Essay: Importance of a College Degree in Construction Management

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¶ … college degree in Construction Management.

The construction industry: The usefulness of seeking an academic degree

The construction industry was severely impacted by the recent recession. Most housing markets are over-saturated with homes for sale. However, one segment of the construction industry is expanding, that of energy efficient, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified or 'green' buildings. A 2011 study by the Fredonia Group found that "demand for green building products -- buoyed by increased availability, environmental concerns, stricter building codes, and a rebounding construction industry -- is expected to increase by 13% annually to create a $71 billion market in 2015" (Rimetz 2011).The skyrocketing costs of fossil fuels require a new way of looking at how commercial and residential structures are built. To satisfy this demand requires thinking outside of the traditional 'box' of how to construct modern buildings. Although I have experience as a project manager, I desire to better prepare myself for the future of construction, which I believe will be cleaner and greener than it is today.

According to the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC): "A sustainable building is one in which the site, design, construction, occupancy, maintenance, and deconstruction of the building are accounted for in ways that promote energy, water, and material efficiencies, while providing healthy, productive, and comfortable indoor environments and long-term benefits to owners, occupants, and society as a whole" (What is sustainability, 2011, SBIC). The technology needed to make this possible, including solar and wind energy, is still being refined. The need for greater technological knowledge of how to create a sustainable building is manifest in the existence of such internationally-recognized standards of certification for construction professionals, such as LEED. LEED measures the sustainability of site selection and development, water usage, materials, atmospheric quality, and intentions for use (What LEED is, USGBC).

According to one construction manager I interviewed, while demonstrated excellence and experience in the field was enough to succeed in the industry in the post, that is no longer the case. Technical knowledge is required to capitalize upon the full range of opportunities that exist in construction. Additionally, the financial strains put upon the industry by the credit crisis increasingly require construction managers to balance competing demands for affordability, sustainability, and aesthetics. Knowledge of environmental science, architecture, and economics at a university level are invaluable assets for the construction manager's skill set.

It can be difficult to predict the needs that will arise over the course of a project. A manager cannot shrug and say he or she will only take projects where his or her skill set is applicable. Often to the manager's frustration, the priority given to the demands of different aspects of the project, or to the different visions of various interest groups may change over the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Importance of a College Degree in Construction Management.  (2011, May 23).  Retrieved August 17, 2019, from

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"Importance of a College Degree in Construction Management."  May 23, 2011.  Accessed August 17, 2019.