The construction field is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Every day on the job offers a unique challenge in a changing, fast-paced environment. With a career in construction, you have the unique privilege to build infrastructure that will be around for centuries.
In construction, you actually get to shape the future for a living.
As construction processes become more complex, employers are placing greater importance on specialized education. Large construction firms increasingly prefer candidates with both construction experience and a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field such as construction management.
Construction programs have seen a large increase in enrollment at four-year institutions between spring 2016 and spring 2017 – 26.4 percent – according to a recent report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
An entry-level salary for a construction manager is reported by PayScale.com to be $49,500 with the opportunity to grow to $86,100. And according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs in construction are anticipated to rise by 17% between 2010 and 2020.
Nearly gone are the days of working your way up the ladder with on-the-job training – today’s work requires a more in-depth knowledge of the business side of construction; like knowing how to track your budget, your schedule, your quality, and your safety – in addition to effectively managing subcontractors and workers.
Mike Williams, president of M.H. Williams Construction, has been in the field for more than 40 years. “While in the past there was ample opportunity to learn on the job and rise through the ranks over time, it’s becoming increasingly important that those entering this line of work now have both hands-on experience and a college education,” Williams says.
“Florida Tech is a top-tier university located in a rapidly developing area of the Space Coast, making it the perfect fit for someone who wants to enter the construction industry,” Williams says. “Graduates with this degree are prepared to manage people as well as each step of the construction process.”
Williams serves on the Construction Industry Advisory Board at Florida Institute of Technology, which offers a bachelor’s degree in construction management through the Department of Civil Engineering & Construction Management. The program was developed course-by-course with input from Williams and construction professionals in Florida and beyond.
“Input from leaders like Mike Williams and other members of our advisory board help to keep our program relevant and strong,” says Ashok Pandit, Ph.D., head of the Department of Civil Engineering & Construction Management. “We’re proud of the quality that stems from our connections with industry professionals. “
“The construction management curriculum at Florida Tech combines practical business skills with vital engineering know-how,” says Albert Bleakley, Ph.D., who teaches courses like Structural Analysis and Construction Safety. “The program prepares undergraduates to enter the field of construction as competent and confident construction managers, who organize the construction workforce, order the materials, schedule the construction activities, manage the costs and quality, and coordinate the project through completion.”
The construction management program at Florida Tech includes instruction in budgeting, scheduling, management principles, construction methods, civil engineering, construction operations, and sustainability.
“A business-oriented bachelor’s degree in construction is perfect for students interested in project management, construction and land development, and it can lead to licensure as a general contractor or professional construction manager,” adds Bleakley.
Whether you want to be a construction manager or an entrepreneurial contractor, a construction management degree from Florida Tech develops a strong background in engineering and experience in business and project planning. Students majoring in construction management are also eligible for entrance into Florida Tech’s accelerated MBA program.
“I believe that this degree prepares you for the exciting world of construction like nothing else can,” Williams said. “If you want to make your mark in this world, in this field – this is a great way to begin.”