Ontario Masters in GIS on Campus Programs and GIS Masters Degrees

Masters in GIS on Campus Programs and GIS Masters Degrees Info

You are drawn to technology and science, enjoy problem solving, and are looking for a career-focused academic path. If this is the case, you might consider a Masters in GIS on Campus Program, an abbreviated term for Geographic Information Systems. GIS denote a technological breakthrough in organizing and displaying spatial data. Think of how many times you or a friend has researched directions on the Internet. Reflect on just how powerful maps are as they allow us to conceptualize, analyze, and interpret information in order to understand such things as weather patterns, or trends across a diversity of industries. This can lead to improved decision-making by realtors, scientists, leaders and public officials as well as communities looking for ways to take care of their resources, or plan for safety during natural disasters. Earning a Masters in GIS on Campus degree can be a fascinating educational choice with the potential to lead to a variety of career options.

GIS Masters on Campus Degree Career Informaton


  • ‘Data capture’ is the term used for putting information into a GIS[i]
  • The first known use of the expression ”geographic information system” was by Roger Tomlinson in the year 1968[ii]
  • One of the first applications of spatial analysis in epidemiology was in 1832[ii]
  • The world’s first operational GIS was in 1960 in Ottawa, Canada[ii]
  • Employment of cartographers and photogrammetrists is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations[iii]

However, GIS Masters programs involve more than this work, and more than just learning high-tech mapping! They can also involve building and understanding the software that is involved, as well as using information about geography to assess real global concerns, in the hopes of providing solutions.

Typically, the Masters programs are designed to assist students by developing workplace skills and advanced training.

What is a potential advantage of pursuing my Masters in GIS on Campus degree?

Graduates who hold their master’s degree in Geographical Information Systems may pursue other types of employment.  For instance, urban and regional planners need a master’s degree from an accredited planning program to qualify for most positions[iv]. If you hope to pursue a teaching job in college or find a researching job, the Masters could be a stepping-stone to your PhD in GIS.

What are the potential advantages to Masters in GIS on Campus Programs?

On-campus learning involves attending lectures, tutorials, laboratories and other classes at the university with the program that fits with your academic and vocational goals. It puts you into direct interaction with classmates and professors, so it can be a great way to build networks and participate in different college related group activities. You also gain access to the school’s facilities, from athletic amenities, to social services to libraries.

Curriculum in a Master’s program in Geographical Information Systems

Depending on whether you are pursuing an MS (Master of Science) GIS or an MGIS (Master of Geographic information systems) degree, coursework and curriculum can vary. Each GIS Masters programs can have unique components, practical projects and courses specific to the degree and institution. Often these programs are designed to give you an opportunity to develop skills such as attention to detail, excellent problem-solving, grasp of statistics, ability to work with maps, IT proficiencies, communication and analytical skills.

Some of the subjects one could find include:

  • Spatial data mining
  • Spatial data modeling and analysis
  • Geography and geographical visualization
  • Enterprise GIS architecture
  • Cloud computing
  • Big data analytics

Career trends for graduates with GIS Master Degrees

Holding a Masters in GIS on Campus degree could equip you with tools and methods you can apply to in pursuing your career. Some career paths that graduates holding master’s degrees in GIS could pursue include:

  • Geographers : study the earth and its land, features, and inhabitants, as well as phenomena such as political or cultural structures as they relate to geography. Geographers study the physical and human geographic characteristics of a region, ranging in scale from local to global[v]
  • Environmental Science & Protection Technicians: use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health[vi]
  • Surveyors: make precise measurements to determine property boundaries. They also provide data relevant to the shape and contour of the Earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, and construction projects[vii]                          
  • Drafters: use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans[viii]                 
  • Cartographers/Photogrammetrists: collect, measure, and interpret geographic information to create maps and charts for political, educational, and other purposes[iii]
  • Surveying and Mapping Technicians: assist surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists. Together they collect data and make maps of the earth’s surface[ix]
  • Urban and Regional Planners: develop plans and programs for the use of land to create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.

CAREER TIP: Focusing on an area you feel most drawn to could help you. Does your interest lie more with environmental health, or in location and planning? This could help you narrow down your potential target job markets.

Ready to earn a GIS Master Degree?

With the increasingly digital global market place, we seem to rely more and more on digital mapping and gleaning geographic data for a wide variety of purposes, across a wide range of industries. If you want to be part of this trend, whether by joining disaster relief, working with natural resources, fossil fuel prospecting, conservation or civil planning, a GIS Master degree may  lead to career enhancement, as well as be a rewarding academic path.

Sources: [i] education.nationalgeographic.com/encyclopedia/geographic-information-system-gis/ | [ii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_information_system | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/cartographers-and-photogrammetrists.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/urban-and-regional-planners.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/geographers.htm | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/mobile/environmental-science-and-protection-technicians.htm | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/surveyors.htm | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/drafters.htm | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/surveying-and-mapping-technicians.htm | [x] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/urban-and-regional-planners.htm

Find Schools