Tracking GIS&T Degrees vs. Workforce

And another thing, told in simple terms from this landing-page image you too can create from this Data USA site.  That number of degrees awarded in 2016 (1,923, which they measure as growing at 5.31%). In 2013, they calculated that there were 1,419 GIS&T degrees granted.

BUT, the “people in the workforce” number, 3.63 million, comes from a much larger group of graduates: all of those considered to have degrees in the “social sciences.” That is not a very helpful way for us to track GIS&T graduates!  We really have no good or confident sense of where graduates are ultimately getting jobs. Tracking recent graduates is notoriously difficult, and I can personally attest to that.

Is our supply of GIS&T graduates well aligned, in quantity and quality, with the actual jobs that they want to go into and that they’re qualified to go into?  A $64,000 question, or if you believe this figure, a $90,421 dollar question (which is ALSO using data from “Social Sciences”!).

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Treasure of data access for GIS&T domain

I was about to jump into my regularly scheduled workday when I came across this data visualization tool for educational statistics, whose primary sources are EXACTLY the same ones that I’d been exploring yesterday. How weird is that. And that they had data about “Geographic Information Science & Cartography” at the 6-digit level (much more specific), much more interesting than what they consider its default “comparison” group, “social sciences” at the 2-digit level.

The measurements of “skills” for GIS&T showed a tremendous revealed comparative advantage (RCA) for negotiation, critical thinking, coordination, plus many management of (time/material resources/financial resources) ones. Complex problem solving is the only one that’s also high from another group of skills. RCA is “how much greater or lesser that skill’s rating is than the average,” which I guess means the average rating for that skill for other employment areas (?).  It’s not a surprise that these are high, but it it is interesting that programming and technology design have such a little RCA for us.

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Data from O’NET, Department of Labor.

And then there are the tree diagrams of the number of degrees awarded themselves. What’s not very helpful are how they’ve lumped things together into the shaded groups. There is much diversity within each group when you scan across the yellowish ones and the hospital-scrubs-green ones. Like in 2013 when both Texas State University and University of Maine at Machias (hi Tora) are both in the yellow set.  Orange-shaded ones seem to consistently be the community college set.

For the year 20132013 Tree Map of Institutions for Geographic Information Science & Cartography Majors

and for the year 2016:

2016 Tree Map of Institutions for Geographic Information Science & Cartography Majors

Much to explore further here and how lovely that we can download the data themselves. Thank you, open government.

ArcGIS and Jerry Garcia

Who remembers that fun Easter egg that light-hearted Esri programmers slipped into ArcMap back in the early-mid 2000s, back in the ArcGIS 8x days?  Add a new shapefile to a new map, start editing, then type J-E-R-R-Y.  Would never get past the marketing folks these days. Sigh. Can’t a mapper have any fun anymore?

geospatial Professional Certification options

OGC, the Open Geospatial Consortium, is hosting a survey to collect thoughts on OGC-related Professional Certifications. I’m a huge fan of the mission of OGC and its methods as well, and to allow someone to earn a credential in this area should increase the likelihood of advancing towards greater adoption and implementation. Being anxious about credentials – designed and managed and articulated-well – is short-sighted.

London 5: Food, Entertainment, Music

Post-Ireland, post-Lake District, post-visitors, some regular living in London weeks.

Last night after the show at Royal Albert Hall, I experimented with the time-lapse functionality of my iPhone camera. I held the phone during the 40′ trip from RAH to home (via 3 different tube trains). Ended up being 23 seconds long and liable to give someone motion sickness (YouTube link).

Ireland 5: Inishmor, largest of the Aran Islands

Aran Islands have always meant to me beautiful cabled sweaters. Now I’ll forever associate the name with the patterns of rock walls (and sweaters as well).

Ireland 4: Galway

It was supposed to be a blustery and rainy day, with the end of “Storm Brian” affecting western Ireland. I have no faith in weather reports, and leave it up to the universe. Almost always not as bad as they say it’ll be.