Ireland is seriously lacking in chartered surveyors, a dearth of which could have a huge impact on the construction industry over the next four years. That’s according to recent research carried out by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) and the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI), who cite the cause as a lack of enrolment on to surveying courses.
However with the property market set to grow, the research highlights the opportunities that exist for students who show a preference for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) courses.
Students, particularly females, with an interest in these courses are therefore being urged to put a construction-related programme on their CAO change of mind forms, due in this Friday. With that in mind, we have put together ten reasons why a career in surveying could be the one for you.
1. Fewer graduates mean more jobs
Recent findings indicate that there will be a substantial deficit of surveyors in the construction and property industry to meet the predicted future demand for the construction sector in Ireland. This is good news for students who take up surveying. They are almost guaranteed a job at the end of their four-year degree.
2. Fewer graduates also mean better starting salaries
Let’s face it, money is an important factor when choosing a career and with rising rents and cost of living, graduates want to know that they will make a nice wage at the end of their four-year degree. If people are prepared to work hard, employees will be rewarded.
3. Opportunities to travel
Travel is always alluring, especially to young people and chartered surveying graduates can have their pick of countries to work in, according to Aine Myler, Director of Operations at SCSI. She says graduates who have achieved their chartership have taken up jobs in their droves in other jurisdictions. “Many of our surveyors have travelled to the Middle East, Canada and Australia because (the charter) is automatically recognised as an accreditation and they are able to get jobs on some very exciting projects straight away.”
4. Lots of jobs available at home too
Research shows that, based on a conservative forecast of economic growth up to December 2019 (3 per cent growth per annum), over 2,000 new jobs are expected to be created across the surveying profession. Looking at current student enrolments on surveying courses, there will only be enough Irish graduates to fill half of those positions.
5. Ability to move around sectors
There’s lots of scope to move around sectors. There is also the opportunity to expand your skill base because it’s such a wide, diverse profession. “A lot of people who start off in the quantity surveying side of the house go in to project management after a period of time. Transference of skills and qualifications are actually quite good and varied,” Myler says.
6. There are lots of exciting jobs within the industry
Geomatics is one of the most in-demand technical skills in the world. Geomatics surveyors map, measure and interpret the world and the geographical information they provide helps governments, businesses and organisations make informed decisions.
There is also another side to it. Certain scenes in James Bond’s Casino Royale were created by geometrics surveyors who make computer-generated 3D images.
7. Opportunities to work with large multi-national companies
With the recovery in the property market, international companies have bought large tranches of land in Ireland and some are looking to stay and develop a real business model. Myler says graduates like the fact they are now working for global companies as that provides them with an opportunity to travel. It could also see them working in the head offices of tech giants like Google and Facebook as facilities managers.
8. Every day is different and requires good people skills
Not many people like to be chained to a desk and with surveying there are plenty of opportunities to get out and about. For example, property roles such as residential and commercial estate agency provide a lot of time outside the office. “There is a need for good soft skills and people skills too and it’s not all cerebral,” Myler says.
9. Great opportunities for career progression
There is a shortage in all areas including quantity surveying, geomatics, property, building surveying, asset management and valuations - hence there are fantastic opportunities. Career progression can take surveyors in many directions and they can work in many sectors.
10. It’s a great career for women
Surveying has often been seen as a male-dominated industry but Myler insists it’s a great career for a woman. “Sometimes people feel there is a need for physical strength in surveying but there isn’t. Women tend to be better people persons and the skills they offer are absolutely applicable to this range of opportunities.”
For more information, please visit the Society of Chartered Surveyors website at www.scsi.ie to learn about the variety of accredited courses on offer.