Programs for a master’s degree in construction management are available through a variety of traditional and online college programs. A master’s degree often is desirable for construction professionals who wish to advance into middle- and upper-management positions. Depending on the program, you could earn a master’s degree in construction management even if you have an undergraduate degree in another career field.
As a construction manager, you can oversee virtually any kind of construction project, ranging from residential and commercial to industrial and governmental. The job entails overseeing every facet of a project. These responsibilities include setting timetables for a project, hiring employees and coordinating meetings with architects, union leaders, governmental agencies and investors.
You can earn a master’s degree in construction management online or through a combination of online and in-person classes. You also can opt to take the entire degree on a college campus. Some programs do not require a thesis to complete the program. The most important thing to remember is to choose a program that is fully accredited and recognized in the construction industry.
If you choose to earn an online degree, be aware that some on-site experience still might be required. Real-world experience gives you a chance to interact with others and see for yourself how a construction site is managed. A construction manager must be visible both on the construction site and in meeting with various people involved in the project.
If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you will be required to complete one before you can move on to earning a master’s degree in construction management. The college you choose can provide specific information on the requirements and timetable needed to complete the degree. If you have on-the-job experience in construction, ask a college representative if that can partially count toward your degree.
Some of the classes you likely will take in your degree program are project design, architecture, estimating costs and overseeing safety. You do not have to be an expert in each of these areas. It is a good idea, however, to have some basic knowledge in each one. You also can choose to specialize in a certain area.
After you earn your master's degree in construction management, your options for employment include being self-employed, owning your own business or working for a company. The greatest chance for work is in areas that are doing well economically and are experiencing growth. Generally, there always is a need for construction managers, especially in areas that are thriving.