Why KOREC’s Liam Hartley went back to school…and what he learnt!

As part of our Next Generation series of events, developments and articles, KOREC's Liam Hartley revisited his old secondary school to share some first hand experience about careers in the gesospatial industry.

It’s a topic of great concern to many in our industry – how do we attract the next generation of geospatial professionals?  

It’s also a question that we’ve addressed in a column for GeoConnexion magazine based on the experiences of KOREC Director, Mark Poveda, who recently returned to his Dublin College with two colleagues to talk to final year students studying Geospatial/Surveying. However, college students are already engaged with our industry having actively chosen a relevant course and maybe we should be talking to students earlier.

A visit with value

For KOREC Operations Technical Support, Liam Hartley, the 450th Anniversary of his old school, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Horncastle (QEGS), set him thinking as to what sort of career information he’d have valued as a sixth former living in a rural part of the country just starting to consider future job prospects, apprenticeships, or degree courses.

As a QEGS alumni, he’d seen invites to assist students in CV preparation or interview techniques but felt that this could be the perfect opportunity to offer some time to share his thoughts on geospatial careers with an age group just starting to think about their own futures.

At the invitation of the school’s careers lead, Sarah Holmes, Liam was able to spend a couple of days at the school chatting about the geospatial industry to teachers and students alike.

Liam Hartley (far right) shares his experiences of working in the geospatial industry

Great technology and engaging examples

Equipped with a Trimble X7 3D Laser Scanner and plenty of examples of what our industry has to offer, Liam reports that he spent a very rewarding 50 minute Development Class with the mixed group of students. Drawing on relevant examples such as 3D data (used in the gaming and film world) he outlined how F1 tracks are surveyed with Mobile Mapping, how sports events measure distance with total stations, how music festivals are set out with GPS mapping systems and how spatial data is everywhere and in everything we do, from using Google Maps to creating smart cities.

Liam feels that at least three quarters of the class seemed very engaged with four or five particularly responsive to the geospatial world. He reports, “I had a really rewarding two days at QEGS sharing my enthusiasm for an industry that has so much to offer as a career. Interestingly, very few of the students were familiar with the term ‘geospatial’ and of course, this highlights the problem we have in promoting a career where our key audience has very little understanding of what we do. If we’re to overcome this, then it’s vital that we are actively promoting our industry to this age group. Here at KOREC, we want to be a supplier that does just that and we’re perfectly positioned to do so from a unique perspective because we see everything that the industry has to offer technology wise. I very much want us to step forward and lead from the front.”

What next?

Liam used his two days at QEGS to plan for a future event for next year that he hopes can be rolled out to similar age groups in different schools. Watch this space!

To learn about KOREC’s Next Generation initiative (aiming to encourage a new generation to the geospatial industry) please contact marketing@korecgroup.com

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