The Construction Management Industry
U.S. construction, at $790 billion dollars in 2011, is one of the largest industries in the U.S. indeed in the world. The sheer size of the industry, as well as the sophistication and cost of modern construction operations requires managers who possess a high level of construction knowledge and skill. The fact that California has more than 300,000 licensed contractors while its universities graduate fewer than 500 with Construction Management bachelor degrees per year predicts an unlimited demand for university-educated construction managers in the foreseeable future.
The Construction Management Department
Chico State University’s Construction Management (CM) Program, established in 1977, became a Bachelor of Science degree fully accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) in 1987. Today Chico State’s BSCM degree is the largest CM program in California and one of the largest in the country. The construction industry continues to aggressively recruit our graduates (statistics indicate CM graduates are the most heavily recruited from the University) and to provide financial support of our program. The achievements of our alumni within the industry, the many regional and national awards won by our undergraduates, and the impressive performance of CM students during internships and summer employment are evidence of the program’s success.
The CM faculty
Since its inception, the Department of Construction Management has hired faculty with a beneficial blend of academic preparation, successful teaching experience at the college and/or university level, and most importantly significant experience managing construction operations. Construction companies that routinely recruit and hire our graduates tell us that this deep personal experience managing construction operations and companies translates to quality graduates able to provide superior performance.
The CM Curriculum
The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management degree curriculum focuses on providing a broad base of knowledge and skills targeted toward the management of construction operations.
Particular emphasis is on project estimating, CPM scheduling, cost control, legal aspects, and construction operations at the project and company level. The CM courses provide students with simulated management experience utilizing actual contract plans and specifications for building, heavy/civil, electrical, and mechanical construction projects. To obtain this degree, students complete a 128-unit blend of selected construction management courses plus an appropriate complement of business, law, math, science, and other University general education courses.
The CM Career Outlook
Chico State Construction Management graduates historically experience an extraordinarily bright career horizon immediately upon graduation. Virtually all CM students are aggressively recruited by both local and nationally based construction companies of all types and sizes. One-third of the largest 50 construction companies in the nation recruit Chico State CM graduates for full-time career-track positions and undergraduates for internships.
Being a CM student
Chico State CM students and alumni often say that being a CM major feels much like being part of a family. Because faculty and students recognize the importance of both hard work in the classroom and time spent together out of the classroom, the curriculum and courses are challenging and rewarding, and that learning experience is complemented by extra-curricular opportunities and internships.
Community service projects provide hands on experience that is also deeply rewarding. In 2010 and 2011, 250 CM students took community service to a new level by planning, designing, and constructing four homes for a nonprofit organization committed to serving the needs of domestic violence victims and their children.
More than 40% of the CM majors actively participate in student chapters of the country’s major construction trade associations including: Associated General Contractors (AGC), Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) organizing field trips, community service projects, and other events.