Questions I can't get answered about construction project management

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joesmoe in Chicago, Illinois

100 months ago

1. Why do employers keep asking for Engieering degrees when they require totally different difficulty and abilities than someone with a construction management degree? Sometimes you may not even need a degree! I just seems like total difference.

2. I have a degree and experience i accounting and am in my third year in my electrical apprenticeship program and want to get into project management but don't know whether I have to take no classes, some classes or get my masters. I feel like my backgroud is already strong and may only need a few classes.

3. How is employment among PM's. I know it is terriable i construction i general.

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russell232 in Framingham, Massachusetts

98 months ago

Joe, my response follows the sequence established in your queries:

1.) Good question. One owner of a GC I worked for felt it was much better to have a business background than engineering (my degree is in architecture). The smartest and most talented individual I met in this business never went to college and had a disdain for anyone that did. Actual field experience, common sense, and an ability to quickly grasp things matter much more than a degree, IMO.

2.) I was enrolled in an MS program at a local college and didn't think too much of the program as it was geared towards HUGE eg mega size projects such as a new city or a nuclear power plant. Not too practical Re. electrical, I might want to see if I could add courses in Sustainable Design, Lighting, and low voltage systems (which appear in increasing frequency in buildings).

3.) This is all I have to say: For most sectors of the economy, its a bad recession. For Finance, Manufacturing, and Construction its between a bad recession and a depression. End of story.

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Boilerguy in Portland, Oregon

94 months ago

A degree, Wow. I have been a Project/Construction Manager for many years now, guess what, no degree. I did serve an Apprenticeship, five wonderful years to become a journeyman craftsmen. High school education, two years in the Army, one in Vietnam, just another experience. Field experience,about 35 years, hard work, never late, always going the extra step. Manage, lead by example, always be fair and honest and you too can be a Project manager. I have had the opportunity to mentor several really good Grads with Construction management degrees, most lack field experience, and have not earned there bones. One can not always start at the Top.


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Robert B Wing in Santa Fe, New Mexico

92 months ago

Although Ron didn't say it this way, I think he might agree good construction managers have a combination of construction field experience and the right attitude about quality work and customer satisfaction. I have just been let go and have been applying for work all over the southwest. The application process is frustrating. I have been in construction for 35 years before there were CM certifications and academic programs.The degree programs are good training but severely incomplete. My certification is my track record and my references. I wish employers would call my references.

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