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Studies & Degrees in Construction

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Degrees in the construction field can lead to a number of exciting and often very lucrative career opportunities—opportunities that are available throughout the world.  Graduates who earn a degree in one of the many construction disciplines tend to enter fields in which they oversee the development and design of buildings, homes and other projects, including roads and bridges. As construction managers they are tasked with ensuring their customers that the projects for which they are responsible will be completed to their specifications, and done so on time and within a given budget.  Several degree programs exist for students who wish to enter this promising career arena, including programs at the Associate, Bachelor, Master’s and PhD-levels.  These degrees are offered at community colleges and vocational schools, as well as four-year colleges and universities.
Associate’s Degree in Construction Management
An Associate Degree in Construction Management is aimed towards entry-level training for students who wish to pursue this particular career field.  Coursework in these programs centers on the methods and materials utilized in the building of homes and office buildings, teaching students construction basics such as the management and scheduling of construction employees, reading blueprints and negotiating contracts with customers.  This particular degree program, which also places emphasis on site development, material management and building codes, typically spans two years in duration, assuming classroom space is available in required courses.  Typically, the sole eligibility requirement for admission into the Associate’s program is the possession of a high school diploma or GED.  Courses may vary depending on the institution, but most feature classes in subjects such as construction estimating, safety and building codes, blueprint reading, construction materials and methods and mechanical and electrical systems.
Bachelor and Master of Science in Construction Management
Bachelor degree programs in construction management, most of which span four years, include all of the coursework involved in the Associate’s degree program, as well as classes in business and finance.  Students pursuing this undergraduate degree may concentrate on general construction or a particular specialty within the construction field, such as plumbing or electricity.  Some Bachelor degree programs require fieldwork, with students working under a general contractor as an intern.  Courses tend to concentrate on all of the practical aspects of building projects, such as construction management and principles, surveying, accounting, quality control, safety, and technology.
Students who wish to pursue a Master’s Degree in construction management must first earn a Bachelor degree in the field or in a related undergraduate program.  They are usually designed for individuals currently working in the field who wish to advance their education and training, which typically leads to greater earning potential.  The application of management theories and practices is a focal point of the Master’s of Science in Construction Management, as is the use of the latest technology and software, along with finance and managing budgets. Courses may include construction management systems, the analyzing project plans, marketing practices, operational analysis and construction law.  Graduates of the MS program tend to hold positions such as Construction Management Supervisor, Vice President of Construction Management and Head Construction Manager. 

Ph.D. in Construction Management

The main focus of doctoral programs in Construction Management is the application of construction management theories and practices to various complex and multifaceted building projects.  Qualified candidates must possess a Master’s Degree in Construction Management or a similar field, such as engineering, architecture or urban planning.  The classes for this particular program tend to be very sophisticated in nature, including the study of advanced construction systems, project scheduling, project information systems, cost estimating and research seminars.   Individuals who earn their PhD in Construction Management may pursue any number of career opportunities, including working as a Construction Management Researcher, University Professor, Senior Construction Manager and Director of Operations.