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Civil Engineers Need a Construction Management Degree — Here’s Why


Construction managers are responsible for successfully overseeing and leading a variety of construction projects from beginning to end. 

Because construction managers are also project managers, these professionals must be organized, strategic thinkers who can collaborate with designers, architects, contractors, builders and other engineers to take theory and apply it to the construction process.

Construction management vs. civil engineering: What's the difference?  

Construction and civl engineering are two sides of the same coin. Because construction management blends the fundamentals of civil engineering and the application of skills within the built environment, it is critical that future construction managers master the art and science of civil engineering. 

Obtaining a master’s degree in civil engineering that also pairs as a construction management degree is one strategic way to develop the skills needed to be a successful construction manager.

Download Vanderbilt University’s construction management guide to learn more  about obtaining a graduate degree in civil engineering that will prepare you to  transform the construction industry.

Here’s why civil engineers need a construction management degree.

Here are just a few of the challenges that construction managers face today — and why getting a construction management graduate degree in civil engineering is so valuable for professionals in the field today. 

Skilled construction managers fill a professional talent gap.

Construction management teams often experience a significant talent gap among professionals that result in delays and inefficiencies. 

Armed with a strategic master’s degree in civil engineering that is focused on construction management, professionals can enter the field ready to fill the talent gap in countless construction teams throughout the country — and the world.

Pro Tip: The employment rate for the construction management field is predicted to grow by 8 percent in the next 10 years, which is faster than the national average. Discover more on popular careers in construction management

Civil engineers remedy a lack of sustainable options in the construction industry.

In light of the current emphasis on environmental responsibility, construction managers face the obstacle of finding sustainable solutions for green building initiatives.

With a graduate civil engineering degree, professionals working in construction management have the opportunity to provide sustainable solutions to construction management teams looking to reduce their footprint and improve environmental stability through the use of smart infrastructure and smart construction.

With a construction management degree, professionals learn how to work around budget constraints.

According to one study by McKinsey & Company, 98 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.

Civil engineers working as construction managers work to improve risk assessment and management.

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 constructibility 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.

Pro Tip: Trying to decide if construction management is the right career path for you? Check out our interactive resource: Is Engineering & Construction a Good Career Path?

Ready to secure a career in construction management? Connect with us about obtaining a master’s degree in civil engineering!

Vanderbilt University is one of the most respected universities and research institutions in the world, and the School of Engineering is proud to offer a cutting-edge master of engineering in civil engineering with a concentration in construction management

By obtaining this professional degree in civil engineering, you will enter the construction management field with the skills and knowledge needed to transform the industry and experience a successful career in the field. 

If you are ready to join a community of visionary innovators with the Vanderbilt engineering community, we invite you to request more information or start your online application today.

Watch Vanderbilt University's construction management video and take the first step in securing a meaningful career in construction management.

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