Surveying Skills for the Future

20th November 2019

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Technology has transformed the way we live, work, and communicate in a generation, and the speed of change is only continuing to increase.

This change has led to considerable disruption of many industries, from banking to retail, and surveying and other built environment sectors are also feeling the impact, with the advent of BIM, and the increasing use of measurement software, as well as the increasing demand for smart buildings.

Whilst those of us working in the sector recognise the importance of encouraging young people to consider surveying and other roles as career options, it is important to realise that engaging young people is not the only solution.  This new generation of surveyors must be equipped with the skills to see us through a world undergoing continual disruption.

Technologies such as BIM, the Internet of Things, and 3D scanning mean that the amount of data available to surveyors is greater than ever before.

Our industry professionals of tomorrow will need to be adept at using analytical tools in order to collate and interrogate this data.  Data literacy will be important, as will the industry’s ability to apply machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify patterns or anomalies in data.

Whist some might argue that a data scientist would be best placed to do so, it is important to remember that we also need people who work on the visualisation of data, as well as those who ultimately use the data to make decisions.

In response to the impact of data on the industry, the University of New South Wales in Sydney launched the first bachelor degree in Computational Design in 2015, which puts understanding the importance of digital design firmly at the heart of the building design process.  It takes between 40-50 students per year so whilst it is a step in the right direction it is clear that more options are needed if we are truly to a workforce that will take our industry through the digital age and beyond.

In the last two years, Soben has invested £500K in measurement and BIM technology, putting us at the cutting edge of this technological movement. We will continue to invest in technology and training as our service offering develops to reflect these new and innovate ways of working.