Why study quantity surveying as an undergraduate? « Sum

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Why study quantity surveying as an undergraduate?

With a depleting number of graduates leaving university with property surveying and construction orientated degrees, the demand created by a surge of build projects during the economic recovery has lead to the need to drive more undergraduates to want to work in this sector. 

Over the past four years, the Employment Opportunities and Future Skills Requirements for Surveying Professions report noted an uplift in employment across each of the surveying disciples, including quantity, building, property and land, which is only driving the demand for these skills higher.Although there has been a reasonable increase in enrolments in relevant courses, there still simply is not enough talent to fill all of the available opportunities in the market, creating a high level of competition between businesses across the sector.

The limited number of quantity surveyors breaking into the industry looks to drive up the competition, which as a result is putting pressure on wage levels, personal development and ultimately, having a knock-on effect on building costs. Construction and property service business may find themselves asking how they can best attract the top talent in the industry and ensure that they remain engaged through adopting a workplace that fosters ongoing learning.

What does a quantity surveyor do?

A quantity surveyor will undertake a number of duties, across the early design of a project to the final figures. The role of a quantity surveyor is vast and interesting and seeks to minimise costs within the project, ensures value for money and will closely advise on legal regulations and quality assurance requirements.

A quantity surveyor will conduct feasibility studies in order to provide accurate estimates of resources, timescales and labour costings, in order to ensure less waste. They may also be employed to negotiate and analyse the costs of contracts and tenders, coordinate the overarching work effort, provide advice on contracts and legal issues and providing a valuation on completed projects.

A great quantity surveyor will often possess a particular set of qualities, which often includes a methodical approach to thinking, a working knowledge of construction, the ability to solve problems, mathematics and financial management skills, negotiations and excellent communication skills, the ability to learn quickly and assess a situation, familiar and confident in the use of IT and a thorough understanding of all HSE building legal regulations and guidelines.

Experience and ongoing development

In a rapidly evolving and changing industry, such as construction, quantity surveyors need to ensure that they build on their core skills continuously, in order to remain current and maintain innovation. Regular personal development should be the core of any graduate career and should continue throughout their working life, allowing for ongoing improvement and boosted prospects for progression and growth.

Aside from traditional education and training, pratical experience is also valuable and can support in building commercial skills, only obtained whilst working within the industry. A proven work experience track-record can set graduate candidates apart from one another and can offer those looking to break into the sector, a leg-up. From experience in the transport industry such as rail, public-orientated sectors such as power and energy or built environment, whether residential or commercial, any experience working in the industry will be invaluable.

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