Studies & Degrees in Building Construction

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To learn about the history of construction would take us back in 12,000 BC; when men first invented tools and first built their shelters like tents and huts which were usually made using woods and dried leaves.

Men also made shelters by making stone structures but these were without shape and only served as roof above their heads. During the Agricultural Age, men learned to cultivate the land and settle down in one place thus creating villages which did not only consist of residential structures but also of communal structures like a house of worship. The Bronze Age saw the villages grew into towns then into cities. The structures also evolved because of newfound materials like stones and bricks. This also gave birth to a new class of professional craftsmen whose craft were the ancestors of modern-day construction crafts. These craftsmen, including bricklayers and carpenters, formed guilds during the Middle Ages and, during the steam-powered 19th century, became operators of electric-powered vehicles like cranes, excavators, and bulldozers. In the past, these professionals learned their craft by undergoing a long time of apprenticeship.

Building Construction is a job-entry major that aims to prepare student should they choose to enter the construction industry. Students will learn the principles and the technologies behind residential and commercial construction as well as layout, construction materials, construction methods, cost estimation, project management, and construction safety. Some schools even require students to take classes in engineering designing, real estate, land development, and mechanical or electrical systems. Topics about planning and scheduling, bidding strategies, financing, contracts, economics, and company operations will also be covered as well as other subjects in English, math, science, computer application, and social sciences; making each student more competitive in the industry. Students who take this major are not trained to be workers in a construction site but are rather taught to become managers and project leaders. In fact, many schools expose students to the basic principles and practices of management, and communication which are important when taking leadership roles.

Many schools require students to learn through internships, part-time work, or co-op opportunities. This will help them practice what they learn and be able to practice safe work habits, identify work hazards, and demonstrate responsible attitudes and high quality of work. Students will also be able to demonstrate basic manipulative skills need in lay outing or planning work; interpret plans, drawings, specifications, lines, symbols, and abbreviation as well as lay-out and build residential and commercial structures. Students will also be able to describe the organization, financing, labor relations, selling pricing, customer service, management, and many other aspects of business in the construction industry. Students will also be able to analyze specifications and contract drawings to make accurate quantity take-offs and labor estimations.

With all these knowledge in marketing and economics, as well as technical know-how and management skills, it is small wonder why graduates of this major are in-demand in many countries. Graduates often get positions in the industry as supervisors, contractors, construction technicians, or as construction superintendents.