Geographic Information Systems - Applications Specialist

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Take a virtual tour of the GIS wing. The tour was created as a GIS Collaborative Project by a team of three GIS students.

September 2021

Availability: Accepting Applications
Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate ( 3 semesters )
Classes begin:
September 07, 2021
Offered at:
Frost Campus
Program code:
Sem 1 Delivery:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
$2,299.51 per semester*
$8,138.19 per semester*
*Tuition amounts are from the 2020-2021 academic year and are subject to change.
Complete tuition detail below

The Geographic Information Systems Application Specialist is the "wizard" who provides technical expertise to produce effective and useful plans and project reports through the applied use of technology.

Program Highlights

GIS Application Specialists help various agencies and government do effective planning to manage all aspects of the environment and community life. For example, you might work on natural resources, agriculture, or community health projects. You'll be collecting information, and then distilling it to be put into a form that specialists and technicians can use.

  • In this post-graduate, intensive GIS program you will use current, high-end technology tools to collect, store, manipulate, analyze, interpret, and communicate geographic information within a variety of disciplines.
  • Fleming's leadership in this field has been recognized by industry, government and business through their support in establishing the Geomatics Institute at Fleming.
  • These outstanding partnerships offer students access to the latest computer hardware, software, data resources and field technology used in the industry today, as well as unprecedented learning and employment opportunities.
  • You will have plenty of opportunities to practice your skills in a work-like setting, with a student to computer ratio of one-to-one.

Please note: This program is 10 months duration.

Not sure which of our two GIS Ontario College Graduate Certificate programs is right for you?

The common first semester in the GIS Applications Specialist and GIS Cartographic Specialist programs gives you a good overview and understanding of the technologies and diverse skills particular to careers in these fields. Subject to enrolment capacity, you can pursue specialized study in the program of your choice in semester two.

In addition to acquiring a hands-on, firm foundation using GIS technology tools, you will have many opportunities to build on your teamwork, team building, project management, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Since employers are seeking these broad-based transferrable skills, this experience working in technology teams will give you an edge in the workplace.

This three-semester program starts in September with a 15-week semester ending in December, continues in January with another 15-week semester ending in April, and concludes with a seven-week semester starting in May and ending in June.

Why Choose Fleming

Our track record and our constant evolution to provide the latest in technology and quality teaching are two very good reasons to consider Fleming's Geographical Information Systems Application Specialist program. Fleming was the first college to offer GIS training in Ontario, and has been doing so for over 20 years - all other college GIS programs have only been established in the last few years. We're constantly upgrading and changing our program to suit the current and future demands of the field. For instance, new courses in remote sensing, web applications and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for spatial data are included in the curriculum. As well, graduates of this program receive an Ontario College Graduate Certificate - a credential that recognizes the comprehensive and advanced level of study required in this program.

Opening a World of Opportunities

The GIS - Applications Specialist program is also now available completely online. Students use web conferencing software to "attend" the same classes as students at our Frost Campus in Lindsay.

Work Experience

You'll spend a significant part of your time in the program doing experiential work - putting theory into practice. A co-operative GIS project in the final semester involves cross-disciplinary teams from the GIS Applications Specialist and Cartographic Specialist programs working together on a project for a business, government, or industry client.

Is this You?

Knowing your way around a computer, hardware and software, is definitely high on the list of skills you need to succeed in this field. You should also possess the following:

  • interest in ongoing education and upgrading
  • creativity
  • perseverance (there are many challenges)
  • willingness to work hard (a 40 - 60 hour work week in the program)
  • energy and persistence
  • analytical skills
  • problem solving ability

Career Opportunities

Canadian Business recently published an article on "Canada’s Best Jobs." The article states:

"The explosion of big data and the growing need for location-aware hardware and software has led to a boom in the field of mapping," concluding that this field is "…poised for growth, with the highest projected demand among the top 20 jobs."

Read the article

As a graduate, the future looks bright with your expertise in big data. There's a consistently high placement rate within six to 12 months of graduating from the GIS - Applications Specialist program, and opportunities for advancement. On graduation, when combined with your previous education/work experience, you could work in positions as diverse as GIS programmer/analyst, applications specialist/consultant, ecosystem IT manager, utilities manager, database manager, GIS systems operator, and land information manager. The options for career change are strong. You can go back to your previous profession and apply your GIS studies there, or make a move into a new career.

Trent University

You can obtain a Trent University Honours Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts Degree in either Geography or Environmental Science/Studies and a Geographical Information Systems Ontario College Graduate Certificate in four years, with the third year spent studying at Fleming College. In other words, get both qualifications in four years - instead of five. For details, see Trent/Fleming Joint Degree, Geographical Information Systems Special Emphasis.

School of Military Mapping, Mapping and Charting Establishment of the Canadian Armed Forces

If you are a graduate of the Geomatics Technician program from the School of Military Mapping, Mapping and Charting Establishment of the Canadian Armed Forces, at the QL5 Level, you are eligible to apply for advance standing into the second semester of the three-semester Geographic Information Systems - Applications Specialist or Geographic Information Systems - Cartographic Specialist graduate certificate programs. For complete details see Transfer Credit Articulation Agreement.

Other computer related programs that might be of interest to you include GIS - Cartographic Specialist.

Additional Costs

Plan on spending $1000 for books and supplies.

Minimum Admission Requirements

Students applying to Geographic Information Systems - Applications Specialist must meet the following requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree or Ontario College diploma in a related field or equivalent

Applicants who do not meet the requirements listed above who possess a combination of education and relevant experience may be considered on an individual basis.

Recommended (but not required for admission)

  • Since GIS is a field of study that makes extensive use of computer hardware and software technology, students entering the GIS-Applications Specialist program must be familiar with computers. While not required, advantageous skills include: introductory level statistics, or finite mathematics, database and computer programming experience.

Technology Requirements

Latest version of windows running on hardware that meets or exceeds the recommended specifications by ESRI for ArcGIS Pro. The latest recommended and optimal configuration can be found on the ArcGIS Pro system requirements page.

Tuition Detail

Tuition and ancillary fees are subject to change without notice. The fees presented below reflect Fall start programs only for the current academic year. For details about the fee differences for other program start dates please refer to the below.

Transfer Agreements

You may be able to use credits obtained at Fleming College to continue your postsecondary education in pursuit of a degree. The articulation and credit transfer agreements with our partner institutions are summarized below.

Vancouver Island University

  • Minimum B cumulative program average.
  • Bachelor's degree in any discipline.
  • Review the articulation agreement for further details.
  • The program is offered as a blended face-to-face or entirely online.
Transfer Credit
  • Entry into 2nd-year studies of a 2-year program.
  • Refer to the articulation agreement for further details.

To apply please see the EducationPlannerBC website.

For more information
Visit the Vancouver Island University website for further articulation and program information.

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