Career Development Resources

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Geography, GIS & Urban Planning students

Whether you're about to start your university studies, are working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree, or are a new alum -- Here are some of the many ways that you can move forward to connect yourself with professionals and find your path towards your career. Most of these resources are free -- just add your time and ideas!

Build Skills

Build Skills

  • ASU Continuing and Professional Education - Free courses on a wide variety of topics
  • Free GIS software & online training – ASU Libraries’ Map and Geospatial Hub offers access to Esri GIS software and online training, as well as links to online training in QGIS, JMARS, Leaflet and more.  Also explore Google Earth and its mapping capabilities.

  • CourseraOnline courses developed by 190+ leading universities (including ASU) and companies. Some have a charge, but free options include themes of career development, graphic design, GIS and more.

  • Skillshare.com – Resource for lessons on design, illustration, photography, business analytics and more. Free classes

  • Linkedin Learning (formerly Lynda.com) - Video courses with an emphasis on technology and business. Requires a subscription fee, but available for free through many public libraries (For example, Chandler Public Library offers free access to Maricopa County, AZ residents)

Join a professional organization

Join a professional organization

Why join a professional organization?  You can gain exposure to the latest initiatives and ideas, and meet professionals. Consider volunteering to help!

Learn from Professionals

Learn from Professionals

For examples of geography, GIS and urban planning careers, and more advice from professionals, visit our Careers in Geography, Careers in GIS and Careers in Urban and Environmental Planning pages.

Finesse your Resume

Finesse your Resume

A resume is the first tool in an internship or job search. Here are some resources:

Create a Digital Portfolio

Create a Digital Portfolio

A portfolio is a living and changing collection of records that highlights and showcases samples of your best work, along with life experiences, values and achievements.  A digital portfolio can be a useful tool in marketing yourself to employers, to professionals that you'd like to interact with, or to colleges and universities where you'd like to pursue a degree.

  • What is a digital portfolio? What should I include?  Look here!
  • Here are portfolio tools that are free to ASU students and alums: Digication or Google sites.  

  • In Digication, start with an easy-to-use SGSUP Template designed especially for our students!  Here's a preview of the template, and here's how to work with it:
    1. Create: Follow the “Create a Portfolio from Scratch” Instructions found here: Create a Digital Portfolio, and search for template “SGSUP."
    2. Customize: Add, edit, and remove pages, add text and media, upload files, record video, and design the portfolio to your liking.  Find how-to videos and lists at Digital Portfolio Help Resources.
    3. Publish: When you first create your portfolio, it will be private -- visible only to you.  Once you've added content and customized the portfolio to your liking, change your Privacy Settings to “Public." Now you can share your url with potential employers, admission committees, or any other organizations that would be interested to know your professional story!

Build Your Professional Presence with LinkedIn

Build Your Professional Presence with LinkedIn

Volunteer

Volunteer

  • Many nonprofits could benefit from expertise that you have -- whether creating a map, gathering or analyzing data, or finding new ways to reach out to community members.  Find an organization that advocates for something you’re passionate about, and reach out to them. For example, a GIS student helped a local conservation organization analyze their membership, producing a report on how and where membership had grown.  A planning student worked with a nonprofit to understand the process of organizing an annual community event, and wrote up a handbook that will allow groups in other locations to host similar events. Not sure what organizations exist in your community?  You can find out a great deal from a web search; and Idealist.org or  Volunteer Match may provide additional ideas. This could develop into a for-credit internship, too!

  • Professional organizations can also use help from students. Volunteering with a professional organization is a great way to build connections with professionals, while you build skills. Check out a list of planning/GIS and geography organizations in the previous section of this page. Our school also hosts student organizations that offer great professional development opportunities!

  • GISCorps, sponsored by the professional organization URISA, coordinates short-term, volunteer-based GIS services to communities in need worldwide.  You can learn about the initiative at https://www.giscorps.org/, and can apply to become a volunteer at https://www.giscorps.org/become-a-volunteer/

  • Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team is an international group dedicated to humanitarian action and community development through open-source mapping. Learn the basics of OpenStreetMap; then volunteer on any HOT project. Connect with YouthMappers ASU to meet other students involved in this initiative.

TIP: If you volunteer, keep a record of the hours you spend and your responsibilities. These hours can contribute to 'experience' requirements for government jobs especially, and jobs of any kind!