Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

GIS students holding a drone with maps on the wall behind them

Why choose Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at PCC?


The Oregon Employment Department reports the average annual salary of GIS-skilled geographers in the Portland area is between $70,000 and $80,000.

Geography options at PCC

See all the Geography awards available at PCC.

Portland Community College’s GIS program combines cartography (mapmaking), spatial analysis, and data management to support research and inform decision making. The Geography department at PCC offers a one-year GIS certificate that combines GIS concepts, technology, and real-world experience.

The Oregon Employment Department forecasts Portland area job opportunities for GIS-skilled geographers will grow 34.4% through 2027.

GIS National Science Foundation grant

Learn about the sizeable NSF grant that was recently awarded to the GIS program.

Degrees and certificates

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Certificate: Geographic Information SystemsLess than 1 year


What will you learn?

The GIS certificate prepares you to apply GIS with a solid theoretical foundation. A diverse range of GIS skills are covered including:

  • Cartography and map design
  • Spatial analysis
  • Lidar data processing
  • 3D modeling
  • Interactive mapping
  • GIS programming
  • Field data collection
  • Unoccupied aerial systems/drones
  • Satellite Image analysis

PCC’s GIS classes use a practical, hands-on approach. You will not only learn how to use specific software, you will apply GIS using a variety of projects and methodologies. You will learn how to plan, design, and execute GIS projects through a combination of lab exercises, individual projects, and a community-based, collaborative long-term project.

What will you do?

GIS skills apply to a range of occupations including:

  • Cartographer
  • Geographer
  • Geoscientist
  • Environmental Scientist and Protection Technician
  • Photogrammetrists
  • Surveying and Mapping Technicians
  • Urban and Regional Planner

Learn about how GIS and other geospatial technologies influence the world all around you through the Geospatial Revolution series produced by Penn State University and WPSU.

Transfer to a bachelor’s degree program

After earning your GIS certificate you can transfer to one of these Oregon universities to complete a 4-year degree:

  • Portland State University
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Oregon
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Western Oregon University
  • Southern Oregon University

Next steps

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Related programs

PCC offers more than 90 programs.