Spring 2012

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents 

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair

DNR Garmin Evolves to DNRGPS
MnDOT Tracks Invasive Bittersweet
2010 Population Maps
More Economic Data 
Water Trails Maps

Twin Cities GECCo Report

Higher Education
Nat'l Historical GIS Updates 
Dangermond Lecture 
Trade Centers 
GIS Day at UM-Duluth

URISA Salary & Tech Survey




Hot Software and Technology
By Will Craig, University of Minnesota

URISA has just published its latest Salary Survey for IT/GIS Professionals.  It is based on a survey of 10,022 people in 2010.  The primary objective was to collect data about IT/GIS positions and salaries.  The average salary is listed at $61,540, but this ranges from $39,630 for a GIS Technician to $82,656 for GIS Directors.  URISA has conducted such surveys in 1988, 2000, 2003, and 2006.  In addition to salary data, the URISA survey collects data about computer skills and requirements. 
The MnGIS/LIS Consortium also conducts salary surveys.  These surveys give us a better picture of the salary picture in Minnesota.  Our most recent effort was the 2009 Minnesota GIS Profession and Salary Survey.  We heard from 242 people from across the state.  Our survey caught more people in the lower job classes.  Our average salary was just $55,000, but we had comparable salaries in each job class compared to URISA’s 2010 national survey.  Clearly the two surveys are compatible.
The MnGIS/LIS survey has stopped asking questions about current technology, leaving it to URISA’s survey to handle those.  In an earlier issue of this newsletter (Spring 2009) we reported the 2006 Technology Skills from the URISA Salary Survey of that year and noted significant changes from 2003.  There are fewer changes this year.  For each category, I list the top 4-6 products.
Software proficiency.  Esri products lead the way.  ArcGIS 9.x (71.7%), ArcGIS 10.x (66.8%), SDE/GeoDatabase (44.6%), ESRI Extensions–Network Analyst, 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst (43.6%), ArcGIS Server (38.7%), and ArcPad (26.8%).  ArcGIS 9.x had been the leader in the 2006 survey at 91.2%, but is being replaced by its newer model. 
Operating Systems.  Windows leads all: Windows XP (76%), Windows 7 (50%) and Windows 2008 (19.8%).  Unix (5.4%) and Linux (10.1%) continue to be niche systems.
DBMS/spreadsheet.   Excel (75.1%), Access (72.5%), SQL Server ( 49.9%). SDE (27.6%), dBase (23.6%), and Oracle (19.8%).  Access, dBase, and Oracle have all dropped 8% or more since 2006.
Programming Language.  Visual Basic (43.5%), Python (40.8%), HTML (27.1%), Java Script (20.4%), XML (19.9%), and Flex (12.2%).  Visual Basic continues to lead, but is down substantially from its dominating lead in 2006 (56.1%).  Python has come on (from 24% in 2006) to fill the void.  Flex is new to the list, as is Silverlight (8.1%).  One quarter of the respondents don’t use programming in their work.
The URISA 2010-2011 Salary Survey is available for sale, but your library may have a copy or could get you one via an inter-library loan.