Education and workforce diversification are critical for future success
As global threats increase and technology advances, both industry and government face a growing need for trained geospatial imagery analysts. Whether it’s gathering data to carry out operational planning for the Ebola relief efforts in West Africa or analyzing points of interest related to terrorist activities, these jobs are essential to national security.
An ASDReports market forecast released in November predicts the GEOINT market will reach $9.7 billion in the next 10 years. However, a highly trained and skilled workforce is required for this market growth. USGIF supports a nationwide initiative to get more students in the pipeline for careers in GEOINT, and the Foundation’s accreditation of colleges and universities moves the U.S. closer to this goal. The Foundation also supports a global Universal GEOINT Credentialing program.
In recent months, the U.S. Army has made several social media pushes encouraging followers to consider careers as geospatial engineers and imagery analysts. It’s becoming increasingly clear that students entering the workforce equipped with GEOINT skills will find themselves in high demand. Not only is there a need for more geospatial analysts, but the call for women to partake in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers continues to be important.
In this image, U.S. Army National Guard Capt. Jennifer Staton, space operations officer, and Sgt. Cassandra Quinones and Pfc. Miranda Yost, geospatial engineers, use mapping software during a multi-state, large-scale natural disaster emergency response exercise. As senior intelligence leaders and academics suggest, a national emphasis on STEM and geospatial education, as well as a Community-wide focus on creating a more diverse workforce, are critical to achieving future mission success.
Featured image credit: Capt. Benjamin Gruver, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
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