Department of Geography Department of Geography

Geographic Information System (GIS) Certificate Program


Geographic Information Science (GIS) can be applied to a diverse multitude of industries and occupational fields. Everything from environmental fields to first response, medical and health professions, and utilities plus many other industries benefit from the regular use of GIS. Professionals in this field analyze and visualize data to answer questions and solve spatial problems. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of geographers is projected to grow 29 percent through year 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increasing use of geographic technologies and data will drive that employment growth. Those with specialized subject matter expertise and experience working with geographic technologies, such as GIS, should have the best job prospects. Furthermore, job openings will arise from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation.

GIS is an exciting, rapidly changing, and cool technology that merges nicely with many other technologies you may be interested in, such as video, web development, and phone apps. GIS is a green technology that is making a difference on our planet and to its people every day for key decisions about wildlife habitat, human health, renewable energy, climate change, water quality and availability, wilderness areas, and much more. GIS jobs are varied and are found within nearly all industries and sectors from government and defense to business, medicine, and education.

Salaries in GIS and Geospatial industries range from $50,000 to $80,000 or more depending on geographic region, experience, and occupation within the industry, making it a very lucrative career choice.

Connectivity is now available almost anywhere in the world, as is the ability to determine a location, and to find location information about the people and places that are important to us. Location is powering everything around us. The power of location is growing as an influence on many industries and markets. Professionals who can leverage that information and help weave it into applications and make sense of the "where" factor will be in high demand.

CCSU offers the Geographic Information System (GIS) Certificate Program to provide the kind of high quality education it has become known for as an avenue to gain hands-on experience and knowledge of this valuable skill set. Students will have ample opportunities to explore GIS and acquire the necessary tools to succeed in the GIS industry. Recent graduates of the program have successful careers in both public and private GIS organizations.

The whole program includes 3 courses totaling 45 hours. The material is offered on-line with 8 Saturday meetings. Course 1 is followed immediately by course 2 and course 3. The program was designed to take a student who has little or no experience or knowledge of GIS and expose them to enough knowledge and hands-on skill to obtain and successfully thrive in a GIS occupation with just about any organization.

The program consists of the following 3 courses:

Course 1- GIS Essentials

Includes discussion of basic geographic principles such as direction, coordinate systems, spatial relationships, and geographic thought; introduction to what GIS is and how it works in general; introduction to the ArcGIS environment and ArcMap/ArcCatalog applications. It also includes discussion regarding cartography and GIS data and data types. Students leave being able to navigate basic software tools including pan, zoom, querry, identify and measure and create shapefiles and shapefile data.

Course 2- Practical Applications of GIS

Discussion of practical applications of GIS in the real world using geoprocessing tools (buffer, clip, join) and an introduction to the geodatabase data structure. Discussion regarding GIS design, implementation and administration.  Students leave with basic geoprocessing skills, geocoding, georeferencing, and being able to create a geodatabase and associated data structure. Discussion of  applications of GIS in the real world, including crime analysis, geostatistical analysis and spatial analysis.

Course 3- Advanced Applications of GIS

Discussion of Web GIS, GPS, Mobile GIS, Lidar and photogrammetry. Students will leave the course having created basic web GIS applications and exposure to using internet GIS data sources.


Course Content & Format Information

Thad Dymkowski

GIS Instructor

Registration & Payment Information
Office of Continuing Education
(860) 832-2276