZ scholarship provided financial support, easing financial costs associated with pursuing further education in Geospatial Science. The scholarship played a pivotal role in enabling my transition from engineering to geospatial science. Without this financial support, I may not have been able to take up the opportunity to explore the possibilities that a career in GIS holds.