Degrees That Build: The Many Potential Paths to a Career in Construction Management

When it comes to construction careers, the first college majors that often come to mind are civil engineering and construction management. While these fields undoubtedly provide a direct path to a successful career in construction management, there are several other college majors that might not immediately spring to mind but can translate exceptionally well into this dynamic industry.

In this article, we’ll explore some surprising and often overlooked college majors that can open doors to fulfilling careers in construction management. Whether you have a passion for design, a knack for business, or a strong foundation in science, there’s a path to construction management that aligns with your unique interests and strengths.

  • Architecture: While architects primarily design buildings, their understanding of construction processes, materials, and spatial planning can be beneficial in construction management. Many construction managers work closely with architects to ensure that designs are implemented effectively.
  • Architectural Engineering: This major combines elements of civil engineering and architecture, making it relevant to construction management. Architectural engineers learn how to design and construct buildings with a focus on functionality and sustainability.
  • Business Management: A degree in business management provides a strong foundation in business principles, project management, and financial management—all critical aspects of construction management.
  • Real Estate Development: This major focuses on the entire real estate development process, including construction. It provides insight into project financing, land acquisition, zoning regulations, and construction management.
  • Project Management: A degree in project management is directly applicable to construction management, as it covers key project management principles and methodologies that can be applied to construction projects.
  • Mechanical Engineering: While not as common as civil engineering, a mechanical engineering degree can still be relevant, especially if you intend to work on specialized construction projects like HVAC systems or industrial facilities.
  • Environmental Science or Sustainability: With the increasing emphasis on green and sustainable construction practices, a degree in environmental science or sustainability can be valuable in managing environmentally friendly construction projects.
  • Communication or Communication Studies: Effective communication is crucial in construction management. A degree in communication can help you develop strong interpersonal and leadership skills, which are essential when working with diverse construction teams and stakeholders.

It’s important to note that practical experience, internships, and certifications (such as Certified Construction Manager – CCM or Project Management Professional – PMP) can also play a significant role in preparing you for a career in construction management. Additionally, networking and building relationships within the construction industry can help you secure job opportunities and advance your career in this field.

The field of construction management is far more diverse and welcoming than it may initially appear. While traditional majors like civil engineering and construction management are solid choices, they are by no means the only ones. As you embark on your educational journey and consider your career options, remember that your personal interests, strengths, and passions can be valuable assets in the construction industry. Whether you find your niche in architecture, environmental science, business management, or another unexpected major, the construction world is ripe with opportunities for those willing to embrace the challenge of turning blueprints into reality. So, take a close look at your academic interests and career aspirations, and don’t hesitate to explore these unconventional yet promising paths toward a fulfilling career in construction management.

To explore construction career opportunities at Ruppert, click here.

To learn about our structured internship program, click here.