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Civil Engineering vs Construction Management Degree

How can I choose between these 2 degrees?

Everyday thousands of people look up the difference between these two degree option – Civil Engineering or a Construction Management Degree. In our article below we layout the difference between the two. For the purposes of this article we consider “Construction Project Management” (our course) to be similar to “Construction Management”

Image of Construction Engineers planning like civil engineering

About Civil Engineering Degrees

If you’re looking to major in the construction of highways, bridges, roads, and other infrastructure, then you can either study civil engineering or construction project management. Civil engineers are professionals who build and maintain the various infrastructural projects in our society. They are involved in the design, construction, and management of roads, bridges, etc. They are very vital during the developmental stages of the project, including evaluation and design.

And looking at the basic, large structures within our locality, you’ll find that it’s the brains and skills of civil engineers that were put in use. Therefore, they are significant in society, though not to a larger extent when compared to construction managers. And for the last few years, the number of experienced civil engineering graduates has been reducing sharply, meaning there is a high demand for new graduates in the market. But I would advise you to study construction project management, and you will see more reasons why below.

Subjects Covered in a Civil Engineering Degree

  1. Land and Construction Surveying
  2. Construction Materials
  3. Structural and Stress Analysis
  4. Mathematics for Civil Engineering
  5. Civil Engineering Practice Engineering
  6. Geology and Soil Mechanics
  7. Construction Methods and Technology
  8. Geotechnical Engineering 1
  9. Structural Analysis
  10. Hydraulics
  11. Concrete Technology and Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures
  12. Computational Mechanics.
  13. Individual Project
  14. Design of Structures
  15. Design of Steel Structures
  16. Dynamics of Structures
  17. Applied Hydraulics
  18. Geotechnical Engineering
  19. Project Planning and Analysis
  20. Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  21. Sustainable Construction
  22. Building Performance and Design Configuration
  23. Environmental Impact Assessment
  24. Water, Sanitation, and Health
  25. Masonry Structures
  26. Project Management for Construction

Jobs for Civil Engineering Graduates

A civil engineering degree will give you many opportunities, but there are a few specializations. When compared with construction project management, they have a limited job selection, including:

  1. Civil Engineer
  2. Geotechnical engineer
  3. Environmental engineer
  4. Public health engineer
  5. Transportation engineer
  6. Urban planning engineer

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 372,200 construction managers who are active in the US with the number ever-increasing. The United States is also experiencing an upsurge in the construction of both residential and commercial properties, which makes construction management very vital to the country. They ensure that projects are completed on time and within the budget. Of course, this is regardless of the size or complexity of the project.

We reference the US statistics because we believe that whatever happens there, also happens elsewhere in the world.

About the Construction Management Degree

Construction managers are important during the construction of different buildings and facilities. They ensure that the project is completed in the indicated time frame and at the right budget. This is made possible through cooperation with engineers and managers involved in the entire project. They also liaise with local, state, and federal authorities to ensure the project adheres to the safety laws and regulations that apply to the construction industry.

Due to the various types of construction projects, construction managers can specialize in multiple fields. Specialization helps them understand the various aspects of a project. And in large projects, you will find many specialized construction managers who are supervising different parts of the project and reporting to the manager in charge of the whole project. Construction managers normally interact with many workers, and therefore, they must have excellent planning, management and communication skills.

Subjects Covered in a Civil Engineering Degree

  1. Introduction to Law and Regulatory Framework
  2. Construction Management Project 1
  3. Economics and Management
  4. Environmental Science and Services
  5. Introduction to Construction Management
  6. Construction Process Management
  7. Construction Management Project 2
  8. Lean and Offsite Production Management
  9. Technology 2
  10. Multidisciplinary Project
  11. Procurement and Administration
  12. Discipline Research Project
  13. Professional Practice
  14. Project Management
  15. Sustainable Design and Construction
  16. Construction Law and Dispute Resolution
  17. Introduction to Design & Delivery Systems

Best Jobs for Construction Management Graduates

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted an 11% increase in construction management jobs in the country by 2026. Looking at these figures, they’re not surprising since there is a higher demand for housing and workspaces in the US. Cities are also being renovated, expanded, and new ones are emerging, increasing the need for skilled architects and construction managers. Again, expect that this trend will be a global phenomenon of buildings and entire urban environments being re-developed in light of COVID19.

And to get construction management’s field jobs, you will need to get a degree or master’s. But don’t worry as the jobs are gratifying, considering their high salaries and other benefits. Well, below are some of the jobs you’ll get with a construction management degree:

  1. Site Engineer
  2. Construction Manager
  3. Sustainability Consultant
  4. Facilities manager
  5. CAD technician

Comparing the 2 Degrees: Civil Engineering vs Construction Project Management

When comparing the 2 degrees, it is important to consider a few factors:

What is my countries work environment like?

In a place like Singapore, where Auston Institute School of Engineering is based, you will find that having a civil engineering degree would not help much as there is a required chartered status to practice as a civil engineer and that is only awarded by NUS and NTU who are notoriously hard to get into.
Also Singaporeans

Why You Should Take a Construction Project Management Degree

A degree in construction management is one of the best in the industry. Besides its impressive job stability, you will also enjoy a higher salary, other allowances, and the ability to benefit the society you live or work in. Well, below are some benefits of this degree:

  1. Competitive Salary

    Well, most professionals in the other industries are envious of the significant salaries that construction managers have. The USA BLS in 2016 indicated that the median wage of construction managers is $89,300, which is quite rewarding.
    Besides, BLS also indicated that they expect the jobs of construction managers to increase by 16% as of 2022. This is higher than most occupations and is good news for college students who want to indulge more in this career.

  2. Employment Satisfaction

    You will also enjoy an impressive career that will enable you to utilize your creativity, passion, and leadership skills in designing the projects. Additionally, you’ll be proud of the projects you have accomplished, and client satisfaction will boost your morale in this industry. Overall, as long as you have top-notch skills and pleasant experience, you’ll hardly miss clients in your job.

  3. Other benefits

    Also, you will enjoy higher job stability due to the increasing demand for construction managers. Furthermore, the position enables you to apply your leadership skills, and there is a lot of travel that’ll make your career more exciting. The construction management course also gives you a chance of being independent and honing your leadership skills to the next level. Finally, you’ll get rapid career advancement when you study this course.

A degree in civil engineering and construction project management gives you a top role in the building and construction industry. But comparing the two, you’ll realize that construction project management is far more lucrative, well-paying, and has more opportunities for the college graduate.

So What Should I Do Now?

We recommend that you start looking for degree programmes and hopefully, you choose us.

Many people ask where do I start.  

Everyone starts in different place. Your past qualifications and work experience is critical in determining where you go and start. If you’d like to speak to a consultant about joining, please complete the form below and we can get back to you about fees, duration and more.

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