In its early stages, GPS navigation was used for solely military purposes up until the mid-90s’ where its function for civilian purposes was clearly recognised. Since then, the market has continued to develop with GPS being applied to a wide range of technologies and devices; from mobile phones to precision farming. This increase in in demand and research into GPS has been acknowledged by other nations and has resulted in Russia, China and most recently Europe forming their own satellite navigation systems.
With the recent progression in the GPS industry, new jobs are being created in the industry to accommodate for the advancement in technology. There are also specific degrees and training programs so that the future workforce will also be able to cope with the rapidly developing GPS market. This also means that the current demand for jobs in GPS is rising from an already high rate, with the supply of skilled workers still relatively low. This coincides with the recent boom in the technology sector. This was predicted to flat line for the last 2 quarters of the year but has instead experienced a surprising amount of growth across the majority of the sector. This can be shown by demand for IT contractors being at a 32 month high of 64.1, with the previous high point not being since March 2009 with 65.0, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
The salary for someone working specifically in GPS varies depending on their area of work, the highest of course being in the oil and gas industry, but average wages in GPS are on the rise in an attempt to acquire the skilled labour required in the UK. A GPS analyst’s average salary is currently around £35,000 and predicted by the Bureau of Labour Statistics to rise by 15% to at least £40,000 within 3 years. Another area of growth due to GPS can be seen in the GPS phone market, with the market share expected to reach 20% in the coming years due to creations such as 3G and 4G.
The GPS industry may be experiencing a period of high growth, but it is still very much a developing industry. The potential for GPS is still not fully known but in the coming years it will become essential in areas such as smartphones and transport, with the only restraint being licensing due to strict regulations. However, through continuous innovation of all related areas and the increase in supply of skilled workers, the GPS industry will have a very prosperous future.