Thursday 19th February saw our GIS Masters students involved in a Careers Workshop organised by Programme Director Bruce Gittings. Speakers were Susan Bird from the University of Edinburgh Careers Service, Liz Richardson a researcher from the School of GeoSciences, Alma Jones and Alan Bragg from the Scottish Government, Scott Krueger from Edinburgh travel success-story Skyscanner, Charles Kennelly from major GIS company ESRI-UK, David Lawton from Cheshire-based consultants Informed Solutions, and Tom Stork from the humanitarian REACH Initiative.
Several of the speakers were former graduates of the GIS programme. Liz spoke about her background including undertaking a PhD before the GIS Masters and her current work as a researcher in the modelling of health, environment and inequality. Scott discussed the importance of data to Skyscanner’s business and the value of formal database management, while Tom Stork, who had just returned from Northern Iraq, discussed the importance of GIS and mapping in terms of humanitarian aid and the relief of suffering, showing examples of refugee camp maps and safe escape routes from threatened cities.
Alma and Alan discussed their roles in the Geographical Information and Spatial Analysis Team.
David Lawton talked about consultancy and the role of the consultant, while Charles Kennelly, who is Technical Director at ESRI-UK discussed possible roles in that company but also gave useful insights into the directions of the GIS industry.
In introducing the workshop, Bruce Gittings stated that the GIS jobs market was buoyant and that students shouldn’t jump at the first job offered, as several of last years students had had multiple offers. He also explained the importance of networking, and illustrated some resources which were available to the students. He also expressed his thanks to the speakers who had taken time to contribute.