Where is ‘Gen Next’ coming from?

Our guest blogger, Charles Pauka, is the Editor of Position magazine and  Spatial Source.

Today’s blog comes from Charles Pauka, the Editor of Position magazine and Spatial Source – Australasia’s source for surveying, mapping and geoinformation.

Roaming the country attending conferences and speaking to people I get the impression that the spatial industry is alive and well, but there is a growing concern about the next generation (lack of, that is) of surveyors, GIS specialists and other spatial professionals.

Following the recent CRCSI conference the final communiqué stated: “The skilled capacity problems in Australia are a widespread concern and they are getting worse. There needs to be a focus on the tertiary education sector in order to better address these capacity shortages.

“The spatial science industry has an image problem. It suffers from a lack of awareness. There is nothing new in these issues. They are well known and we do not seem to have an effective strategy yet for dealing with them.”

I am not sure if the CRCSI members talked to WASSIC attendees over the other side of the country, but they were certainly on the same wavelength. The WASSIC forum in Fremantle heard and discussed the exact same points, difficulties and possible solutions: the spatial industry’s lack of visibility in the public’s mind, how to make the industry ‘sexy’ and grab the attention of school children and young adults, and how to ensure a constant – and growing – stream of young people coming through the educational system to replace a workforce whose average age is growing every year.

It seems industry leaders have identified the problems and are working on possible solutions. What appears to be missing is a common, national forum that would pool all the effort into a comprehensive and effective program.

Until next time,

Charles Pauka

Editor, Position magazine and www.SpatialSource.com.au


2 thoughts on “Where is ‘Gen Next’ coming from?

  1. ksund

    Thanks for your feedback Kayem. At Esri Australia, we understand that accessing training can sometimes be difficult, and have significantly reduced training pricing available for not for profit and educational organisations. You can contact us on 1800 447 111 to find out if you qualify.

    Also, don’t forget that there are also some online alternatives available to the Esri GIS community. If you head to the Esri Training website at http://www.esri.com/training you can access low cost on-line training to help get you started with ArcGIS

    Kath Sund
    Manager, Training
    Esri Australia

  2. Kayem

    I think that one thing that should be considered is the cost of training courses that are available. For many people wanting to learn the costs would be prohibitive. If they’re not prohibitive for a person, it’s likely they have a job that pays them well and then you have to consider how much you’d pay them to leave it.


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