Rung for Women is a learning organization, and we have learned quite a bit about emerging careers since our first cohort in 2021. Because of this, we have decided to focus on careers that offer both growth potential and the opportunities for advancement and the ability to start making a thriving wage on Day One.
Geospatial is one of the career tracks that Rung will focus on in 2023. While we know that this industry is growing by leaps and bounds each day, especially in the St. Louis region, geospatial is not a career that many women know about.
In order to introduce more women to geospatial careers, we spoke to Robin Hargis, 3D Manager at Maxar Technologies, a space technology company, to explain what exactly is geospatial.
“Geospatial is the science of where,” Robin begins. “It’s the investigation of spatial relationships between things—all the things.”
“We as consumers use a variety of geospatial technologies, and one of these items is likely in your pocket or sitting on your desk.”
Yes, we all use geospatial without even knowing it with gadgets like our smartphones or GPS navigation in our vehicles.
“Your phone is collecting location-based information all the time when used to look up the fastest route directions or the closest coffee shop. Geospatial analysis is part of our everyday lives,” Robin explains.
Geospatial also helps cities and planning agencies build and improve conditions.
“Where a city needs more infrastructure (power/water) is determined by geospatial. Geospatial information helps result in better information to create a model of prediction for disaster relief, and address maintenance for 911 and other emergency databases. Zoning and school districts, vegetation and terrain analysis for planning, and determining how diseases will spread through communities and factors that contribute to that—this all requires geospatial data and/or analysis.”
“Geospatial data and analysis are widely used in nearly every industry,” Robin concluded.
So, what is geospatial? It’s technology that improves our way of life through maps, 3D satellite imaging, and more. It is a career that is in demand with a massive need for women to fill roles within the space. The average entry-level starting salary in geospatial is $49,000 according to Salary.com but can vary by company, and within two years, mid-level employees earn an average of $85,000 per year. With powerful growth potential and advancement, you could climb the GIS ladder.
You do not have to have a science, tech, or math background—just a willingness to learn. Rung has partnered with Maryville University for a five-week Women in Geospatial course through the Rung for Women program. With many roles and positions needing to be filled in geospatial, the time is now to get started.