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The Results are in: Canadian GIS Grads Willing to Retrain for Land Surveying Careers

At our Cross-Canada Back to School Socials back in September, GoGeomatics took advantage of the huge numbers of students and young professionals by conducting a survey of everyone who attended. This survey provided a unique opportunity to get a snapshot of the industry, especially through the perspective of students, graduates, and young professionals. Of the 205 people surveyed, the majority were between the ages of 22-30, and half were students.

One of the survey topics was about retraining for a career in surveying. GoGeomatics has been talking about this idea for quite a while; back in April, Jon Murphy started the conversation with his article “Bridging the Gap between GIS Job Seekers and Surveying Jobs in Canada.” In the article, he suggests that a special program be created to retrain the large numbers of unemployed/underemployed GIS grads to fill the huge demand in the surveying industry.

Sure, it sounds like a great idea. But is something students and graduates are interested in? We decided to put the idea to the test, and added the following question to the Back to School Social Survey:

Would you retrain for a career in surveying or geomatics technology if you were guaranteed a job and the training was provided?

Here’s what we found:

  • Eighty four per cent responded that yes, they are willing to retrain for a career in surveying if they were guaranteed a job and the training was provided
  • Seventy five per cent indicated that they were willing to relocate to find employment

Robotic station ready for surveying.

We also wanted to find out how much these young people know about surveying, so we asked “How familiar are you with the geomatics technologist/surveying profession?” We found an average to above average level of knowledge. Fifty-two per cent responded between 6 and 8 on the scale, where 10 is “very knowledgeable.”

Despite this level of knowledge, respondents consistently undervalued the amount of money you can earn as a surveyor. Forty-one per cent estimated that a surveyor makes between 41-60K annually. In fact, according to a 2011 survey from Professional Surveyors Canada the median income for salaried employees is $81,000.

Armed with this information, and with major interest from industry, GoGeomatics is developing a new survey training program for GIS, Remote Sensing, and geomatics graduates. This program will be free for students, and will guarantee them a job in surveying upon completion. This infographic explains how the program will work:

survey course

If you are a GIS, remote sensing, or geomatics graduate with a university degree, master’s, or post diploma certification like GIS, you’re eligible to participate in this program. Please send your resume and cover letter to info@gogeomatics.ca explaining why you would like to enter the lucrative and rewarding field of surveying as an entry level technologist.


One comment on "The Results are in: Canadian GIS Grads Willing to Retrain for Land Surveying Careers"

  1. I think it’s great that these students are willing to be retrained for surveying. That definitely is something that seems like a good choice. That is a training that can help them develop a skill that could help them be even more successful in the future. This is definitely something that is worth taking the time to learn.

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