After I completed my Associate of Science in Surveying (Quantity Surveying) I worked in a consultant firm as a quantity surveyor. The knowledge and experience prompted me to further my academic career by acquiring a Bachelor degree through part-time study. I originally had two choices; either pursuing a cognate degree at a local Hong Kong university, or enrolling on the BSc Quantity Surveying course with CEM. I chose CEM because of its prestigious reputation and strong recommendations from my teachers and colleagues. CEM also recognised my previous qualification and granted me exemptions which enabled me to complete the BSc degree within an accelerated timeframe.
Why distance learning?
The construction industry was booming when I joined the course and I needed additional knowledge to face the numerous different aspects involved in my work duties. Having a full-time job, I could only spare the time to study at weekends and public holidays. Effective time management has allowed me to complete my assignments at my own pace. I was able to use the knowledge I gained on the BSc Quantity Surveying course in my job and sometimes vice versa. I found the interactions between study and work were very exciting and motivating and this is something you can only achieve through distance learning.
The support structure
During the CEM open evenings the tutors gave me great encouragement and support. It was a great feeling knowing that I would not be alone in my studies. My fellow students and colleagues have all been completely supportive. My employer has shown genuine concern for my wellbeing in terms of both work and study. I have also gained financially as a result of my studies - an immediate bonus for a pass in each annual examination.
The study materials and assignments, feedback and comments were all in English.This aspect of the course gave me the opportunity to improve my understanding and writing of English. In addition, the questions set in each assignment were innovative and encouraged us all to think deeply about the professional problems we were facing. The course provided us with cutting-edge techniques and methods while at the same time retaining the traditional essence of quantity surveying which is so highly valued in Hong Kong.
The best thing about the course was that I got what I expected. I completed all my assignments; although it took a lot of effort. The effort paid off and I passed all of them; I completed my dissertation on time; I studied hard and I was awarded a Bachelor degree. My company recognises this level of effort and rewards staff for it. When you obtain a Bachelor degree you’re granted an immediate pay-rise. Driven by the recent construction boom and my success in obtaining my CEM BSc degree, my basic salary has almost doubled since entry. I’ve also now been promoted to personal assistant of the company director.
My immediate goal is to obtain a qualification either from the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors or from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. I will exert the same amount of time and energy in study as I have spent for the BSc in QS in order to get a professional qualification. I also look forward to the opportunity of using my experience and knowledge to help any younger members of the company who plan to go through the same route of study as I did.
It’s great to know that young people like me, who may not have had the chance to gain a degree through full-time education, have an alternative path to building a successful career.