As many licensed land surveyors in the state of New Jersey are nearing retirement age, the demand for the next generation of land surveying professionals is high. In New Jersey, the only land surveying degree program is located in the northern part of the state. That is, until now.
Aspiring land surveyors in South Jersey don’t have to move hours away to obtain a land surveying bachelor of science degree. Thanks to a $75,000 donation from the New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors (NJSPLS), South Jersey residents now have access to a newly established land surveying degree program at Rowan University, located in Glassboro, New Jersey.
“Rowan is centrally or strategically located in South Jersey, so most of the folks that want a program like this that are in South Jersey don’t have a big problem getting to Rowan University,” says Mark Husik, an executive for NJSPLS.
The NJSPLS’ $75,000 gift establishes the NJSPLS Land Surveying Program Fund to benefit students who are enrolled in the land surveying program. In addition, some of the money will be used for equipment, software and other program needs.
“We wanted to show them that we not only wanted the program there and will help find students to go there, but we also wanted to show that we back it with our contribution,” Husik says.
The program, which officially launches in fall 2021, will help meet the industry demand for licensed land surveyors, says Stephanie Farrell, interim dean at Rowan University. The demand is so high in both public and private sectors, she says, that there are 5-6 jobs for every graduate.
“They are losing that talent. They are losing the professional land surveyors to retirement and they really need a new generation of land surveyors to replace them,” Farrell says. “The field is also rapidly changing so this new generation has to be trained in the state-of-the-art technology,” Farrell says.
To become a licensed land surveyor in New Jersey, a person must have a four-year degree and three years of professional experience, in addition to the successful completion of two exams, Farrell adds. Rowan’s new program creates more educational opportunities and pathways to licensure in the state.
Rowan, along with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), is an educational partner for the NJSPLS’ newly established United States Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program. Through the apprenticeship program, Husik says, they will continue to attract people into the two-year technical program or the four-year degree program.
Those interested receiving a surveying engineering degree from Rowan University must obtain their associate’s degree at Rowan College of South Jersey (at its Gloucester County campus) to become credentialed surveying technicians before going on to obtain their bachelor’s degree.
For more information, visit Rowan University’s website.