Making the decision to invest in a graduate degree is one that should be made after careful consideration and strategic planning.
Graduate education involves time, energy and money, but obtaining graduate-level credentials is one of the most strategic ways to pave the way for a meaningful and lucrative career.
If you’re looking to secure a career in construction management, then obtaining a master’s degree could position you for success in one of today’s most impactful fields.
Let’s explore the field of construction management and how a construction management graduate degree will boost your competitive edge and make you indispensable in the workforce.
“A few years ago, you may not have given a master’s degree a second thought. But these days, it’s increasingly important to think about your long-term employability. You need to keep your skills fresh and prepare yourself to address not just the problems facing your industry today but those that are bound to come up in the future. A master’s in engineering offers you that path to greater job security.”
— Medium, “Is a master’s in engineering worth it?”
Reason 1: The construction manager salary for those with a master’s degree is higher than those with only a bachelor’s.
Salaries in construction management are quite competitive, but countless studies show that professionals with a graduate degree can command higher salaries than those armed with only a bachelor’s degree.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for construction managers is $101,480. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $62,210, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $168,390.
In addition, the employment outlook for professionals working in construction management is projected to grow 5 percent from 2032, which is faster than the national average for all careers.
Not only is the construction management employment outlook optimistic, but construction management careers will also continue to diversify as technology advances.
Reason 2: With a construction management master’s degree, professionals learn to manage risk and work around budget constraints.
In the construction management field, driven professionals are needed to address and solve a variety of issues — including (but certainly not limited to) risk assessment and budget constraints.
Risk Assessment: The risks involved in construction management are greater — and much more costly — compared to several other industries.
In a construction management graduate degree in civil engineering, professionals learn comprehensive constructability and risk analysis for projects from pre-project planning through turnover including modularization and prefabrication. Learning these skills reduces the risks associated with the construction management industry.
Budget Constraints: It is reported that 91.5 percent of construction projects come in over-budget. In short, construction managers struggle to make the best choices regarding strategy, time and investment.
With a civil engineering degree focused on construction management, experts enter the field prepared to provide strategic solutions to challenges that result in more productivity and efficiency — in short, increasing the bottom line.
Reason 3: With a master’s in civil engineering that’s focused on construction management, you’ll develop specialized skills needed to stand out among the competition.
To make yourself indispensable to employers, you need fine-tuned skills in a specific area of engineering. In the construction industry specifically, here are a few challenges that construction managers face:
- Professional talent gap — Construction management teams often experience a significant talent gap among professionals that result in delays and inefficiencies.
- Lack of sustainable options — In light of the current emphasis on environmental responsibility, construction managers face the obstacle of finding sustainable solutions for green building initiatives.
- Risk management — The risks involved in construction management are greater — and much more costly — compared to several other industries.
If you’re passionate about making a difference in the construction industry, a master’s in civil engineering that’s focused on construction management will equip you with the specialized skills needed to disrupt traditional practices and enact real change.
Study construction management at the forefront of innovation at Vanderbilt University
A highly-respected leader in the field of engineering, Vanderbilt University School of Engineering offers a master of engineering in civil engineering with a concentration in construction management.
Built on the foundation of civil engineering, Vanderbilt University’s multidisciplinary program teaches the latest developments in construction technologies and software with management principles to understand, address and solve the broad range of challenges confronting the construction industry — now, and in the future.
In Vanderbilt’s master of engineering in civil engineering with a concentration in construction management, students have the opportunity to choose an area of emphasis when completing their degree. These areas include:
- Healthcare Construction
- Project Delivery Systems
- Project Life-cycle Analysis
- Project Schedule Reduction Techniques
- Construction Contracts
- Underground/Trenchless Construction
Download Vanderbilt University's construction management guide and take the first step in securing a meaningful career in construction management.