While many industries expect their top management to acquire higher education and advanced degrees as they move up the corporate ladder, managers in the construction industry are beginning to take a different approach. While online degrees remain an option, the most up-to-date information is not likely to be found in online classrooms. Online industry trade magazines and other sources provide construction foremen to business owners with the information updates they require to make sound business decisions. Here is a sampling of these blogs and ezines and their value to construction managers.
- Construction Global: A comprehensive digital magazine that features international construction news, information, and industry trends. Construction management in particular will appreciate the resource material about contract awards, completion, building green, and the latest equipment advances. Although based in the United Kingdom, the ezine covers the industry on a global scale. Its publishers recognize that construction managers and executives are time-poor and require capsule summaries of a vast amount of industry knowledge. The information must be relevant, and be served in a format that is easily scanned and digested. Readers can expect to find updates on international building contract awards as well as the progress of these builds through to completion. This kind of attention to detail provides the kind of information previously found only through personal experience. Additional in-depth articles cover green building, infrastructure, and other major projects. The latest equipment available, architecture and industry events, executive and managerial appointments are routinely covered as well. As a resource, Construction Global aims to inform, engage and interact with construction management regarding key industry trends, technological advances, and software innovation. Of particular interest and importance to construction management are pieces that detail modern construction techniques and operational excellence. Recent articles have included: Harnessing Technology -how recent builds utilized cloud technology and the Internet of Things to reach their production goals. Delivering Complex Development -an overview of the new Abu Dhabi international airport build, and Eight Ways Construction Companies Can Increase Reach on Social Media.
- Agile Management Blog: Produced by the VersionOne® company, which produces business software, this blog serves construction managers by offering information about their business software. The firm has designed project management tools for this specific industry, aimed at keeping construction projects on track. Be warned, however. This blog is for IT and programming staffers in the construction industry and is not intended for lay readers.
- AEC-Business: This is a blog that shares success stories from the community of architects, engineers, construction business owners, managers, and developers. Its subject matter covers a wide range of topics considered critical to its target demographic. Recent articles have reviewed Sablono Onsite, a new construction industry project management software that is fully cross-platform. Another example of AEC-Business’ blog is a podcast about BulldozAIR, another new mobile and Web solution to facilitate construction task management.
- TCAI, LLC: An industry website, TCAI’s blog The Construction Management Pro is specifically for construction managers from smaller companies. Their articles provide them with information about tools, techniques, and procedures used in larger-scale projects that can easily be adapted to facilitate smaller projects more efficiently. This is an especially valuable blog for construction management whose firms undertake smaller projects. Smaller projects generally have smaller timelines and budgets, yet often the same high expectations as far bigger builds. Articles of interest to the smaller builder or contractor include Design Basics, which details the dimensions and offers layout tips when designing a master bathroom remodel, and information about education and events such as FEMA’s Residential Coastal Construction Class that provides Best Practices in Flood and Wind Mitigation for contractors, builders, engineers, and architects.
- Constructonomics: This is a personal account by a construction manager who provides both sides of his worksite experiences. As the title suggests, he provides keen insight into budgetary considerations. This is an industry resource that many, even those who are not “readers,” will find very accessible. As with most accounts that are first-hand, the insights are easy for construction management to relate to and take stock of. Of particular interest are blogs about the essence of construction agreements. It explains the issues that can arise from the interpretation of a contract as part of well as how to avoid them. Another blog written by someone who has clearly been there will skillfully educate construction managers on the art of producing the right Request for Proposal. This blog is not a how-to, but more of a survival guide that trades war stories while imparting information. His nuggets of information are worth the effort it takes to read them.
When Construction Management Articles Are Not Enough
Construction managers know that their education never ends. Every project, project site, and successful build further their knowledge of their craft. There are some, however, who wish to supplement their existing knowledge with online classroom time. Perhaps they have worked in the industry for years but have not yet been selected for management. Still, others are changing their careers and have extensive management experience in other fields, yet want to ensure that this translates seamlessly into a parallel role in a new industry.
For these individuals, there are a number of online degrees and certifications in construction management to consider. Here is a partial list. As with standard brick-and-mortar classroom learning, these matriculated programs are offered as two-year Associates and four-year Bachelor’s Degree programs. Acceleration is possible, and it may be possible to achieve an Associate in 18 months and a Bachelor’s in as little as three years.
Classes include Building Codes, Principles of Building Construction Management, Construction and Measurement, Project Scheduling, Safety Management, and Legal Issues. All provide a sound foundation for a continued or new career in the field of construction management.
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