GIS has become a widely used tool for asset management. The number of users is increasing, as is the number of GIS applications available. However, the rapid growth of GIS usage has outpaced the number of students pursuing a career in the industry, which is perhaps a reflection of the small number of GIS education programs in colleges and universities.
“There is a shortage of qualified GIS professionals,” said Wadwani. “Very few universities and colleges offer GIS programs.” The formation of the Educational Outreach Committee represents another way GITA is promoting education about GIS technology, adding to efforts such as scholarship programs.
“We want to show the wide uses of GIS to teachers, students, and the public in general so that they realize how the information and technology can be applied,” said Bob Samborski, executive director of GITA. “The uses of GIS are nearly limitless, as are the opportunities to become involved with the industry itself.”
Wadwani was chosen to chair the committee because he was instrumental in the GITA Gulf Coast Chapter’s efforts to promote GIS education in the Houston area. The chapter helped establish two GIS programs at junior colleges, one doctorate-level program at a university, and several courses in GIS at elementary, junior high, and high schools.