Trouble Finding Entry-Level Job

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Creatre in Simpsonville, South Carolina

40 months ago

I'm having trouble finding an entry level job in the GIS field. I have had 3 interviews and almost got 2 of the jobs, but for one reason or another it fell through at the end. My parents are getting ancy and to be honest, I'm ready to get out of here more than them.

I have a BS in Geography with a GIS Certificate and a minor in History (May 2011 graduate). I only had a 6 month internship at the Arizona Department of Transportation where I did GIS work for them in a SDE environment.

I am applying to basically every opening online and have a decent resume/cover letter. The only places I have gotten a response from have come from school's recruiting, local jobs, or ESRI. I have not gotten a single response from any of the internet applications (100+). I am also looking for remote sensing or intelligence jobs (was hoping for the NGA). Location is not a factor, I will move anywhere which I thought was going to make this easy.

Any suggestions or advice would be awesome.

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Blake in Jacksonville, Florida

39 months ago

No doubt you've been searching gjc.org, right? I see entry level jobs there all the time in tiny towns in like, North Dakota and Missouri. Obviously not where most people want to go, but have you tried that? I can't imagine too many people apply for those.

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eklein86 in Chicago, Illinois

39 months ago

The problem is that people will not hire you for an entry level position without you living in the area. They feel bad that if things don't work out (your end or theirs), that you moved there for nothing. Trust me, I worked with a couple agencies that didn't hire people strictly for that reason.

So your option - move out to somewhere with jobs and pray you get one, or sit and do crap jobs to pay the bills until something comes up in your area or someone is willing to hire you despite moving. Personally, I took the chance and I moved before someone hired me. I took some little junk jobs doing data entry and such to bide my time until I got a real job. After a couple years, I had the experience to move back where I wanted to live (ish) and have a chance at the better jobs. GIS is a risky business - I don't think you'll ever get a job where you really want it, but you can find something in the relative area. Ex: I wanted to move back to Wisconsin to be close to family but NAVTEQ is headquartered in Chicago - Wisconsin is so over-flooded with GIS students working for nothing that I had to go to Illinois.

For you, a lot of entry jobs are on the coasts in California or near DC (MD/VA area). I'd look where a lot of entry level openings are and move to whichever one suits your interest more. Both are pretty $$ to live in city. Nothing like S. Carolina cost of living. Odds are that you'll find a job quickly and get the experience you need under your belt. You'll either come to love or hate where you live, and then you decide to go from there. I happen to love DC and CA, but flying back to the Midwest for every family event is not very affordable and not going isn't much of an option.

Good luck in your adventures!

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Blake in Jacksonville, Florida

39 months ago

Hey EKlein86, thanks. I'm in a similar position as the original poster, though I haven't graduated yet. My area has a terrible economy at the moment and I want to get out of Florida anyway, so I'm applying for jobs out of state. But your advice is interesting. Do companies look at a resume, see you're out of state, and toss it?

I have some money to move without having a job first, if necessary. It surprises me for you to say that California is a hot spot for GIS jobs...I thought their economy was worse than average and people were leaving the state. That said, I'd love to be in California. Do you have any idea what part of the state is best? Bay Area or SoCal? (Don't say Central Valley...I don't want to live in a meth desert!)

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Younged777 in Central, South Carolina

35 months ago

And I thought I was the only one in South Carolina having trouble finding an entry-level position job in GIS. Hmmm. Thanks for your advice eklein86. Looks like that's what I'm gonna have to do. Good thing I have a brother who lives somewhat near the DC area. Perhaps he can help me find a cheap run down apartment in the area while I work at Domino's whilst looking for some work in GIS up there.

I also graduated in May of 2011 with a B.S. in Geography and a minor in Journalism.
However, I may have an even bigger hurdle in my way seeing that I am now 51.

Age discrimination, I'm finding, is running rampant in the job market and I'm not getting any younger. Maybe a face lift is in order. LOL

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jp in Weedsport, New York

33 months ago

Creatre in Simpsonville, South Carolina said: I'm having trouble finding an entry level job in the GIS field. I have had 3 interviews and almost got 2 of the jobs, but for one reason or another it fell through at the end. My parents are getting ancy and to be honest, I'm ready to get out of here more than them.

I have a BS in Geography with a GIS Certificate and a minor in History (May 2011 graduate). I only had a 6 month internship at the Arizona Department of Transportation where I did GIS work for them in a SDE environment.

I am applying to basically every opening online and have a decent resume/cover letter. The only places I have gotten a response from have come from school's recruiting, local jobs, or ESRI. I have not gotten a single response from any of the internet applications (100+). I am also looking for remote sensing or intelligence jobs (was hoping for the NGA). Location is not a factor, I will move anywhere which I thought was going to make this easy.

Any suggestions or advice would be awesome.

I am in NY and it is all about who you know. People will only hire you if your in a particular area because they just don't want to be stuck paying for extra. I have only gotten a little work experience in the GIS field because employers really can teach a monkey GIS and they really want to run from people with a GIS degree especially if you don't have a clearance.I have a Associates in GIS, BS in Advanced Geospatial Applications and still can't get a job in the field. If your young join the Army or the Navy"

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jp in Weedsport, New York

33 months ago

Creatre in Simpsonville, South Carolina said: I'm having trouble finding an entry level job in the GIS field. I have had 3 interviews and almost got 2 of the jobs, but for one reason or another it fell through at the end. My parents are getting ancy and to be honest, I'm ready to get out of here more than them.

I have a BS in Geography with a GIS Certificate and a minor in History (May 2011 graduate). I only had a 6 month internship at the Arizona Department of Transportation where I did GIS work for them in a SDE environment.

I am applying to basically every opening online and have a decent resume/cover letter. The only places I have gotten a response from have come from school's recruiting, local jobs, or ESRI. I have not gotten a single response from any of the internet applications (100+). I am also looking for remote sensing or intelligence jobs (was hoping for the NGA). Location is not a factor, I will move anywhere which I thought was going to make this easy.

Any suggestions or advice would be awesome.

I am in NY and it is all about who you know. People will only hire you if your in a particular area because they just don't want to be stuck paying for extra. I have only gotten a little work experience in the GIS field because employers really can teach a monkey GIS and they really want to run from people with a GIS degree especially if you don't have a clearance.I have a Associates in GIS, BS in Advanced Geospatial Applications and still can't get a job in the field. If your young join the Army or the Navy"

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jp in Weedsport, New York

33 months ago

Creatre in Simpsonville, South Carolina said: I'm having trouble finding an entry level job in the GIS field. I have had 3 interviews and almost got 2 of the jobs, but for one reason or another it fell through at the end. My parents are getting ancy and to be honest, I'm ready to get out of here more than them.

I have a BS in Geography with a GIS Certificate and a minor in History (May 2011 graduate). I only had a 6 month internship at the Arizona Department of Transportation where I did GIS work for them in a SDE environment.

I am applying to basically every opening online and have a decent resume/cover letter. The only places I have gotten a response from have come from school's recruiting, local jobs, or ESRI. I have not gotten a single response from any of the internet applications (100+). I am also looking for remote sensing or intelligence jobs (was hoping for the NGA). Location is not a factor, I will move anywhere which I thought was going to make this easy.

Any suggestions or advice would be awesome.

I am in NY and it is all about who you know. People will only hire you if your in a particular area because they just don't want to be stuck paying for extra. I have only gotten a little work experience in the GIS field because employers really can teach a monkey GIS and they really want to run from people with a GIS degree especially if you don't have a clearance.I have a Associates in GIS, BS in Advanced Geospatial Applications and still can't get a job in the field. If your young join the Army or the Navy"

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Chris in Los Alamitos, California

28 months ago

Creatre, the job hiring here in Southern California is ALL on hold.
Lots of companies are waiting to see who wins the election. If Obama wins the gis jobs should pick-up. If Romney and the Tea-baggers win they are going to cut government and gov gis jobs. It will not be pretty.
Also, the many cities continuing to go bankrupt in California are not helping. We need MAJOR entitlement reform and fair taxes on the wealthy to balance this out. So far neither side wants to give up anything, which is not helping with price stability on homes and items and is hurting jobs.

Currently my private gis contracts have totally dried up. I have not had a real big mapping contract since January! Lot of people are just waiting to see who wins. Obamacare is really not a factor but many companies claim it is. The bottom line is ALL businesses main goals are to grow and hire. This BS can't go on forever! I personally think a lot of companies are trying their hardest to make Obama look bad by not hiring, since they want Obamacare to fail and kill outsourcing reform. They can't hold out forever. I hate large and rich companies screwing with their own country mens lives. First outsourcing and now this playing chicken crap!

I think the jobs should start picking up in September. Summer is over and school starts. Start of the business year.

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Dan in Saint Robert, Missouri

25 months ago

Creatre, I know this is a very late reply to an old thread, and I hope that things are picking up for you right now, but if not I know of a potential avenue you can take in order to advance your career. I am an instructor in the Army for the 12Y Geospatial Engineer Course (GEC). I see people come into our program all the time who have no idea what GIS is, or what exactly they signed up for. On the rare occasions where I've had the pleasure to teach people who have been exposed to GIS in college, they have performed fantastically (as can be expected). At the end of an enlistment you can expect to have the following:

1. Actual meaningful experience to put on a job resume. We generally work in 4-person teams who are responsible for all the cartography, terrain analysis, GIS products, etc. for a Brigade or Division-sized element.

2. Track record of personal responsibility. For example, at my last duty station I was signed for and maintained approximately 1.5 million dollars worth of equipment. This will certainly go on my resume once I ETS/Retire from the Army.

3. TS/SCI security clearance. The Army will pay for your clearance and is required to maintain it for as long as you hold the job. This clearance gets re-investigated every 5 years, which means you will hold your TS/SCI when you leave the army to pursue other work. This can be a big discriminator in hiring.

I'm not a recruiter or anything, just advising you or anyone else in your shoes on a route that you can take.

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Robby in Spring, Texas

11 months ago

I have looked at entry level jobs but I feel my skills are inadequate for it. In short I feel that I only know the bare bone basics which can be taught to others who are not necessarily in the GIs business, skills such as creating a cloropleth map, or a dot distribution map, quires and attribute table, and maybe a few other skills. Am I over thinking this?

Also whenever I look at jobs it seems that there is always a second feild like oil and gass that you need to know?

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