GIS Program Offers Students a Degree in a Rapidly Growing Industry

Joliet Junior College’s geographic information systems (GIS) program is one of the newest programs serving a rapidly growing field. 

GIS utilizes geospatial technology to address social and environmental issues. Students will learn cartographic design, remote sensing, project management and system implementation.  

Graduates of the program will earn either an Associate of Applied Science or a Certificate of Completion in GIS Fundamentals

Elena Sukeviciute-Maksimavicius
Elena Sukeviciute-Maksimavicius

Elena Sukeviciute-Maksimavicius, an international student from Lithuania, came to JJC to earn her GIS certificate.  

“I was excited to find geographic information systems classes at Joliet Junior College where I could continue to improve my skills and knowledge previously gained at Vilnius University in Lithuania,” said Sukeviciute-Maksimavicius. “The professors at JJC were great. They brought real world experience, and real-life situations to textbook lessons.”  

JJC’s program is unique because it is a direct result of industry professionals working with the college to develop the curriculum, ensuring that what is taught in the classroom meets the needs of employers.  

“JJC’s GIS program was developed by professionals in the Will County area who work for both private and public sectors. This grassroots program was built by local professionals who use GIS applications and data on a day-to-day basis to help make our municipal operations more efficient, and our communities safer,” said GIS program coordinator Tim Bette. 

Sukeviciute-Maksimavicius is an intern with a local company, Ruettiger, Tonelli & Associates, Inc., where she’s out in the field surveying, locating utilities and mapping. 

Elena surveying in the field

“The GIS classes I took at Joliet Junior College provided me experience that I used as an intern this summer. As a GIS intern I gained more knowledge and professional experience doing real work, using the background and tools learned at JJC,” she said.  

Job opportunities can be found in many industries, including environmental science, government, agriculture, engineering, criminal justice, public safety, construction and more. 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) states that this field is in high demand and is expected grow by 24% by 2024. According to the IDES, the average hourly wage for GIS workers is $34.67 in Illinois.  

“I am looking forward to future employment opportunities and continuing my GIS education at Joliet Junior College,” said Sukeviciute-Maksimavicius. 

For more information about the GIS program, please contact Tim Bette at 815-280-2612 or tbette@jjc.edu. 

For media inquiries, contact JJC Communications and Media Coordinator Scott Harvey at 815-280-2844 or sharvey@jjc.edu.