Geographical information systems (GIS) managers are responsible for the day-to-day supervision of teams of IT experts that produce geographical data using specialist computer systems.
GIS are computerised systems used for the collection, storage, analysis, manipulation and presentation of complex geographical information. Although roles vary, all GIS officers are involved in the production of maps and the analysis of data.
Employers of geographical information systems managers
- Specialist software development companies and consultancies
- Utilities companies
- Telecommunications companies
- Insurance companies
- Local authorities and police authorities
- Emergency services
- supervising a team of staff including programmers, cartographers, data managers, analysts and support specialists
- managing budgets and project costs
- consulting clients to ascertain project purpose, needs and information required
- recruiting and training staff
- negotiating contracts
- managing the development of GIS software packages
- evaluating the functionality of systems
- purchasing new equipment to improve project efficiency
- keeping up to date with new technology
- making sure that projects keep to pre-determined deadlines
- investigating new GIS applications.
It is possible to enter this profession with a university degree in any subject. However, some employers favour relevant subjects such as geographic information science, geography, computer science, surveying or urban and regional planning. Gaining a postgraduate GIS qualification is advantageous, particularly for graduates without relevant qualifications and/or experience.
- strong written and oral communication skills, as well as presentation skills;
- motivation and a pro-active attitude;
- the ability to translate requirements into working solutions;
- computer skills including the use of complex databases and spreadsheets, and specific software such as ArcGIS;
- that you are highly numerate and able to analyze data and statistics;
- the ability to work well under pressure.