With the CAO change of mind deadline looming (July 1st), prospective students still searching for a course leading to good job prospects, strong earning power and a fulfilling career might well be advised to “survey” the landscape.
Research from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) shows Ireland is facing a serious and sustained shortage of chartered surveyors. As the economy continues to improve and the construction and property industry picks up pace, it's a shortage that will see surveyors in increasing demand.
With a broad range of career choices available, a third level course in surveying could be the foundation of a great career.
Still thinking? Here are 10 reasons why surveying is a smart choice:
1. Fewer surveyors mean more jobs
Around 2,000 new job opportunities will be created across the surveying profession in the next few years. However, based on current enrolment numbers, there will only be enough property and construction-related surveying graduates to fill just over half of them. What that means for students who take up surveying today is that they are almost guaranteed a job at the end of their four-year degree.
2. That means more money
The national average salary for a Chartered Surveyor is €71,000. Property surveyors working in estate agency and property management, with up to five years' post-graduation experience, earn an average of €34,700, excluding bonuses and benefits. Construction surveyors with the same experience earn €46,800. What's more, two out of three chartered surveyors surveyed were confident of receiving a pay increase in the next 12 months while over half said they received a pay rise in the past 12 months.
3. It's a career that travels . . .
Irish Chartered Surveyors can be found all over the world. Many head for places like the Middle East, Canada and Australia, because SCSI Chartered Membership is recognised globally, enabling graduates to make their mark on some of the world's most exciting construction projects. That's nice to know if you want a career that offers great opportunities for travel.
4. . . . and it goes down really well at home too
Have we mentioned the shortage of surveyors Ireland is facing? We're talking only half as many Irish surveyors graduating as the country is going to require. You don't have to be a maths whiz to figure out those odds.
5. It offers great scope for change, in one career
Surveyors get lots of opportunity to move between sectors and to change roles within them. For example, it's not unusual for people who start off on the quantity surveying side to move into project management after a while. The skills and qualifications you get in this field are not just highly sought after, they are highly portable. If you are after a career that offers variety, surveying ticks that box.
6. It's cutting edge
Surveying can include the study of geomatics: collecting data about the earth's surface, analysing it and interpreting what it all means. It's one of the fastest growing and most in-demand technical skills on the planet. Geomatics surveyors map, measure and interpret the world, providing governments, businesses and organisations with the data they need to make informed decisions. And they use drones!
7. You can work with major multinationals
Ireland's role as a gateway to European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) markets has attracted some of the world's best known companies to our shores. Many of these now own large building properties here, as well as tracts of land. Companies such as Google and Facebook all have facilities management teams and working with a large multinational doesn't just look good on your CV, it can bring great opportunities to travel.
8. You can get out and about
If the idea of being deskbound doesn't hold much appeal for you, surveying affords plenty of opportunities to get moving. Surveyors in property roles such as residential and commercial estate agencies spend much of their time out of the office. And you're not chained to a computer either – surveyors need good people skills and get plenty of opportunity to use them.
9. Build a career path that suits you
There is a wide variety of opportunities for graduates, from quantity surveying to building surveying, asset management and valuations or geomatics – and all are in short supply. A career in surveying can offer enormous opportunities for career progression and across numerous sectors.
10. It's a great career for women
In the old days surveying was very much a male domain but that's not the case anymore. Today you'll find women across all sectors of the profession, at all levels. Their numbers are only going to increase too as more and more women realise that it's a sector that offers great career opportunities, great pay and great fulfilment. In a nutshell, surveying is an equal opportunities opportunity.