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Which countries offer comprehensive geospatial education?

The United States, United Kingdom, and Germany - the most sought after nations for innovation-oriented geospatial education programs

Geospatial industry is predominantly growing in developed nations like United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Canada. Ever wondered why these countries are the growth center of geospatial industry and innovation? Look no further because the answer lies in the geospatial institutional capacity of these countries. A vibrant geospatial industry needs a ‘geo-intelligent’ workforce, who is well-versed with geospatial technologies, spatial information, and related concepts. These requisite skills are computationally oriented and supported by a comprehensive geospatial education framework, academic institutions, and research infrastructure.

The Global Geospatial Industry Outlook, an exclusive study by Geospatial Media and Communications, studies 50 economies on the basis of their geospatial education and institutional capacity. The report also explains how geospatial technologies function within the digital platform and also the changing product landscape of the geospatial industry fabric.

In hindsight, it is not surprising that developed countries have the most enabling and geospatial institutional capacity. These countries have abundant universities that offer numerous geospatial courses that provide increasing value to students in the form of fundamental, professional and interdisciplinary courses. Also, business incubation is a crucial element of the comprehensive geospatial education framework and because these countries are a fertile ground for start-ups, the number of business incubation center in these countries is at a high.

Geospatial Education
Institutional Capacity of 50 Countries

Geospatial Education and Institutional Capacity: Key Takeaways

In the United States, the University of California has a geospatial innovation facility while the University of Illinois, University of Akron and Boston University also have incubation centers that support entrepreneurship for geospatial advancement. Simultaneously, applied science courses and research degrees (Ph.D. /M.Phil.) in core geospatial technologies and applications are high in the country. Also, since geospatial applications are widely used in almost all economic sectors, inter-disciplinary course offerings in the country for accurate application knowledge are also available in abundance. These courses provide specialised knowledge in key areas that complement geospatial science for environmental science, natural resource management, urban planning, infrastructure, etc. In perspective, United States has a strong geospatial institutional capability and is, therefore, the most sought after location for geospatial education.

Similarly, the United Kingdom and European countries like Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, etc., also offer rich and diverse geospatial courses which attract a lot of international students. The United Kingdom, for instance, offers plentiful professional courses in the geospatial domain. The professional degree courses offered are provided at the graduation and post-graduation level. In these courses, geospatial professionals are trained with the necessary understanding of project management and geospatial technical skills. These courses are intended towards equipping the students to meet the growing demand for spatial analytics, spatial data management, cartography, etc. In Europe, the European Space Agency (ESA) has set up its own incubation centers in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Sweden and France to support technical ventures that apply space technology to non-space industry fields. Germany is a strong ground for research innovation while the Netherlands, Sweden, and France offer diverse professional and inter-disciplinary courses in the geospatial domain.

The contrast, however, is interesting. While developed nations offer exciting fundamental, professional and inter-disciplinary courses to students of geospatial, developing economies and emerging economies rely heavily on vocational training offering the same in abundance.  India, for instance, has a lot of government and private universities that offer certification and diploma courses in the geospatial domain. These courses are mostly short-term diploma courses, certifications and other training courses that provide students with practical skills, as well as an understanding of how to use these skills. The reason behind vocation courses being dominant in the developing countries is because these countries have only recently begun to adopt geospatial technologies and the geospatial education programs are more focused on courses that make students job-ready quickly.

In conclusion, while developed countries focus on providing innovation-oriented geospatial courses, the developing and emerging economies focus on skill-oriented courses to make students job-ready. Do you wish to know more about the geospatial institutional capacity of your country? If yes, download the Global Geospatial Industry Outlook now!

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