- Qualification and GIS component: PGDip GIS and BSc Geography
- BSc (Geography and Environmental Studies): two undergraduate GIS papers.
- Tertiary Institute: University of Canterbury
Why did you choose to study GIS?
I never planned to do GIS, I went into University not 100% sure on what I wanted to do. I started studying towards a BSc in Geography and Computer Science with some Geology thrown in. I dropped the computer science and focused on my Geography and Geology.
I then heard about the postgraduate GIS course offered at UC, and having done the GIS courses in my undergraduate years, I thought I’d give it go. GIS is something that brings my Computer Science and Geography interests together, and allows my to apply those skills to other disciplines.
What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced from studying GIS?
I’ve been very fortunate in my career so far. In 2015 I was awarded the New Zealand ESRI Young Scholars Award for work I did on testing the feasibility of vehicle routing using road safety. This work also won me the Undergraduate of the Year at the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards.
Because GIS is a tool, it can be applied to a wide range of disciplines and industries. As a result , the work I’ve done has ranged from Regional Councils, to large New Zealand businesses, to industry leading consultants.
How important is GIS for your existing and future career options, and why?
GIS plays a huge part in my existing career. As a consultant, I work with GIS everyday. I also do a lot of development, and create custom GIS tools. I think GIS is beginning to take off, and is branching into new industries. As a result, I think GIS is going to continue to play a large part in my future career
What advice would you give to future students considering adding a GIS component to their studies?
Go for it. GIS is what you make it. It can be applied in so many different ways. Many university geography departments offer an introduction course in either 200 or 300 level.
Give it a go, it can’t hurt to take it. You never know what might come out of it.