What can you do with a Geography Degree?
As the first Geographic Information System analyst for Lansdale Borough, PA, Justin Smith (RU Geography Class of 2012) is taking a central role in implementing a new GIS for its municipal departments.
His work includes converting hand drawn maps of the municipal electric system, waste and storm water systems into digital maps that can be analyzed in a computer based geographic information system. These new digital maps allow utility workers to leave bulky paper maps behind and instead work with up-to-date digital maps on an Ipad.
“I enjoy creating maps that help people do their job, and to help this town work more efficiently”
Justin only had to take a few geography courses at Rutgers before realizing that he wanted to be a mapmaker. To fulfill this goal, he specialized in the Geographic Techniques track courses, which he finds very useful in his current position.
“If you study something you like, it will always take you somewhere. In the Rutgers Geography Department I learned about what you can do with GIS, and how valuable it can be for our society. This broader perspective on GIS is very useful for me in my current position”.
Justin also speaks fondly of the Rutgers Undergraduate Geography Society (RUGS). “Thanks to RUGS, I was able to go on a trip to Seattle and participate in the Association of American Geographer’s Annual Meeting 2011. It was a great experience”
Justin’s advice for current students:
- Start thinking about your future career at least a year before you graduate
- Have your resume ready when you graduate
- Prepare yourself for job interviews
- Use the resources of Rutgers career center