I originally wanted to study land surveying and GIS but some recent threads got me thinkng.


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A lot of you fine folks say that I should couple my GIS education with something else. It is a sentiment I agree with, but I am having a hard time deciding where to focus my efforts.

I am not sure how well I can learn programming on my own. I am considering going for a minor in computer science, but it would require me to build up my math skills. I am somewhat worried about this because of the time and money associated. on the other hand I can try and learn on my own. I am familiar with computers and have written small scripts for games, but nothing serious.

My other options include a land surveying certificate or an earth sciences (basically geology) minor. These will also require me to build up my math skills, but not quite as much.

Do you think I will be marketable with education in land surveying/geology, or should I bite the bullet and go for computer science?

Also, if I do learn programming on my own, how do I convey my knowledge to an employer. I feel like putting. Self-taught programmer on my resume might raise some red flags for a future employer.

Thanks in advance.

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Welcome to the forum.

You realize your asking for career advice on a drone forum?  So as it relates the the UAV industry, think of the drone as a hammer, or any other tool used in a profession.  Its a tool that can augment your career but not become your career.  There are a lot of variables that only you can answer, how old you are, where your located, are you willing to relocate, do you have a family to support, which is more important to you - money or quality of life, etc.. 

Some of my best employees are self educated.  Public education in California is so sporadic and a college degree so expensive that intelligent students have had to find ways to enhance their education on their own so although it's more accepted I don't think it become the norm amongst employers.

Remote sensing and GIS are relatively new, together they represent considerable opportunity. If this is the direction your heading, consider how UAVs might play a role in your career.  UAV's extend the reach of surveyors by providing accurate information that's scaleable.  You might want to consider more education that would help you improve the use case of a drone, math, Physics, or computer science.  Another area where UAVs excel is in Environmental Sciences.   

Only you can balance how much effort, money and quality of life your willing to sacrifice for an education.  I could just give you that tired platitude "If you do something you love you'll never work a day in your life." Or "Work smatter not harder."  If you want to have a good career your going to have to do both.   

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