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Toward a Student Recruitment Model for a Surveying (Geomatics) Degree Program

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USDL 2006) predicts job openings for surveyors at nearly 3000 a year over the next ten years. An active vigorous effort aimed at successfully recruiting matriculated students to pursue a course of study in surveying may ensure adequate supply of highly skilled and qualified surveyors. Despite recent commendable efforts by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) to give public exposure to the surveying profession, the general public remains largely uninformed about the work and skills of professional surveyors and their vital role in protecting the public good, which, in turn, constricts student recruitment. We report the results of several pilot studies conducted in the State of New Jersey of student enrolment in the Surveying Engineering Technology (SET) Program at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). In addition, we report a sample response of national perceptions on surveying careers from interviews conducted in northern New Jersey. This study examines how and why students chose surveying as a career path and then identify key elements of a recruitment model within the framework of vocational planning theory. A skeletal recruiting model is proposed, which takes into account factors shaping recruitment messages targeted at specific audiences, support for behavioral control, reinforcement of positive attitude, and stimuli in the student milieu. We recommend that the recruitment message include features of role models and effective communication style, and its language should be devoid of gender mainstreaming. High-tech surveying imagery should be used to further erode antiquated visions of mediocre surveying education and careers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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