When it comes to career opportunities in an ever-changing world, graduates need options — and that’s just what they’ll get when they participate in the geospatial degree program at Cal Poly Ponoma. The geospatial engineering program, which is part of the university’s civil engineering program, gives students one degree with two different licensing options, which ultimately sets them up for different career pathways after graduation.
“You’re killing two birds with one stone,” says Omar Mora, assistant professor of Geospatial Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. “You’re getting four years of engineering professional experience and four years of surveying experience for a four-year degree.”
The geospatial engineering program is dual accredited under both civil engineering and surveying engineering so students have the option to become professional land surveyors or professional engineers. Graduates go on to have careers in land development, land surveying, surveying engineering, geospatial intelligence, geographic information systems and more.
“Learn by doing” is the motto at Cal Poly Pomona, and it’s especially true for students who are taking land surveying courses.
“There’s some courses that they take that are lecture-based only, but the majority of the classes do have a lab component,” Mora, who is a graduate of the university, says.
These labs give students the chance to use different hardware and software and get their hands on the programs they’ll use as geospatial professionals.
Each professor within the geospatial engineering program — whether or not they are licensed land surveyors — has land surveying experience and is a practicing professional. “They do have real-world experience,” Mora says, which is an additional benefit to their students.
While a four-year degree isn’t necessary to become a licensed land surveyor in the state of California, Mora notes that six years of experience is required. Those who obtain a four-year degree will be able to use those four years towards that six-year requirement. The additional two years should include one year of field experience and one year of office experience.
Many graduates, Mora adds, go on to work in management positions. Those who opt to get a degree are likely to take on these positions because, he notes, they have more varied training and experience.