If you’ve been looking at lists of STEM jobs that offer good compensation and career potential, you have noticed that a number of the same jobs appear on most of them. There are computer system architects, engineers of all kinds, programmers . . . and cartographers.
At a certain point, we realized that we actually didn’t know what cartographers do, beyond the fact that they make maps. But why is making maps a great career choice that promises a good income and long-term employment today? It sounds a bit too old-fashioned for that.
So we did some exploring and learned that modern-day cartographers are in demand by companies and organizations that are involved in the following activities:
- City planning
- Demographic analysis
- Environmental studies and planning
- Forest management
- Land-use planning
- Political analysis
- Transportation and transportation design
- Waste management and site remediation
- Water resource management and engineering
And as you would probably expect, cartographers today have discarded inkwells and drafting tables and are working exclusively on computers. It might surprise you, however, to hear that most of the computerized maps that cartographers make today are computerized models that can be sliced up, “seen” and analyzed in many different ways. Most are no longer flat printed maps that provide only an overview of the terrain.
This bigger picture of modern cartography goes a long way toward explaining why map-makers will be in demand in the months and years ahead.
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