In Part 1, I posted a line of questioning I received from a soon-to-graduate geography major. You’ll want to go back and read Part 1 if you haven’t already because otherwise my response may not make sense. My response is in 3 parts: (1) summer suggestions, (2) hitting the job market next year, and (3) long-term (3-5 years) career positioning. In today’s post I’ll cover summer suggestions.
- Can you do an independent study class where you learn some database technology like SQL Server (cost of developer license is nominal) or MySQL (free) and also learn some R and work a few hours a week stitching together .shp files?
- Do it all if you can manage, but limit the .shp file work – they would most likely just be taking advantage of your need for experience in exchange for grunt work. Maybe 10 hours a week or something so you can still list it as a legit internship but don’t have to slave doing advanced data entry all summer.
- For the database piece try to come up with a real-world project that would be interesting to you that will force you to learn a few things about being a geospatial database administrator.
- Same thing for the R piece – can you find a relatively simple project that will give you a taste for the spatial statistician route and use R to conduct the data analysis?
- You should probably combine the two to get more bang for your buck. I might be able to come up with an idea for a project. If you’re interested, leave a comment and I’ll get in touch.
- Keep it simple and FINISH. The project doesn’t have to be fancy, just something involving real data, some basic analysis and a presentation of the results (with maps and data graphics). The key is to finish the project and create something for a portfolio.