Assessing the Need for Geographic Information Systems Training at Atlantic Cape Community College

Research on Geographic Information Systems training and careers.

In 2010, the Heldrich Center conducted research for Atlantic Cape Community College (ACCC) to identify the regional demand for workers who are skilled in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to map GIS career opportunities, and to make recommendations for new types of curricula and credentials to address current or expected gaps in the supply of skilled workers. Heldrich Center researchers reviewed relevant national and regional reports and websites to identify the key industries and occupations associated with GIS work and various levels of GIS skills associated with key jobs. Researchers also examined labor market information in ACCC’s region to determine the industries and jobs associated with GIS that were large and/or growing and convened employers to discuss their GIS hiring and training needs and trends in the use of GIS in the workplace. Finally, information on existing GIS training programs in the region was compiled to construct a training gap analysis. A detailed report was developed describing employer demand for GIS-enabled workers in the region, key gaps in the availability of training, and recommendations for the types of GIS skills and credentials that the college should consider offering to students, job seekers, and incumbent workers. The Heldrich Center also created a brochure and online materials that provide students with a guide to understanding career opportunities in GIS work and an introduction to GIS-related coursework at ACCC.