The Urgent Need for Construction and Architecture Education
The demand for housing has never been higher, and experts predict that the “stay-at-home” culture created by the pandemic will continue long after a vaccine arrives. With this increase in demand for homes, supply remains quite limited as many construction firms are seeing shortages in both materials and labor. The construction industry just can’t keep up with the buyers. This is creating significant opportunities for the next generation of our workforce within construction careers.
For school leaders, focusing on Career and Technical Education (CTE) is becoming increasingly important as many students are choosing career pathways other than traditional, four-year college alone. Having exposure to a variety of options is critical! Options help the rising generation find passions and interests as well as prepare for career aspirations. This is why construction education should be a part of any career education or CTE offerings at all schools and districts across the country.
Construction and Architecture Careers are Plentiful and Growing
The demand for new homes naturally opens up a variety of career path opportunities across the construction landscape, including planning, design, architecture, construction management, and many more. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates there will be nearly 800,000 new, high-demand construction jobs in 2024, many of which will be labor focused. Still, some will require skills in information technology to support automation and innovation within the industry.
Not only will there be a high demand for skilled people to fill these roles, but construction jobs are often some of the highest paying jobs available, especially when it comes to non-college educated workers. In 2019, jobs in the construction industry had a median income of $47,430, which was significantly higher than the median income for all occupations of $39,810. In addition, many of these roles only require a high school diploma or equivalent education, making this a viable choice for students immediately after graduation.
As we all know, home building isn’t the only opportunity for construction careers. Those who specialize in construction can find careers developing wind turbines, schools, bridges, roads, or entires cities! The possibilities in the construction field are endless.
Construction Pathways Include Many Specializations
Architects, sheet metal workers, painters, designers, solar panel specialists, wind turbine installers, construction inspectors, sustainability experts, and home construction business owners. The list goes on and on, and these are just some of the career paths and specializations that students can explore as they consider a construction career. Furthermore, students can explore various specialties within construction to increase their earning potential. For example, students can explore labor roles while they begin college coursework in architecture or business management and entrepreneurship, with the aspiration of opening their own architecture firm or home building business down the road. Others may want to focus on various labor specialties to explore becoming a general contractor or simply to be more marketable to hiring managers in the future.
Students can learn more about the roles available in the construction field through online courses or other career education. They can understand the next steps in their education and discover the job demand for the roles of interest in their area. Finally, they can research the income potential of each role to discover the career path that makes the most sense for them and their goals.
Certifications Allow Students to Become More Marketable When Job Searching
Beyond the training for the career itself, students who have access to instruction around industry-specific certifications find themselves with more career opportunities after graduation and a wider path for growth and advancement within their careers. By offering students the ability to earn certifications in specific facets of construction, schools can help students strengthen their resumes to be the strongest candidates when they begin job searching. These highly sought-after certifications include LEED Green Associate, Autodesk AutoCAD certification for architecture and design, and OSHA 30 Construction, among many others.
Construction and Architecture Education Should be Part of any CTE Program
In many schools around the country, students have limited opportunities to explore careers in construction pathways. To support schools in their ongoing efforts to fill these gaps, Pointful Education is continuing to expand its construction pathway with even more courses that help students prepare for careers in this field. We currently offer a Construction Fundamentals & Careers course, along with a certification preparation course on the LEED Green Associate. We are also excited to announce several new courses under development on Building Maintenance Technology, Architectural Design, and Project Management, which will be available to schools this coming year. Learn more about these courses here.
Environmentally Conscious Construction is the Future
Limited supply isn’t the only deterrent when it comes to home buying. Today’s buyers, as well as the next generation of homeowners, are demanding energy efficient and technologically smart homes. They want living spaces that are sustainable and have a limited environmental impact when it comes to construction or renovation.
The LEED Green Associate exam preparation course has at its core a focus on sustainability in construction. Additionally, our courses on the Internet of Things and Smart Cities show students the possibilities of integrating technology responsibly and effectively into our homes, buildings, and cities.
We are excited to continue partnering with schools and districts by constructing relevant, timely, and engaging courses to help students build their best future.