A career in GIS can take you where you want to go. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is used to manage and utilize geographic data, and is widely recognized as an essential tool in such diverse fields as forest management, urban planning, engineering, municipal management, business, and environmental studies.
Geospatial technology use is growing at a rapid pace around the world and exciting opportunities for well educated and trained people are increasing. Whether you are a recent university or college graduate getting started in a career, or an experienced professional seeking new employment opportunities or career advancement, BCIT’s Bachelor of Technology in GIS degree provides excellent opportunities for career enhancement and professional growth.
This program will appeal to graduates from many areas — for example: Environmental Management. Public Health. Land Use Planning. Engineering. Natural Resource Management. Transportation. Real Estate. Utilities. Business and Marketing. Mineral Exploration — who wish to learn how to integrate GIS technology in their profession.
NOTE: The GIS Department has compiled a list of frequently asked questions [PDF] to help you decide which BCIT GIS option is best for you.
Missed an info session?
If you’ve missed a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) information session, the full video is now available. Note: This information session was held May 21, 2020 and topics discussed in this session are subject to change without notice.
Building perspective banner image came from a BCIT GIS alumni working at Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. in Burnaby
Program outcomes (for Advanced Diploma and Bachelor of Technology)
- Develop GIS spatial and non-spatial databases which serve the needs of a specific organization or project, following international standards as necessary, for local, WAN, or web deployment.
- Develop new GIS systems and procedures for local, WAN, or web deployment, using COTS software, open source software, and custom programming.
- Use GIS technology, programming languages, and computer aided software engineering tools to design and program GIS and database applications, and customize other computer applications.
- To have detailed knowledge of how to use specialized GIS technology and analysis techniques to enter, display, update, and manipulate spatial information.
- Manage spatial information systems and assist in the development of Internet-based GIS and business applications on smart phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
- Compare and assess COTS and open source software, and hardware for their suitability in handling common GIS applications, and plan the acquisition of GIS technology for enterprise deployment.
- Integrate non-GIS external software or datasets (such as spreadsheets, databases, and statistical packages) with GIS desktop, web/cloud, and wireless applications.
- To review and respond to Requests for Proposals, conduct cost-benefit analysis, prepare budgets, and manage GIS project teams.
- Know how to follow problem solving methodologies to break down large tasks into manageable pieces following a logical order, and to think critically and solve spatially-oriented problems.
- Use educational technology and self-directed study to enhance professional currency.
- Have a broad understanding of infrastructure components of GIS, including networks, software, data portals, cloud storage, smartphone/tablets, and spatialized databases.
- Have a basic understanding of the techniques in primary data acquisition using CAD, softcopy photogrammetry, and surveying.
- Have a basic understanding of cartographic techniques and principles.
Additional program outcomes for Bachelor of Technology
- Train and provide technical support for GIS users in all aspects of data input and analysis, application development, selection of hardware, GIS software and databases.
- Apply basic principles of business, financial and human resource management.
- Work effectively in cross-functional teams.
- Apply learned skills in a GIS work environment.
- Be skilled in logical analysis, critical reading, understanding moral principles and theories, and theories of conflict resolution.
- Show breadth of knowledge outside of GIS, that crosses disciplines.
Graduating & Jobs
When you graduate from the program, you will have completed one of the best educations in GIS technology available anywhere and be ready for the workforce.
A career in GIS can open a lot of doors. Opportunities exist in all parts of the private and public sectors, and in all sorts of application areas.
The majority of GIS graduates are working for either private industry (forestry, GIS vendors, natural resource exploration, computer systems) consulting companies (environmental, engineering, forestry, mapping, scanning, and software) or government agencies (municipal, provincial, federal). The graduates are developing GIS databases, using GIS to analyze data and predict the result of planned changes, managing GIS projects, planning the acquisition of GIS technology, developing GIS custom systems and training GIS users.
Faculty, Advisors & Staff
GIS Faculty are dedicated, energetic and knowledgeable, and have both GIS industry experience and formal schooling. The Department also utilizes instructors from the BCIT Geomatics Department, as well as sessional instructors from industry.
The Geographic Information Systems program benefits from the combined expertise of educational and industry professionals who form our program Advisory Committee. Their valued input and liaison with BCIT have helped ensure the relevance and currency of the program. We would like to acknowledge their continuous support for the success of the program.
Mike Hill, Program Head/Faculty
Carmen Heaver, Part-Time Studies Coordinator/Faculty
BSc, DiplT(GIS), MSc(GISc)
Rob Hewlett, Faculty
BSc, DiplT(GIS), MSc(CIS)
Kim Hopkins, Faculty
Josh MacDougall, Faculty
Chris Wright, Faculty
B. App. Tech GIS
Dee Morita, Program Assistant
- N. Ali, CBRE Canada
- P. Bates, District of West Vancouver
- O. Blasig, GE Energy
- J. Clark, Spatial Vision Group
- M. Doherty, ESRI Canada Ltd.
- K. Hayne, City of Vancouver
- C. Huntington, City of Burnaby
- W. Johnstone, Spatial Vision Group Inc. (Chair)
- H. Lee, RCMP
- C. Lim, Acuere Consulting
- S. Mak, BC Centre for Disease Control
- J. Paillard, Stornoway Diamond Corp.
- G. Singh, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources
- M. Stoakes, SAFE Software
- R. Taylor, Kerr Wood Leidal
The BCIT GIS Bachelor of Technology degree (B.Tech) or Advanced Diploma Program (ADP) can be completed entirely via online learning. The BCIT GIS Advanced Certificate is only offered via online learning.
Apply to the BCIT GIS AdvCert, GIS ADP or GIS B.Tech program as a part-time student. You can apply anytime. You are a part-time student as you will not attend BCIT campus, and you will take at least two years to complete all the online AdvCert or ADP courses, or the online technical courses component of the B.Tech. Note: you can only complete these courses in one year if you are a full-time BCIT campus student.
Contact Carmen Heaver to setup your online course schedule after you have submitted your application.
Register for each of your required courses following your course schedule. You may register for introductory level courses before your application is approved. You will be permitted to register into advanced courses with approval from our program assistant, who will check that you are accepted into the program and have completed any prerequisite courses.
Tuition fees are per course. You may be able to reduce the cost by applying for transfer credit if you have already completed a course at another post-secondary institution that has equivalent learning outcomes to a BCIT GIS program course and if that course was not used as part of your GIS AdvCert, ADP or GIS B.Tech. application credit requirements. You might also have an income from a part-time job while studying and may also receive some tuition support from an employer. Note that tuition fees usually increase each year by approximately 2%.
Access You’ll use BCIT’s online learning platform, to listen to lectures, connect to the BCIT computer servers, use GIS software, complete GIS software assignments just as you would in a BCIT campus computer lab, discuss questions with other class members, connect with your instructor in virtual office hours when the instructor can help with problems and demonstrate software or access your computer to help you. Lab assignments are completed through accessing an on-demand web application so you can use a MAC, Windows or UNIX operating system machine.
You probably want to study online because you do not live near the BCIT Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada campus and do not want to relocate, or you have a job and want to study part-time. You like to have flexible study hours.
Please check our Frequently Asked Questions [PDF] for more information.
Any additional questions about completing the GIS program online, please contact Carmen Heaver or call 604-432-8378.
Please see FAQs [PDF] for more details or contact Program Advising if you have questions about:
- Application process
- Entrance requirements
- Applying for transfer credit and advanced placement
- Program costs
- Job placement and graduate outcomes
email@example.com | 604-434-1610
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