Build Your Future in Geography
When researchers and philosophers started trying to understand the human experience, they divided their study into two parts: the things of our world (geos) and the things not of our world (cosmos). Geography is the study of our world, the human experience of it, and our physical environment.
In addition to offering geography classes, this department offers two certificates in geographic information systems (GIS), a rapidly growing field that focuses on the mapping and visualization of geographic data for use in everything from business planning to marketing and sales. Any time your mobile device or computer provides information based on your geographic location, it is using GIS technology.
The GIS Certificate Program provides students with skills necessary for entry-level jobs in the rapidly growing GIS field. This certificate program is the first general-purpose GIS certificate approved by the California State Chancellor’s Office.
Cypress College’s in-depth GIS courses provide hands-on training that covers the latest developments in everything from drone technology to the newest ArcGIS Pro software while equipping students with the knowledge and experience they need to be successful in the world of GIS.
Additionally, the GIS – Marketing Certificate Program combines the latest computer graphics and marketing research methods, and teaches students how to use computerized GIS mapping techniques in the field of marketing.
Students who complete these certifications will have skills in the following areas:
- Map elements
- Spatial Analysis
- Use of advanced functions of GIS tools
- Understanding GIS data types
- Ability to translate or convert data from external GIS file types.
- Ability to perform research to find and download external GIS data.
- Understanding of and ability to prepare metadata.
- Database Management
- Relational Database Management
- Structured Query Language
- Ability to operate GIS-related hardware and associated peripheral devices, such as GPS units, plotters, digitizers, and scanners.
- General Skills
- Basic understanding of Microsoft Windows operating system and ability to use standard office software
- Proper use of grammar and spelling
- Oral and written language skills
- Ability to work independently
- Understanding of how to seek out peer support to answer technical questions
- Programming and Scripting Languages
- Knowledge of Python
- Ability to script repetitive tasks
Frequently Asked Questions
Students may earn certificates, an associate degree, or an associate degree for transfer in geography, as well as a geographic information system certificate in marketing.
The large GIS certificate takes 2 to 3 semesters and the associate degree take a minimum 4 semesters.
The program cost is $46 per unit for California residents, not including books, fees, and supplies. Units vary by course, but the average is three units per course. Unit fees for the 15-unit certificate would be $690, the 27-unit certificate would be $1,242, and the 60-unit associate degree which would be $2,760. Most students also qualify for some form of financial aid.
Students can find employment as a surveyor or a drone operators. The median starting salary is $37,029 and goes up to $60,312 after two years.
Students have career options in many industry sectors doing everything from surveying and flying drones to building applications for technology companies.
Having taught Geography and GIS classes for the past eight years my passion for the discipline has only burned brighter than ever before. During that time I have also been employed full-time in the field of Geography and GIS.
I like to consider myself a “Jack of All Trades.” I love aspects of different sciences and disciplines. At the core of geography is relating humans to the environment in which they live and the patterns that result from this interaction. So for someone, like me, who likes to bring together different sciences a holistic discipline like geography is a perfect fit.