4 year degree in what?

4 year degree in what?

Posted by Jim M on Jul 26, 2010 12:23 am


Well looking ahead to the future and a possible 4 year degree, I must ask those out there what the heck to get it in!  I know many states just say B.S. and that is good enough, but I would actually like to learn something relevant to survey.  I've looked at some GIS programs, but it seems more focused on the high flying aspects and not much relating to land survey.  Is there such a beast as a BS in Land Survey?

Any insight is appreciated, and if it helps any I am 31 and half way through my A.A.S. in civil engineering technology.

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Loyal Olson on Jul 26, 2010 12:56 am

Jim,

IF I were a [much] younger man, I would probably opt for a BS in Geophysics. Most universities offer that degree, and I can't think of a better MODERN route for a surveyor. From there you would have ALL of the math and science background that a Surveyor would ever likely need.

You could then move in whatever direction your heart desired in the world of Surveying.

2 bits,
Loyal

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Mike Berry on Jul 26, 2010 1:50 am

Jim, I didn't go there, but the survey program at the Oregon Institute of Technology appears to be top notch, given the scores of surveyors I'm acquainted with who graduated from OIT. The link to the “Geomatics” program (I think they mean “surveying”) is: http://www.oit.edu/programs/klamath-falls/geomatics/overview

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Cee Gee on Jul 26, 2010 8:08 am

Whatever you pick for a major, don't overlook the humanities in your course work. Your ability to think critically and write and speak comprehensibly will be as essential to your professional success as will your technical expertise.


Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Jim M on Jul 26, 2010 8:29 am


The programs look interesting, especially the one in Oregon.  Thank you for the suggestions, they will definitely give me something to think about!

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Mike Falk on Jul 26, 2010 9:10 am

From http://www.abet.org/

Engineering Accreditation Commission
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona ,CA, United States  
California State University, Fresno ,CA, United States  
Ferris State University ,MI, United States  
New Mexico State University ,NM, United States  
The Ohio State University ,OH, United States  
Pennsylvania State University, Wilkes-Barre ,PA, United States  
 
Applied Science Accreditation Commission
Oregon Institute of Technology ,OR, United States  
Southern Polytechnic State University ,GA, United States  
St. Cloud State University ,MN, United States  
Texas A & M University at Corpus Christi ,TX, United States  
University of Alaska Anchorage ,AK, United States  
University of Florida ,FL, United States  
 
Technology Accreditation Commission
Greenville Technical College ,SC, United States  
Idaho State University ,ID, United States  
Mohawk Valley Community College ,NY, United States  
New Jersey Institute of Technology ,NJ, United States  
Paul Smith's College ,NY, United States  
Pennsylvania College of Technology ,PA, United States  
Pennsylvania State University, Wilkes-Barre ,PA, United States  
The University of Akron - Summit College ,OH, United States  
University of Maine ,ME, United States  
 

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by sam clemons on Jul 26, 2010 9:26 am


There are a lot of schools with 4 year survey degrees as Mike noted. You will need that in a number of states now to get a license. I would think a civil engineering degree acceptable as a surveyor, but most boards will not agree with that. A lot depends on what your goal is. Getting licensed?  Learning something? more money in the future? getting a certain job? 

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Pin Cushion on Jul 26, 2010 9:49 am


Accounting... and leave the surveying business behind

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by John Hamilton on Jul 26, 2010 10:03 am

There is an excellent editorial in the August 2010 issue of the ASCE Journal of Surveying Engineering by Tomas Soler (editor) of the NGS entitled "Advocating a Renewed Culture of Surveying Education". Basically Tomas is advocating a renewal of surveying education under Civil Engineering. He states: "...with the exception of boundary location procedures, all surveying specializations have historically been closely intertwined with civil engineering, e.g. road and highway layouts, structural deformation and stability, large bridge construction and monitoring, tunnel perforation surveys, water canalization and sewer systems, dam construction and subsequent deformation monitoring, and accurate industrial measurements. It seems logical then that expert surveying engineers should aspire to complement their PLS licenses with PE licenses, as was often the case not too long ago". 

I have contacted Dr Soler to see if we can get that posted elsewhere where it is more accessible to non-members of ASCE.

Dr Soler kindly gave permission to post the editorial here. I think this is very important for the future of the profession. I hope this starts a constructive conversation and not the knee jerk reaction from some of those who do not like/respect engineers.
Attached Files

Re: 4 year degree in what? Mike Falk's list

Posted by Stephen Johnson on Jul 26, 2010 10:44 am

Universtiy of Maine is in Orono
NM State is in Las Cruces, NE of El Paso.

Don't forget to check into Wyoming State in Laramie and Metropolitan in Denver.

Wyoming, NMSU and Metro have distance learning programs.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them."

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by daw on Jul 26, 2010 12:32 pm


Of those accredited as EAC degrees (see above), the Illinois PE Board only recognizes the degree from Cal Poly - Pomona (I find this to be interesting, especially given that Fresno is a member of the same Calif system).

daw

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Evelyn on Jul 26, 2010 2:06 pm

Jim,
    There are several things to consider in order to decide on a 4 year degree.  If you are working on an associate's degree now, you should research what 4 year schools you are interested in and see what is transferable into their program(s).  You might also get some advice as to how best use your electives.  When you talk to someone it's helpful if you have an idea of what type of land surveying you want to do.   Do you think you might ever want a graduate degree?  Also, do you want to live in a specific area of the country?  Do you want to live in a city or in a small town?  Would you rather work for a government organization and have the benefits or would you rather work for a small firm and eventually own your own business.
    Some of the other things to consider are: would you rather design a subdivision and be in the office, or do you want to be in the woods, desert, or other outdoor setting.  Many survey jobs also require alot of travel.  Find a surveyor who does the type of work you think you would like to do and I'll bet he/she would be happy to talk with you and give advice.  If you consider a university, you should also talk to some recent graduates.
    And finally consider how will you support yourself during lean times, surveying opportunities are cyclical.

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by ward kelsey on Jul 26, 2010 2:33 pm

My four year degree is in Technology from "Suffield University" in Twin Falls, Idaho, probably not worth the paper it is printed on (Correspondence classes and my resume) I got it five months after obtaining my RPLS in Texas. Texas did not require a degree in 1984.
oldtex

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Jim M on Jul 26, 2010 8:18 pm


Oh wow! I did not expect so many varied answers, so thank you all for the various things to look at.  I saved the editorial and will rad that shortly.
  I know that St Cloud has a survey degree of sorts, but the cost is woohoo! Looking at around 25-28k for 2 years (current school has a 2+2 arrangement), and while fairly close it would require relocating Live in Sioux Falls with wife and daughter).  Of course an good education is worth it's weight in gold if applied properly.
   I have thought about a graduate degree, figuring if anything perhaps I could teach further down the road or at least learn that much more.  Of course that slippery slope leads me to doctorate programs but I think that is just some vanity (it's Dr surveyor!).  I've always been partial to small towns but understand the need to be closer to a large town to make a decent living. 
     From everyones personal experience, after obtaining your  license do you find your still out in the field or do you mostly do office work now? 

I must admit to being slightly puzzled as to why a degree in geophysics would be useful in land survey though.  I can understand learning about the earth and various events but does it contain real world application within the surveying discipline?

At this point I am not sure what, if any specific are of land survey interests me the most.  I do enjoy doing construction staking (but it certainly has it's frustrations, as all do).  The closest to boundary survey I have done are a couple ALTA surveys and those are neat and recently I have been helping to locate section corners, placing reference markers when prior are not there anymore.  Unfortunately the fellow that does the boundary work where I am interning sees it as a closely guarded secret and doesn't share.

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by JFlamm PLS on Jul 27, 2010 9:26 am

Jim M:
 Unfortunately the fellow that does the boundary work where I am interning sees it as a closely guarded secret and doesn't share.

Sorry for going off topic here but this just gripes me!  I take it upon myself with every kid, summer help, or intern I ever have to teach them something about surveying.  Instead of handing them a machete (scary) or a hammer, I explain to them what it is we are doing and why.  But what really gets them going is the equipment.  With today's robotic equipment, you can stand right there with them and teach them how to use it and be right there to look over them.   You never know, you just may get a kid interested in the profession!  It hard enough to draw the next generation in the way it is. 

As far as the four year degree thing.  Do it now if you can!  I have my PLS in MO but I only have a two-year degree.  (I actually have two, two-year degrees but that doesn't add up to a four!)  I live in St. Louis so it would be nice to get an Illinois license too but they think they are the Holy Grail of licenses.  If you don't have a four-year, forget it, even though my two year with 40 hours of surveying is more than the 24 that Illinois requires.  I'm going to have to bite the bullet somehow and get that four-year.  The few of the things I'd like to learn up on is GIS, business, and project managment.  Good luck!

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by wayne griffin on Jul 27, 2010 12:00 pm

As stated above, there are many colleges with a BS program in surveying.  But if you even have a remote idea of ever venturing on your own, take every business & accounting class you can.  That will make a difference and is how you will make your money.  The fun part (surveying) is just the product you sell.

good luck

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by RADU on Jul 27, 2010 11:26 pm

JIM,

You should look at the area of surveying that you want to specialise .

University degrees paint landscape pictures

You will eventually zoom in on portraiture with the detail, so it would help to get a genereal education with additional subjects in the field that you want to specialise.  If boundary surveying interests you then I recommend philosophy.

The reality is that what you use from your degree after graduation is very little, like the basics of surveying maths as specialisation utilizes the skills developed in report writing, research and learning during  the university course.

Obviously post graduate experience with a good mentor is extremely important.

With theis technology revolution there is a problem where senior experienced mentors are not up to speed. Then there are the emerging field of GIS.

I guess I am saying start from where you want to get to and work back so that you them move forward with purpose, rather than stumbling in the dark from pillar to post.



RADU
RADU VALUE ADDING SURVEYOR

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by sam clemons on Jul 28, 2010 8:59 am

"The reality is that what you use from your degree after graduation is very little"    Interesting statement. One I agree with.

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by jmclapp on Aug 26, 2010 2:57 pm


RADU:
JIM,

You should look at the area of surveying that you want to specialise .

University degrees paint landscape pictures

You will eventually zoom in on portraiture with the detail, so it would help to get a genereal education with additional subjects in the field that you want to specialise.  If boundary surveying interests you then I recommend philosophy.

The reality is that what you use from your degree after graduation is very little, like the basics of surveying maths as specialisation utilizes the skills developed in report writing, research and learning during  the university course.

Obviously post graduate experience with a good mentor is extremely important.

With theis technology revolution there is a problem where senior experienced mentors are not up to speed. Then there are the emerging field of GIS.

I guess I am saying start from where you want to get to and work back so that you them move forward with purpose, rather than stumbling in the dark from pillar to post.



RADU
RADU,

I really like your last line.  Like Jim's original question of degree field, I am looking to go back to school.  Your quote really got me thinking about my goal.  My undergraduate degree is in Meteorology; however I have been looking at moving into civil engineering and land survey.  Originally my plan was civil engineering, but switched to weather.  I enjoy it, but I think a change is better in the long run.  My problem is that I am obviously not currently in the profession.  I want to better understand the field, so found this site and started reading through the forums.  My next move would probably be to speak with some local land surveyors and counselors at some univ.  I also looked at Univ Wyoming which I hadn't checked.  Anybody have any other helpful tips?

Jason

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Jered McGrath PLS on Aug 26, 2010 4:19 pm

 Add another Vote for OIT, but I may be biased.

"The reality is that what you use from your degree after graduation is very little
I use to think that when I first got out of school but only because I found out that a really big part of getting into surveying is knowing the local area and former and fellow surveyor in that area. Now I am happy to know that I use most of my degree on a daily basis. Bits and pieces here and there but it helps set me apart from the "other guy". Good luck to all of you Higher education seekers out there. It changed my life for the better and I have no regrets.
Jered

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by bjr215 on Aug 26, 2010 7:42 pm

If the state you are in only requires a 2 year degree to get your license then stick with that.  I have a BS in Surveying Engineering and all that did for me was put me more in debt and behind the 8 ball.  Those that graduated with the two year degree already had their SIT's and two years experience under their belt.  Let the profession preach the eduction BS all they want.  It's time as a whole for the industry to put their money where their mouth is.  If they want educated people then start paying the graduates what they deserve.  Why would anyone want to go to college and come out making the same as Johnny Highschool.  In the long run the education will benefit you, but the first few years are going to be long and very underpaid!   All I can say is thank God for labor Unions!  That's the only reason I make decent money surveying.

Re: Starting From Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Posted by Paul in PA on Aug 26, 2010 10:00 pm

And not going too far.

North Dakota State College of Science has an AAS in Surveying, then continue on a BS in Construction Management. Gives you a lot of work options.

The next choice is a distance learning program. University of Wyoming has a 4 year distance learning program in surveying. Check that out.

If you are willing to move for schoold you have an option of at least 29 locations.

Paul in PA

Re: 4 year degree in what?

Posted by Layla Dale on Dec 26, 2018 6:37 am

Do you feel a lack of new ideas for the next paper? Have a peek at this narrative essay topics!