Western Carolina University’s Construction Management Program provides students with the technical and managerial background needed for career success in the industry. Students work with advanced technologies and software, while learning the management and communication skills required of today’s effective leaders. Carefully designed by expert faculty members, students, and construction professionals, the curriculum meets the needs of the students and their future employers.
The curriculum includes several aspects of the profession, such as contracts and specifications, land development, computer applications, accounting, communication and leadership skills. The major requires construction management courses such as Construction Methods and Materials, Construction Site Planning and Equipment, and Construction Legal Aspects. The curriculum also includes liberal studies, accounting, law, management, marketing, and mathematics courses. All students complete a required one-semester internship in which they gain valuable real-world experience while learning about project-based work in the construction industry. Outside of the classroom, students may get involved with organizations such as the WCU Construction Management Club and the WCU chapter of Sigma Lambda Chi, the honor society recognizing outstanding students in construction curricula.
The program prepares graduates for diverse employment opportunities throughout the construction industry, planning, coordinating, budgeting, and supervising a wide variety of construction projects from development to completion, including building of all types of public, residential, commercial and industrial structures, as well as roads and bridges. Typical starting positions include project manager, project engineer, construction administrator, scheduler, estimator inspector, contract administrator, and facilities or construction manager, among others. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the construction management field is predicted to grow at a higher- than-average rate compared with other industries with more open positions than qualified candidates available. Additionally, many current construction managers will retire over the next few years and construction activity is increasing at a rapid rate, yielding good opportunities for employment and career advancement. Graduates may also choose to pursue graduate studies in order to deepen their knowledge and further expand their career possibilities.