How Do I Become a Spatial Analyst?

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh
Woman posing
Woman posing

There are four steps necessary to become a spatial analyst: getting a post-secondary education, acquiring experience in research or a related field, applying for a job, and undergoing the job interview process. Once hired, continuing education is necessary to stay abreast of the newest technology in the field. A four-year undergraduate degree is an acceptable level of education for some positions, but most employers prefer candidates with a master's degree in spatial analysis. Experience in the field can be obtained through internships, research, and on-the-job training in lower-level positions.

People who have logical minds, critical thinking skills, and good organization are best-suited to become a spatial analyst. Spatial analysts use software and mapping to find locations for facilities and transportation, as well as to analyze trends such as disease and poverty. Having an understanding of statistics is extremely important in this field, as well as having attention to detail and the ability to focus on data for hours at a time.

The first step to become a spatial analyst is to complete an undergraduate degree. There are programs available in spatial analysis in the department of geography at many colleges and universities. It is possible for individuals to get a job with only an undergraduate degree, but certain positions require more education. A master's or doctoral degree in spatial analysis is needed for positions such as college instructor, facility supervisor, and advanced spatial analyst.

During school, individuals should focus on using the skills being learned by working in geographic research labs. Another option is to obtain off-site internships in the field. This provides a student with knowledge regarding the application of the complicated statistical tools and mapping software he or she has learned to use in the classroom.

Job listings can be found through geographical organizations, government offices, and colleges and universities. Once a job has been identified, it is necessary to go through the application process to become a spatial analyst. This requires a current resume, references, and a cover letter stating the applicant's career goals. This information is an important part of getting hired to become a spatial analyst, so make sure spelling and grammar are correct.

After you've submitted the application, you may get an interview. It is important for applicants to dress professionally and remain calm during the process. Once selected for a position, you'll begin on-the-job training to help you "learn the correct systems and processes for the organization.

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