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ANNUAL TECHNICAL SEMINAR

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2018 ANNUAL MEETING & SUMMER CONVENTION

Four-year degree
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1/27/2017 at 4:28:59 PM GMT
Posts: 12
Four-year degree

After hearing the excellent presentation of Jeff Lucas at the last seminar, I am thinking that requiring a four-year degree for licensure might be the only way to preserve the long-term survival of our profession.  This would have to include a much greater emphasis on the legal principles of boundary law.  If we are not careful, the practice of land surveying could be subsumed by engineering, GIS and other unlicensed “expert measurers.”

Perhaps it is once again time for us to have this discussion.



Mark Lincoln


1/28/2017 at 2:40:36 PM GMT
Posts: 6
I agree.

Daniel L Collins, RLS


1/30/2017 at 3:10:23 PM GMT
Posts: 7
I think that we should have some well reasoned arguments for at least requiring an associates degree, but let's bring that up and beat it around after HB76 is signed into law and the current crisis is averted in the wake of last year's HB1004.


2/1/2017 at 4:01:52 PM GMT
Posts: 4
I agree.


2/5/2017 at 9:57:03 PM GMT
Posts: 5
Once we get the current HB1004 crisis resolved, this would be a VERY good topic to bring up with our legislators. We thought we had it done a while ago, but we got shot down at the last minute for whatever reasons.

I don't have a four year degree in anything, much less Surveying. I have taken the required college level classes, and enough non-surveying college level classes to be maybe a sophomore in college. That was a long time ago. As I look back over my career, it dawns on me that I have some holes in my general body of knowledge that has caused me to really work harder to learn specific things that I needed in order to do my job. I really am proud of my "school of hard knocks" education, but let's face it, a full college level education would have given me a leg up, and moved me much further along the path than I am now. At the very least, it would have made things MUCH easier.

Things are different now. We can all agree that the technology has radically changed since I drug a chain through the woods, so from that standpoint alone, we need a much more educated and aware person to survey now. Add to that the increasing complexity of legal issues and municipal permitting requirements, and it should be obvious that we need to better prepare the future Land Surveyors that come behind us.

I wholeheartedly agree that we need a 4 year degree.

Thanks for letting me get this off my mind.



2/6/2017 at 11:04:16 AM GMT
Posts: 5
Some of the best surveyors I have ever worked with had no degree.
Some of the worst, to quote my grandfather were "educated beyond their intelligence".
Although obtaining a four year degree does exhibit the ability to learn, it does not necessarily make you able to utilize that knowledge in a practical sense.
If we go to a degree requirement simply to make us "professionals", in the eyes of some undefined entity, then I believe that we have missed the mark.
I believe that either way we should keep a path open for experience only applicants.

Just my 2 cents.


2/6/2017 at 11:04:20 AM GMT
Posts: 5
Some of the best surveyors I have ever worked with had no degree.
Some of the worst, to quote my grandfather were "educated beyond their intelligence".
Although obtaining a four year degree does exhibit the ability to learn, it does not necessarily make you able to utilize that knowledge in a practical sense.
If we go to a degree requirement simply to make us "professionals", in the eyes of some undefined entity, then I believe that we have missed the mark.
I believe that either way we should keep a path open for experience only applicants.

Just my 2 cents.


2/6/2017 at 1:09:59 PM GMT
Posts: -3
I see both sides to this for sure. I am 33 years old and got my license last year. I attended Middle Georgia College while working full time. I had 3 years at GSU after changing my major from civil engineering to business then back to civil engineering. Do I wish I had packed my bags after high school and gone to Southern Poly for a 4 year degree. Heck yes! At the time however I did not have the funds to make it happen and also had some personal things going on. I have been fortunate to work around many good surveyors who have helped me in many ways over the years for they are the ones who kept me plugging along and staying interested in this profession. The classes I did take were tremendously helpful in gaining a basic understanding of how surveying works. While studying and going to school it really helped seeing some of these theories applied in the field and office and how some things that come up in day to day surveying activities deviate from the text books and lean towards judgement and local knowledge. We are not just boundary surveyors we are the best in the business when it comes to accurately gathering data, analyzing this data, and providing design professionals, real estate professionals, and many other industries with data they can trust and use day in and day out. After sitting down with clients and going over the items that need to happen to get a survey done and keeping them involved in the end they say "wow there is a lot more to surveying than looking through that instrument on the side of the road". Most of these clients feel like they got more of a service which in the end they will pay more for because they see more value in that service. I think educating the public is just as important as educating ourselves. We have to obviously have an education requirement because you cannot do this job without some sort of formal education, however why can't we have two or three avenues for people to pursue their license that will give them the education they need to succeed as a qualified professional and the flexibility to mix school and work for those who are less fortunate or in areas of the state that there are no schools offering surveying classes. Right now Kennesaw State is the only school in Georgia that has any kind of land surveying program (that I am aware of). Does this help or hurt our profession because it is leaving out a untapped group of people who if given the right avenue and tools to help accomplish their goals can help our profession grow (not just in numbers but more importantly in qualified people)? There are a lot of things to discuss so maybe sometime soon we can all get together and discuss these items. Sorry this is so long....thank you for your time!


2/7/2017 at 9:53:52 PM GMT
Posts: -3
I haven't seen anything articulated or presented by those who are pushing for a four year college degree, and I would like to see it if it exists so I can better understand the reasoning. The way I see it, if our goal is to raise the quality of surveyors, we will not obtain it just by requiring a college degree. It has more to do with who you learn from, who you emulate, who you look up to, and how important it is to you to do the right thing when nobody else is looking (which is most of the time). Whether you get started in our profession through college training or by starting as a rodman not knowing what a plumb bob is, the person they learn from is who they will emulate. If they come up under someone who does things half way, then they will think that is the right way to do things. I have seen quite a few college educated surveyors who cut corners on boundary surveys but thought they were doing as good a job as the ones who are more thorough. Why is this? Because that is how they learned, and they see nothing wrong.

We stand a better chance of rooting out those who put out substandard boundary surveys by policing ourselves AND requiring more and better education, not just requiring a degree. And I am not talking about the simple mistakes we all make, I'm talking about outright negligence, not taking seriously our duty to protect the public, just downright unethical work, etc. that we see but don't do anything about. It is very hard to point your finger at another and judge their work to be below minimum standards or unethical, but we must do it as one of our professional responsibilities. I strongly believe that policing ourselves will do more to raise our profession than anything else we can do. That does not mean that I think my work is perfect and beyond reproach, nor does anyone else who believes policing ourselves is a professional responsibility, it means we care about the quality of our profession and are willing to stick our necks out to do our part.

I am a strong believer in education (just ask my kids) but it is not the whole answer to our problems. Policing ourselves has to be a part of a solution. If we don't police ourselves responsibly, sooner or later someone else will do it for us and I don't think any of us want that.


2/7/2017 at 10:57:09 PM GMT
Posts: 16
The above post was written by Steve Coleman.  I forgot to sign in before I posted it.


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