Careers

HS2 GIS Technician

Is an HS2 Technician career right for me?

Do you enjoy geography and looking at what’s going on in the environment around you? Are you an analytical thinker, able to spot patterns and trends in data? Can you work methodically to produce the best work possible? Are you good at communicating and working with lots of different people? Do you love using technology? Then a career in GIS could be for you.

Advantages and disadvantages of being a GIS Technician

One of the fun parts of working in GIS is that it is such a powerful tool, and can be useful to so many people who are working on HS2. You can get involved in lots of different projects and get to know lots of people from across the organisation, which expands your knowledge ona range of subjects no end!

Working in GIS also gives you the opportunity to be innovative and think about things in new ways. The GIS industry is booming and technology is getting smarter – this means you can receive a project and see what could be done differently and more efficiently.

One of the challenges of working in GIS is that lots of important decisions about the HS2 project are made based on GIS data. This means there is a lot of pressure on your work to be completely accurate, or else something could go really wrong. You also might need to challenge senior managers on their decisions based on your work and data, which can be scary! However, it is great to know that your area of work has so much value to building an iconic railway project.

Useful skills and entry qualifications

The following skills are very useful:

  • Good analytical skills to understand and interpret complex data and pick out the key patterns and trends.
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to work with lots of different people in a large organisation.
  • The ability to work under pressure and work methodically to produce high quality work that will be used to make key decisions.
  • You must be good with technology and have experience of using specific computer software relating to GIS.

To work in this role, is it useful to have:

  • Experience of working in geography or the environmental sector. The Environment Agency provide work experience placements to students who are studying a relevant degree and who are keen on pursuing a careers in GIS. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency/about/recruitment
  • An interest in finding out more about the world around us, and using that information to help people make important decisions.

What qualifications do you need to be an HS2 GIS Technician?

To be a GIS Technician, you will usually need to have a degree in geography, environmental science, engineering or another relevant subject. It is important that you look out for courses which offer GIS as part of the course content. Some universities also offer Master’s courses specifically in GIS. However, the Environment Agency also offer foundation degree training programmes in River and Coastal Engineering, which will give you an insight into GIS https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency/about/recruitment.

Good subjects to study at school include: geography, sciences, engineering, information technology, and maths.

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What is the workplace of an HS2 GIS Technician like?

The role is mostly office-based, but may require some visits to different areas along the route to gain a first-hand perspective of the geography of the land.

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