Article

Positive Light

We have been pondering the necessity of good marketing of the profession of hydrography for years now and in this issue we will do so  again. We carry  interviews with young professionals working in hydrography, being educated as hydrographer or those who have entered the field through a side door, talking about the pros and cons of the profession and ways of making it more attractive for youngsters to choose it as a career. Marketing, it appears, is not the job best executed by those who are responsible for attracting new students. Venessa O’Connell, hydrographic surveyor with the Sydney Ports in Australia mentions that she stumbled upon a website with links to marine careers. On the hydrographic surveyor page a surveyor had written a horrifying short story, talking about hydrographers ‘having no social life’ and working in ‘terrible conditions’. In short, not an appealing article. If it’s not a repentant putting other people off by telling how ‘insane’ it would be to work as a hydrographer, it might be a matter of totally ignoring the fact that hydrography is a niche sector. Hidden in a marine geology class, not clearly recognisable as hydrography, it’s simple to miss out on, as Lauren White, contractor with Highland Geo Solutions in North Carolina, United States, experienced herself. Both women luckily pursued and they are now both proclaiming what an interesting career they have because of it in this Hydro International. Speaking for myself, I had never heard of hydrography before I became publisher of this magazine almost ten years ago. I now still have to explain almost every week what Hydro International is about, in other words what hydrography is about. It’s up to those in positions at schools, universities and colleges to tell prospective students about the possibilities of  bright and rewarding careers in a fast-growing field. They may want to use this issue of Hydro International to pass the information on to interested youngsters. We have tried to compile an issue containing articles on career opportunities, competency management, training and capacity building. We are always talking about the growth in our field and the great opportunities for the blue economy, but it’s good to take into account that we need skilled people to seize the opportunities. It’s not one or the other, it’s both: enough knowledgeable colleagues to make the profession and hydrographic business flourish.  Human resources, therefore, are immensely important and marketing is a starting point. Let’s go back to Venessa O’Connell, hydrographer with the Sydney Ports, who states “Accounting is the most boring and mundane job on the face of the earth and they always manage to market their career in a positive light.”  I would like to add that it must be possible to market a career as hydrographer, which certainly isn’t boring or mundane, in a more than positive light.

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