How much of a prerequisite is a degree in database programming if one wants to study GIS?
I understand that there is a bit of a dichotomy between studying GIS in order to develop it and studying GIS in order to use it (for example, in a field such as urban or transportation planning, which are the fields Iím trying to break into). I have taken a few programming classes and have basic knowledge of a programming language (Java), but my bachelorís degree was not in database programming. Now I am thinking of going to grad school to study geography with a concentration in GIS. Of the three places to which Iím applying, George Mason University does not list a degree in database programming as one of the prerequisites. The head of the program there tells me that some 40% or all applicants were ďtraditional geographyĒ majors. At Arizona State University, I was told that their program does focus on the programming side of GIS. Finally, Ohio State University says on their programís web site that ďexposure toĒ programming is helpful. None of the three places requires it, though.
At the same time, I hear the opinion being expressed that GIS should only ever be studied as an add-on to database programming. Even if the program does not require it, that person says, the real world does. If I want to study GIS, I need to get a bachelorís in database programming first, even if this means getting a second bachelorís. My plan, meanwhile, is to get a masterís in geography with a focus on GIS, and then a certificate in database programming right after that. Is this a good plan, or will I have to get a second bachelorís after all?
Does anyone know anything about the Master of Science in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences program at George Mason University? What about the Masterís of Advanced Studies in GIS program at Arizona State University or the M.A. in Geography program at Ohio State? Or, for that matter, does anyone know anybody who is or was enrolled in one of those programs, and what they have to say about them?
Thank you for the information.