Fun with GIS #85: Feds Say GIS is STEM

Zounds! Feds declare GIS is STEM! This may be the biggest non-surprise since gravity, but it’s an important point. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a list of science, technology, engineering, and math (or STEM) degree programs that now specifically includes “Geographic Information Science and Cartography” among other additions. These changes will allow various high tech sectors to attract more foreign grads.



This news should also help convince many STEM folks in K-12 schools that geospatial technology does belong in their activities. Curiously, many educators with whom I’ve spoken were surprised by the notion of GIS as STEM, and many so-called STEM schools have skipped geospatial technology in their programs. The Geospatial Technology Competency Model should help clarify that.



Are there jobs in the geospatial realm? O*Net Online (sponsored by the US Dept of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, or USDOL/ETA) shows the outlook for geospatial jobs as both “bright” and “green.” What more can a school want? For CTE programs and others in STEM seeking a way to start, check out the instructional resources from Digital Quest. For more about careers in GIS, see the Esri EdCommunity Careers page.

- Charlie Fitzpatrick, Co-Manager, Esri Schools Program

Tom Baker

About Tom Baker

Tom Baker is an Esri Education Manager, specializing in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, teacher education, and educational research. He regularly publishes and presents on geospatial technologies across education.
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One Comment

  1. ericromwel1972 says:

    I think you mean GIS IS STEM. It is everything is about and more. GIS requires students to understand AND APPLY all areas of STEM. The problem I have encountered is the “Acronym” view instead of the “Concept” view of STEM. Many people see STEM as just Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Each in their own domain without touching each other. The “Concept” view advocates that STEM is about breaking down those silos and letting the good gravy of innovation flow across areas causing hybridzation and integration of knowledge.