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Q.While working in IT, I’ve developed an interest in geospatial engineering. What are various career opportunities in GIS? Would I also get to work for the government? — Diwakar Rathi
A. Ever wondered how the food delivery guy makes it to your house in record time despite the dreaded traffic jams and pelting rain? The credit goes to the Geographic Information Systems.
Geospatial technology is all about assembling, storing, manipulating and displaying geographically referenced data. GIS is used just about everywhere — from digital map making, site selection, finding the best routes, solving environmental problems, exploring natural resources, urban planning and solutions for other problems.
GIS enables disaster management teams to calculate the emergency response time in the event of a natural disaster, and helps police track down criminals. It also enables nations to understand their topography and fine-tune their industrial policies.
Being a specialised field, Geospatial engineering requires a background in science. Students from agriculture, computer science, engineering, geography, geology, or IT fields can pursue MSc/MTech courses in Geospatial field and Remote Sensing. You also have the option to follow up with a PhD, Diploma and certificate courses are also available.
And yes, you’d definitely get to work for the government! Besides private companies, major employers in the GIS sector are the central and state governments as well as defence services. Job profiles in GIS range from project manager, project scientist, technical assistant, research associate, GIS environment/business analyst, GIS engineer, GIS programmer, etc.
Scouting for a no-stress career
Q.I have been diagnosed with juvenile hypertension and have been advised to opt for a non-stressful career. What are the fields open to me? — Yamini Sood
A. There is no inherent stress in any particular job, or situation for that matter. It largely depends on how we interpret what’s happening in our internal and external environment.
Agreed that some jobs like advertising, marketing, media, treasury and stock brokering, air traffic control etc, that demand adherence to strict deadlines and producing immediate results do have the potential to be stressful and anxiety creating, a lot also depends on your attitude and temperament. The same situation can be perceived as a meaningful challenge — depending on how you look at it. Also, while mild stress may be actually good as it revs up the body to perform at peak capacity, prolonged stress is definitely harmful and can lead to a number of psychosomatic problems.
However, since you have a clinically diagnosed problem, it makes sense to avoid such jobs that are real-time and mission critical. Of course, anything that you don’t enjoy doing can be equally stressful.
This does also not mean that all these fields are denied to you. Each area of work has a front end and a back end i.e., in hotels you have the front office which deals with clients who are checking in and checking out, billing and handling irate customers. And then you have the back-office jobs like HR, accounts, or maintenance which are equally important but relatively less stressful. Similarly, in airlines, an air traffic controller’s job is certainly more stressful than other ground jobs. As a matter of fact, there are a whole lot of such back-office jobs like editing, accounts, planning, designing which you could happily opt for depending on your interests, skills and aptitude.
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