Construction management

Degrees Explained: Construction Management

Construction management is not just about construction sites – it’s a big deal. If your ambition is to take a job site management position in the construction industry, a construction management degree will put you on the right track. The program covers everything from project management to surveying, estimating, contract management, planning, facilities management, real estate development and certification.

The degree provides knowledge of developments in urban cities, the growing need for residential and commercial properties, and the renovation of elements of the built environment. Here, students learn about the efficient procurement of built facilities and the growing imperative of sustainable development.

Rapid urbanization and population growth have seen the demand for construction professionals continue to grow globally. Here’s everything you need to know about a construction management degree.

Construction management is not just about construction sites – it’s a big deal. Source: William West / AFP

What am I going to study?

You will learn about the immediate and lasting effect of construction activities on the environment and learn about sustainable and environmentally friendly construction methods and innovative management practices. Professionals in this field undertake a wide range of tasks, including: defining the scope, budget and schedule of a project; define performance requirements and select project participants; and the use of procurement methods to maximize the efficient use of resources (labor, materials and equipment).

The course offers the ideal balance between academic study and the application of professional skills and competences. The main topics covered in construction management include: project management; Procurement process; Risk management; Cost estimate; Management of labor, materials and equipment; and the management of infrastructure assets.

This is an industry-recognized qualification that provides you with the academic preparation you need for a career as a licensed builder. Most universities have strong ties to the industry, which means you will learn from construction professionals and gain a working understanding of the latest industry trends. Students graduate with a wider range of knowledge on the legal, technical, managerial, economic, social and environmental aspects of construction projects.

Between your second and final year, some universities may require you to complete a paid industrial training internship, lasting one year or shorter. This experience not only gives you an insight into the industry, but is also a valuable opportunity to get to know a range of industry professionals.

construction management

Rapid urbanization and population growth have seen the demand for construction professionals continue to grow globally. Source: Armend Nimani / AFP

What are the entry requirements?

An undergraduate degree is usually obtained in two to four years, depending on the type of study and the recognition of prior learning you may have. Most universities offer this degree as a three-year full-time program.

Depending on each establishment, entry requirements vary. However, students must have satisfactory results in the A-levels, IGCSE, GCSE, ILC Higher, IB Diploma or BTEC exams. If English is not your first language, you must demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no band less than 5.5, should suffice.

What are my career options?

As a graduate, you will be prepared for a rewarding career as a construction professional. Your industry knowledge, combined with strong problem-solving, decision-making, communication and technology skills, will prepare you for leadership roles in all construction projects.

Construction management graduates then find employment in a wide range of fields including commercial, industrial, residential, project management, and contract administration. Studying construction management can prepare you for roles like site manager, construction manager, quantity surveyor, contract managers, property managers, building contractors, and more.

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