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What majors can I study?
The following are just some of the majors you can study in this
What you’re in for
This is a field with a clear focus: ‘the determination and
identification of the shape, contour, location and dimensions of
land or water masses and their features, or planning and
designing maps’, says one definition. Career versatility is a key
selling point for potential surveyors. According to the Surveying
and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), modern surveyors help
police at crime scenes, predict earthquakes, use computer
imaging and satellites to monitor environmental change, map the
ocean floor... and of course, they’ll tell you where your land ends
and your neighbour’s begins. This means that employment
prospects are excellent.
Try to talk to someone who does this sort of work to get an idea of
what jobs in surveying are like: ask the coordinator of any
surveying course you are considering for names and phone
numbers of employers; ring the human resources department of a
mining company; or perhaps even contact the state or federal
government environmental department. You should also visit the
SSSI website at www.sssi.org.au.
If you are still shopping around for the right field, you might find
other courses of interest in the sciences area (especially the
earth sciences), agriculture, architecture, built environment,
environmental studies, and engineering and technology.
Courses and specialisations
In universities, courses might be found in surveying, engineering,
spatial sciences, geomatics or a range of other academic areas.
If designing maps interests you, you should look at cartography.
The various traditional surveying specialisations (cadastral,
marine and mining) now sit alongside a host of other
geoinformatics sub-fields such as geographic information
systems, spatial information systems, global positioning and
photogrammetry, all of which exploit high-level technology to
collect, analyse, display and manage geographical and spatial
information. That’s one of the good things about this field:
technology knows no bounds.
Some courses have ‘surveying’ in their name, but if a geomatics
specialisation is your preference you will often find it within a
general science, applied science, engineering or technology
degree, so it pays to do your research.
Where to study
Degrees in surveying and its many specialisations are offered at
a number of universities around the country — just remember to
check course handbooks to ensure that the course covers the
field in which you are looking to specialise. To compare entry
difficulty at different institutions, see the ‘How tough is it to get in?’
tables in Section 4.
The surveying profession has been experiencing significant skills
shortages for several years. The upside of this is that
employment prospects for surveyors are likely to remain positive
for several years to come. In response to the shortages, SSSI
has established the Spatial Education Leadership Group, which
aims to build a level of skilled capacity that is sustainable in the
long term. Its initiatives are designed to increase awareness of
the profession and the progression of spatial sciences. Other
SSSI initiatives include the Women in Spatial group, which aims
to engage women in the profession through schemes such as
forums and scholarships, and the SSSI Mentoring Program,
which offers mentoring to students and young professionals.
FOR FURTHER HELP...
To compare the pros and cons of surveying with other fields
of study, see the table on page 68 and institution profiles in
For more on jobs and careers in this field, see The Good
Careers Guide website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au.
For ratings of postgraduate surveying courses, see
The Good Universities Guide website at
To compare surveying courses, please see the Architecture
The student body ratings
THE STUDENT BODY
tuition costs for
The fees shown are for the whole course and approximate. Confirm with the
institution. For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 436.
GUG 2017.book Page 170 Friday, June 24, 2016 2:39 PM
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