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Nicolet College - Nicolet to offer new GIS, Architectural Technology degrees this fall


Nicolet College to offer new GIS,
Architectural Technology degrees this fall

April 16, 2012
Nicolet College is offering two new academic programs this fall to give job seekers more options to enter expanding career fields.

Classes for both the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Architectural Technology associate degrees begin at the start of Fall Semester.

"We have worked with employers and discovered that demand for employees in both of these career tracks is increasing and expected to grow even more in the future," said Brigitte Parsons, dean of Trade and Industry at Nicolet.

gisThe college also worked closely with employers when designing the curriculum to make sure that the skills taught in the labs and classrooms "will align to skills that are needed for an entry level workforce in these fields, and serve as a foundation for future career advancement," Parsons added.

Fall Semester classes begin Tuesday, Sept. 4.

GIS professionals work in a wide variety of employment sectors that include land surveying, natural resources management, community planning, engineering, public health, business and banking, government, and many others.

Central to the profession is the collection of data and then the computerized mapping of this data which is then used in complex decision making.

An example project from the natural resources field would be the tracking and mapping of tree diseases. This information would then be used to formulate a plan of attack to stop or slow the spread of the disease.

In the healthcare field, an example project would be to map the percentage of residents in given areas who have heart disease. Health care providers could then use this information to better deploy medical services and health care education campaigns in the regions with the highest incidences of heart disease.

Graduates are often employed as a GIS Specialist, Project Manager, Computer Programmer, Database or System Administrator. GIS professionals working in Wisconsin can expect to earn $35,100 to $97,400 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The two-year Architectural Technology degree teaches students traditional construction design skills as well as green-oriented skills in classes that include Building Green Residential, Alternative Energy Overview, and Principles of Sustainability.

"Green construction is a clear trend in the industry," said Jeff Labs, Architectural Technology and Building Trades instructor at Nicolet. "Students who graduate from the program will have multiple skills with a new technology. This will give them a definite advantage in landing that first job after college and advancing in the field as they get more experience."

Occupations for graduates include Residential Designer, Architectural Technician, Draftsperson, Project Manager and Building Inspector. Architectural Technology professionals in Wisconsin can expect to earn $32,100 to $60,300 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Parsons said the programs are well suited for both adult learners and students entering college directly from high school.  "Nicolet College has many resources to support students at every stage in life.  We have students in every age group and every background you can imagine.  We have programs that help students build upon the skills they already possess, while expanding their breadth of knowledge in new technologies," she said.

For more information about either of these programs, visit or call the college at (715) 365-4493, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4493, or TDD 711 relay.