What You Should Know About This Degree
Construction managers inhabit a complex role on projects that includes budgeting, scheduling, communicating with clients and contractors, and complying with building and construction codes. They need a range of aptitudes, including leadership, decision-making, customer service, business, and time management.
A degree or certificate program will help you develop these skills, but on-the-job training is also valuable. Some programs at the graduate level seek students who have professional experience and an understanding of how construction or engineering projects work.
At the post-baccalaureate level, students can earn a graduate certificate or a master’s degree in construction management. Graduate certificate programs are typically more focused and take less time to complete than a full master’s program, but may not lead to the same job opportunities or professional recognition that a master’s will. Consider your career goals and timeline when deciding whether to seek a graduate certificate or master’s.
A number of professional certifications exist for construction managers, including the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) from the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) from the American Institute of Constructors (AIC). These credentials signify expertise and professionalism to clients and employers, and the credentialing process usually involves passing an exam. Depending on the state, construction managers may also need a state-issued license.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Construction Management programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? At the master’s and graduate certificate level, programs may seek individuals who have an undergraduate degree in construction management, civil engineering, or a related field, and/or professional experience in construction or engineering. Some programs may offer “bridge” courses in areas like math and engineering that students without the required background can complete before matriculating.
- Can graduate certificate coursework be applied to a master’s degree? Some students may earn a graduate certificate in construction management, before pursuing a full master’s. If you are considering this path, select a program that will let you apply your certificate coursework to the master’s, as this can save you time and money.
Be sure to review the program’s admissions requirements and deadlines during your research process as well. Prepare your application materials well in advance of the due date, to help facilitate a smooth admissions process. You should also research funding resources for your degree, including scholarships offered by the school and private sources, financial aid, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer, if applicable.