Opportunities for Continuing Education and Professional Development in the Construction Industry

Table of Contents

1. Certifications

Green building professionals are those individuals who are informed about current construction issues and construction techniques related to environmentally friendly construction projects. These opportunities must continue to be strengthened if there is to be a broader and more informed category of workers in these areas. Professionals need to be aware of the choices that are presented to them on a daily basis. Technicians need to know how the products and components are installed and how the work needs to be done to respect the products that will be installed. Workers need to be informed about the proper installation techniques and to feel like important resources in the construction for which they are responsible. If all these groups are aware of the latest construction issues, it will only lead to increased demand for these products and techniques to be applied in the construction industry.

Several topics are recommended for updating based on the needs of the industry. These topics can be addressed in technical meetings, congresses, and formal updating programs in which construction professionals, technicians, and workers participate. Below are examples of courses that can be offered in construction and related fields.

The construction industry is a field that is constantly changing due to technological advances, construction methods, materials, and products. It is necessary for educators and professionals in these areas to continually update their knowledge and competencies. An approach that is recommended is the formal updating of knowledge. In this way, participants can learn about new topics, review outdated ones (depending on the content of the lecture), and make formal or informal contacts with other professionals.

1.1. Importance of Certifications

In the past 25 years, the AC program has grown to 51 collegiate programs and over 2500 ACs. Young professionals aspiring to become construction management professionals can now find the AC program at a growing number of institutions across the United States. The four major principles of the AC program, as defined in DBIA’s certification guide, are comprehensive in that the AC program provides the preparation necessary to drive the necessary understanding of how to manage a construction project that is successful and profitable. The candidate must also learn about planning and scheduling, project coordination, and how to improve planning and scheduling. Overall, the candidate is building a body of knowledge that can help firms thrive and grow in an increasingly complex industry.

There are a number of advantages of being an AC; therefore, ACs tend to outperform their peers in the construction industry in a number of other industry sectors. One advantage of AC certification could be a faster rate of promotion through increased responsibility and rotating between a variety of construction projects. The best employers understand that not only is it essential to invest in the physical plant and equipment – they must also invest in their people, in their management and staff that manage the physical plant and equipment.

Although people have built structures for many thousands of years, the need to ensure quality in construction and safety for the general public has only relatively recently become recognized as a standard goal of management. In the United States, this goal was increasingly incorporated into modern contracting processes. A large national program, celebrating its silver anniversary, is that of the Associate Constructor program when the AC certification was first accredited by the American National Standards Institute and enters its 26th year of operations in order to improve the management and supervisory performance of field professionals working in the nation’s construction management industry.

Certification is a mark of individual and personal achievement that enhances lifelong learning in a rapidly changing construction landscape. Due to changes in technology, new rules and regulations, new materials, and ongoing improvements in safety and quality, today’s construction professionals must develop a lifelong commitment to continuing their education and maintaining professional development. Constructors who hold a certification represent that they have not only met the academic background requirements, but they also have the experience in the field that a construction employer is seeking.

1.2. Types of Certifications Available

Opportunities for continuing education and professional development in the construction industry abound. With all the options available for training, it can be overwhelming trying to choose the best method or topic to further employees’ knowledge and skillset. This paper’s goal is to provide the construction professional with a guide of education and training topics and methods generally available in the construction industry. The discussion covers the construction process from project management to marketing/business development. For project managers, there are training materials available in marketing/business development as well as in construction operations management.

The construction field offers a variety of continuing education opportunities for all levels of employees, from the helper on the jobsite to the professional at the corporate headquarters. There are numerous ways to obtain continued education and to keep abreast of the numerous changes that occur in the construction field. The field is always coming up with ways to improve the construction process, be it through advancements in materials or improvements in the project management process. This paper will address the many opportunities available for the construction team members and the myriad choices of training methods. Even though all of the sections may not apply to any one company, in general, some number of them will.

1.3. Benefits of Obtaining Certifications

In addition, because some certification programs also may help certification holders retain or gain membership in prestigious associations of building professionals, obtaining a certification can potentially result in greater details of personal recognition and acceptance as a building professional. Moreover, for employers, certification indicates that the holder is able to produce work with a certain level of standardization. Most would agree that a certified practitioner has been tested or vetted to practice at a consistent level of proficiency in a given field. Furthermore, for consumers, more than ever, consumers say when choosing a construction professional, they would prefer to have one who has been tested and vetted to practice at a consistent level of proficiency while providing a certain level of standardization.

Certification is a voluntary process that allows individuals and firms in the field of construction to demonstrate their knowledge, expertise, and commitment to the profession. The certifications obtained by a construction professional provide an objective measure of the holder’s abilities, as well as an indication of their qualification to practice in the field of construction. In addition, obtaining a construction certification can lead to numerous other benefits. Frequently, construction professionals pursue certification for the personal sense of accomplishment or to avoid prevailing wisdom, professional advancement, identify or differentiate oneself, keep abreast of the marketplace by receiving the most advanced information available on today’s subject matter, or market oneself to a particular audience.

1.4. How to Choose the Right Certification

1) The right certification for the right individual at the right education path or career stage will definitely represent an excellent prerequisite for both younger and experienced professionals working in the safety and health field. Whereas some certifications are ideal for professionals with background education and experience, others are perfect for individuals who have worked in the construction industry for years, in search for the advancement of their careers. Prospective certification candidates should therefore have one to two years of relevant work experience, depending on where you are in your career. To attain high distinction, diplomas and certificates of accredited degree programs, learning activities and exercises through coursework may also count for educational field hours. In search of knowledge, a new assessment organization would present difficult challenges, compelling you to always strive to obtain and maintain high performance levels, leading to a greater comprehension of the responsibilities you have been charged with. Obtaining the highest possible academic standing will allow postgraduate graduates to position themselves more effectively for jobs. Educational theory and research must be upheld to heighten multi-donor theoretical models of knowledge competence employed in the construction industry, not only in the community or in the workplace.

How to choose the right certification. Choosing the right certification will largely depend on your goals and objectives. What is your understanding of what you want to achieve? The first step is to clearly specify your plan and goals. Currently, there are more than 400 various types of BCSP certifications. Make sure you have done your homework and have sufficient information to avoid confusion and a feeling that you have lost valuable time on a wasted journey, contributing to frustration and embarrassment among colleagues with whom you will be competing for certifications. Please remember, certification is not about the size of a diploma or a certificate you obtain. It is about the knowledge, skills, and abilities you gain during the process!

2. Workshops

Opportunities for effective and relevant training that can be undertaken through the designed continuing education program include: Communication training; hands-on lab; all skills workshops offered by the Department of Professional Development regarding building and construction technology; computer literacy; engineering knowledge and advanced technology assessment utilized in construction; ability to design, produce plans from conception and creation to completion; basic construction engineering; hands-on construction workshop; variable and controls systems; environmental or green building technologies, programs related to architectural/engineering; government or private sector construction-related work or projects that require real-world experience must be used judiciously in support of construction engineering/technology programs. Other related required subjects are built design, problem resolution, human factors, client needs, communication, quality management and supervision, creating the working environment, not to mention procurement, cost planning in conjunction with valorization, contractual and management support. These critical elements of the project must not be taken lightly.

Considering that the construction industry is a very practical one, everything has to be experienced hands-on. Through participation in workshops, in conjunction with discussions and direct visual recognition of actual problems in various ways, an effective approach for learning education and karturkkan this engagement can effectively increase staff competency. Since the subject is seen and tinkered provoked by haptic feeling (haptic – relating to the sense of touch) and the visual system, which reinforces comprehension than learning from theory. The program can be directed towards quality practices and support the organization’s objectives by providing more knowledgeable workers, demonstrating the commitment for workforce development enhancing competitive advantage which promotes business improvements, also attracts the best people to the organization, in turn improving talent development and drive workforce transformation; this reinforces the organization’s recovery as this area is all about rebuilding and re-imagining for industrial growth and excellence by a workforce that is highly skilled and adaptable. It is also essential in supporting the needs of research, innovation, and skills – including the strategic goal of an innovative and respected resource, identified in the National Construction Skills Profile for 2010 – 2020.

2.1. Overview of Workshops

Existing workshops voids that they are often seen as an imprecise term and can mean different things to different people. Hence, workshops are often seen as informal, partly due to the low formality of workshop proceedings and are agenda-driven rather than leading to the generation of new knowledge. There is increasing recognition that continuing education is a means to ensure that designers and builders are equipped to practice in a manner consistent with the various sustainable development concepts that have emerged over the past decade. Continual learning is a key element in moving a firm to higher levels of effects in the construction of sustainable landmark ideas and principles. The overall goal of workshops is to foster a culture of research in which faculty members are motivated to be involved in problem-based research projects for student papers and collaboration across academic units, faculties, and academic years of study within the group. This collaboration would create networking among interested faculty members and graduates who are progressing research that may contribute to the committee to recognize hardworking faculty in the College who are actively engaged in the support of innovation and research. This is important with the college strategic plan, which highlights the importance of increasing involvement, particularly in research.

Workshops: Usually half a day to a day-long event focused on a specific topic, led by an expert in the field. The approach is interactive and is designed to allow participants to ask questions and participate in the discussions. Often involves group work and networking events. The topics are usually very specific and focused on the application of specific projects. On the other hand, symposiums go into more detail and involve multiple papers with detailed findings and results of studies. Amateur group members, students, project managers, and other construction industry professionals may attend, mainly for learning purposes. However, it also brings experienced professionals together, essentially following the idea of cross-generational learning.

2.2. Topics Covered in Workshops

The blue-collar workers group consists of seven categories: kitchen bath trade partner training, synthesis of Oracle/SAP/job services/ERP, carpentry, employment and changes in the industry, concrete, acoustical and drywall training, and finish carpentry. Ten topics were listed in the ‘future trends’ category: overview, technology, new innovation, generational differences, technology management and training, innovation, virtual design, virtual reality, building automation, and an increase in broader skill sets. The fourth group, technical skills, included the most topics; sixty-five areas are listed. Such a broad group of topics could have been further broken down or combined to make organizing the data more palatable. Topics included are: technology development for national competition, BIM modeling/estimating/budgeting (five total), construction labor shortage, financial acumen, code changes, CAD/BIM, specialty contractor education, construction industry action, blueprint reading (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, energy) (five total), Lean, innovative technology, builders code, modular, using iPad, project controls (scope, schedule, budget), project management (assignment creation), project management model case study, site safety (Gallegos Corp. fact-finding), structural engineering application, geotechnical analysis, mechanical (commercial HVAC), electrical (power quality), construction industry action, construction materials test study, mechanical (comm. Plumbing), and industrial application.

Topics covered in workshops were grouped into four different areas: soft skills, blue-collar workers, future trends, and technical skills. This group of topics primarily focused on what future opportunities may exist in the industry. Each of these groups is further subdivided based on the specific content covered. Soft skills are broken down into project management, education/teaching style, business development, communication, leadership, strengths-based leadership, teamwork/team building, negotiation, time management, professional skills, motivation/creating collaboration, emotional intelligence, behavioral interviewing, finding and developing future leaders, morale problem-solving, servant leadership, positivity, personal leadership, and new age versus old-school superintendents.

2.3. Benefits of Attending Workshops

The industry and employers benefit from the skill development of the attendees; the organizations gain improved process knowledge or implementation, and the attendees return to project settings with the ability to train and support colleagues. Attendees were, therefore, encouraged to experiment with new tools, techniques, and ‘shortcuts’ with the aim of increasing the use of CAD and optimizing the benefits of the technology. Participants are returning to project settings ready to act as champions for a new technology or software tool. Others are beginning the discussion of how the resource group may be effective in peer teaching and support, therefore increasing the use of the tool in the organization while not placing the entire load on the consultant.

Opportunities for continuing education and professional development in the construction industry: Volunteering with your local chapter. Typically, the goal of attending a workshop is to learn an approach for a particular tool or application, while classroom work is used to consider underlying principles and more generalizable approaches. Classroom activities tend to be longer and deeper, in part because one’s workplace experiences are helpful in understanding the principles being explained. Training can provide exposure to a wide range of tools, make participants aware of industry best practices, and allow them to persist relatively quickly using specific tools. Participants can acquire good field knowledge to use the tools effectively.

2.4. Finding and Selecting Workshops

At the American Institute of Architects, we have a robust education track for those who are currently architecture students and those who are apprenticing for licensure. We also have a professional development program track for those who are licensed; there are about 6,000 workshops offered annually to cater to the varying continuing education needs and interests of our 90,000+ members. We offer full registration discount at our conventions, Conferences on Architecture, and AIA Large States and Regional Governance Meetings to those who give a workshop or participate on a panel.

To find out about comparable opportunities in your region, check out the websites of your local AIA, the Manufacturers’ Affiliate of the American Institute of Architects, local chapters of the AIA’s various Knowledge Community, the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) that sponsors workshops for members and non-members, as does the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations (NCSEA).

At the American Construction Inspectors Association, we have an annual conference for which as many as 14 AIA continuing education credits are currently available plus ample opportunities are offered for networking with other inspectors, directors, and consultants and for meeting with the many vendors who offer products and services to those in the industry. We also offer a small number of other specialized training workshops each year that provide eight continuing education credits to participants.

With the overwhelming number of workshops offered on a continuing basis, it is wise to select reputable institutions or organizations from which to choose your training. A quick, easy, and free way to get a listing of institutions that offer workshops in a particular subject matter in your state or region is to go to the Technology Transfer Center National Exchange. Clicking the red button where TRAINING is listed will take you to a second page where you can search by subject or state. Just check off the training courses you are interested in seeing and press SUBMIT at the bottom, then you will instantly get a listing in your region.

3. Seminars

The insistence with which criticism towards the existing training was made further extends to the construction area and, within it, particularly to the project sector. The excessive and useless formalism that contributes little or nothing to the understanding raises the requirement for a deep mastery of the rules and procedures which would impose the subject output with respect to parameters that are, in a way, mandatory. Even if not negligible, courses help to convey the logic that should eventually guide interdisciplinary projects. With relation to another fundamental judgment, the disconnection of academic training from professional life, this is the most impassioned point. A lasting condition in schools for modern architects apparently creates, even in the eyes of the founders themselves, the new heroes of architectural civitas detached from the needs of everyday social life and that at best run parallel to them.

A seminar is an interactive hearing, normally led by an expert, offering advice on an academic and practical problem typical of the professional tasks or challenges in the construction field. Its purpose is to unleash creative dialogue among students from various origins and with respect to their individual knowledge and experiences. It guides towards innovative paths and generally proposes solutions for the problem presented. It is up to the student himself to pursue the proposed solution according to his area of activity or to the specialty offered.

3.1. What are Seminars?

Several years ago, an instructor at several construction management courses asked attendees to write down topics of concern they were experiencing in their construction industry. His request was to list these items, put them in question form, and be submitted without any personal identification. The next day, he would return the responses from the class, randomly chosen, and answered by any attending members. Based on the response, there would be a prize for the most on-topic question, the craziest question, and the most diversified question. By the beginning of the next course, he had seventy-one questions. Having a well-defined schedule with an agenda and guests from various aspects of the construction industry, the entire list was addressed in the five days. Many great and useful solutions were exchanged by the class led by a lecturer and the industry guests.

“Opportunities for Continuing Education and Professional Development in the Construction Industry” – At one time or another, we’ve either had the opportunity to attend a seminar or have heard of others attending. Perhaps even watched one on television. But what is a seminar? A dictionary definition refers to a conference of a group of people which is led by a discussion leader on some topic or topics. The discussion leader or leaders will present information in the form of an educational subject; attendees will learn about that particular topic or first-hand experience from the rented knowledge of the presenter. Attendees will also have the opportunity to share methods utilized in their industry, processes, applications, stories, and general helpful advice.

3.2. Popular Seminar Formats

C. Tool, Equipment or Technology Showcase: Contractors love to ‘kick the tires’ and touch new tools or products. By providing a forum in which a hands-on experience can take place, both contractors and suppliers can benefit. Presentations and discussions could be mixed with hands-on demonstrations, using small group learning stations.

B. Field Trip: A well-done field trip can be an excellent educational experience, with the added advantage of networking opportunities for the participants. On the other hand, a poorly organized field trip can be a disaster. Finding a good site that demonstrates useful technologies or other topics from which your participants can learn; arranging transportation, finding knowledgeable speakers, and organizing a group of people with diverse interests can all be challenging.

A. Seminar-Workshop: This format is becoming increasingly popular as businesses move to ‘seven habits of successful’ style. These events offer a series of educational, administrative skill training sessions, combined with a series of skill-building sessions. These include such activities as role-playing, problem-solving, team-building, self-development test administration/feedback, and other HR-related activities. Offering integrated seminar/workshops on topics of mutual interest can serve to attract a compatible audience and cause participants to spend more time, and thus create an atmosphere conducive to establishing long-term relationships.

In this session, we discuss some popular seminar formats, other than the traditional full-format seminar. Many of these formats are suitable for shorter, less involved topics and are sometimes used as adjuncts to large events.

3.3. Advantages of Participating in Seminars

Seminars achieve important goals for most participants. First, there is the opportunity to share knowledge among individuals. Seminars encourage participants to exchange ideas, personal knowledge, and experiences concerning a specific topic. In this way, much of the seminar’s value may come from less structured sessions: coffee breaks or meals, when opportunities arise to discuss areas not covered during the seminar and to consider the vast advantages of different practices and techniques specific to contractors’ experiences. Since registration is required, anyone in attendance at a seminar is generally interested in the course content. This motivation encourages participants to actively engage with speakers and other participants. After attending a seminar, most professionals return to their offices as committed, how committed as might be trained. Add this to the ancillary benefits of being active for a few days of presentations, particularly the identification of health and safety, management or administrative trends, the opportunities for networking–they become entirely convinced that they would not attend a seminar.

There are two other reasons for attending seminars: certification and relevance. In today’s world, certification seems to be more important than the value of a demonstrated experience. On the other hand, at the completion of a formal education program, it is the institutions who decide the scope of that education and what kind of knowledge they should give to students, the future workforce demanded by the market. Then, once we are in the career, the professionals become cognizant in determining for themselves what direction their career will take. But it is also necessary to demonstrate the accumulated knowledge through organizations, which value a physicochemical property of the matter consisting and necessary in the efficient functioning of the organizations, with implications of recognition and choice among many workers who collaborate, work in teams, or negotiate.

3.4. Identifying Relevant Seminars

These are topics and additional information specifics collected or derived from their websites. Various regulators require annual submittal of the CEUs/nCCs/CPDs for re-qualifications and licensing. The contractor licensing agencies in at least 44 states require such submittal. Plus, the CSI, AIA, ASHRAE, AGC, and ABC, SEI, and as well as the PMI, and CM/CIC/CILB, and at least the DBPR, and Contractor License Renewal Forms/CEU Fee Schedule Forms require CEU, SHEP, LEP, RDP, and CFXs. Other professional organizations such as the ASHE, ICC, UPCS, PC, ASCE, and AWS, CEUs for GBCI, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) exam requirements. Lastly, there may be necessary CEUs required when giving sentenced statements. In some cases of the licensing renewal, the education has a prerequisite number of years of actual trade work as well. Some of the assisted living and grey-hair certification organizations are simply MIL-STD-HDBK-1028 or 1028/2-, Part 4-LEED—Ballistic Missile Warning and Defence and EPCRA—N00604-P Revision differences or any system changes or Owner designations.

Please use this type of article only for the purpose of easy reference if you really need to contact me. Thank you for cooperation! As previously mentioned, you can earn a considerable amount of points toward the CEC and CCM if the courses attended are sponsored or endorsed by the Associated Colleges of Construction (formerly the ACS) and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)—specifically and more importantly, OSHA Outreach Training Program classes/CEUs. The major universities and colleges have many courses, seminars, and symposia within their continuing education divisions that are more or less relative to the profession, but not many are primarily related to construction. The text on pages 78 through 81 lists a number of professional organizations that, as members of their profession and peers, can fellow discuss and communicate the areas and points in areas that are related to a number of elements in construction education or supervision. For quick referencing and application, specific items are entered alphabetically rather than in the order of the item number or in any typical sequence of technical writing.

4. Continuing Education Programs

Courses are offered in a variety of formats, including online, face-to-face, or blended approaches, often with some type of community engagement. Both formal courses and informal social interactions that occur within the context of work contribute to the knowledge that workers possess. Common methods of course assessment include certification exams, in-class written tests, professional presentations, quizzes, final comprehensive project, homework and readings, and proctored exams. These innovative practices have shown improvement in the learning experiences of both students and instructors, allowing both students and instructors to think creatively to improve opportunities for comprehensive learning and leadership development.

Continuing education programs, which are considered essential to lifelong learning, include any formal learning activity that occurs after completion of a degree and occurs during the lifecycle of a person’s career. For example, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins University, a long-established continuing education provider, has recently launched programs tailored to construction safety and quality. These, and other graduate certificates in construction management, are primarily offered in a part-time online format to meet the needs of working professionals. These certificates can be used to prepare individuals for leadership roles provided they have experience in protégé leadership.

4.1. Importance of Continuing Education

Generating strategic value around knowledge, transforming it into organizational knowledge, is a fundamental process for business competitiveness and represents significant challenges for the roles involved. Engaging, motivating, and investing in continuing education for employees is a business decision that demonstrates that the company believes in them. This contributes directly to successful career improvements.

Training provides the opportunity to share experiences and to internalize the tacit knowledge of those who possess it in their field of action. Knowledge management and the company – In view of the environment of an increasingly globalized market and the globalization of information, the ongoing training of individuals has been recognized as one of the main pathways to competitive excellence. The flow of information and its diffusion, the valuation of people to exchange knowledge, experiences, and to share this learning, transforming them into organizational solutions, have become one of the priorities of organizations.

One of the ways of including training activities on the part of the individual in a company is to stimulate and channel certain behaviors. The greater the systematic conduct of higher quality training, the greater the generation and sharing of knowledge among organizations and the individuals who make up the corporation.

Continuing education favors the professional life of employees who keep up to date on their field of work, giving them better job opportunities, job security, a salary increase, a sense of achievement, and increased self-esteem. It always keeps the professional motivation of the worker. Continuing education cannot be thought of as an investment by taking the final result into account, which are the skills acquired, but expanding it to an investment that must also reward the student along the way.

4.2. Types of Continuing Education Programs

Construction professionals may pursue a variety of CE options, but online delivery (webinars, online courses, and other online presentations delivered as continuing education programs) is still one of the leading forms (80%) of delivery methods, with other forms, such as regular evening courses, being almost equally distributed. Several open access programs, across construction industry business sectors, are currently established, such as the Purdue AGC’s 6-week course for building contractors, project managers, estimators, safety managers (cost: $329). Workforce readiness is another area that can further benefit from many of these programs. And, as the AGC already has institutional collaborations necessary for workforce development with different professional groups (policy makers, vocational schools, high schools, and others), they can ensure availability and active participation while helping to sponsor/direct needed educational programs.

This section briefly discusses traditional and non-traditional means of delivery of continuing education programs. It will also include the presentation of general education, construction management-focused, and other relevant programs to be actively considered in the construction industry. Several recent research efforts, across various industries, offer an insight into the dynamics and availability of CE programs. CE opportunities are structured in several, often overlapping, favored ways such as degree/non-degree, traditional/non-traditional, general/specialized, structure/seminars, workshops/webinars, evenings/weekend classes, as well as online-distance learning. The main challenge for practicing professionals, as shown in the previous iterations of the CCE survey, is not the availability of CE programs, but rather the costs.

4.3. Benefits of Enrolling in Continuing Education Programs

The information and topics presented in federal and state programs can be successful, as has been shown, in providing general guidance on how to establish and operate a construction company. The authors of these programs should also clearly establish the requirements of their respective states. Unqualified contractors make the general public more susceptible to fraud and work that is of poor quality. The SBDC could use some financial support and developers to help entrepreneurs implement their business and marketing plans. The funding of the SBDC may encourage them to collaborate with local colleges and business associations that can help the SBDC advertise their services, including seminars, workshops, events, and counseling. This could be a great opportunity to build relationships within the local community and college.

Contractors, particularly those without a four-year degree in construction, benefit from continuing education programs to improve their managerial skills and business practices, as well as to learn about new technology and scientific developments in the construction field. Skilled carpenters can establish their own companies and then grow and expand. These companies can be general contracting firms that build houses or perform any necessary repair services, with the main goal being to restore homes destroyed by natural disasters. An example of this kind of training is the one prepared for general contracting firms by the lead instructors of the Texas Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The content presented in the training is feasible because it is the fourth highest demand construction occupation in Texas and Florida.

4.4. Choosing the Right Continuing Education Program

While finding the correct continuing education is important, enjoying your education is important as well. Education needs to be a journey, not an endpoint. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that the right education for you or students you influence should also inspire personal growth and finding a network that will follow you on your professional journey. Remember, these emotions and experiences that are part of continuing education and professional development are just as important as the certificates, contacts, and formats; remember your reflection will make the difference.

This paper will discuss the fast-developing need for continuing education and professional development within the construction industry. It will identify some constraints that slow the process of implementing new ideas and paradigms and give some recommendations that, if deployed, can help ensure that the potential of continuing education and professional development is more fully explored and realized. The key for finding the best continuing education or professional development will really depend on the person themselves. You will need to understand what kind of format you learn best with, such as in person, online, video, printed, etc. You will also need to understand if you are looking for structured knowledge such as certificates, etc., or informal knowledge such as web browsing, discussions, etc. If you are changing careers, you want to find these non-certification courses that also help the student connect to business contacts and fruitful environments.

5. Online Learning Opportunities

Jobs in the construction industry require current knowledge of the applicable codes and standards. To stay relevant, you need to continuously upgrade your skillsets. How would you learn the latest alternative construction methods, the construction procedures including safety and quality, the cost factors, and the equipment and material options of innovative sustainable construction techniques? You engage in lifelong learning, both inside and outside of your work environment. The path to learning and retaining these skills begins with you being aware of, and competent at taking advantage of, the many resources and continuing education programs available to you. Let us organize your thinking about these resources, including those you would discover to enhance your development and career progression. Are you ready?

5.2. What are the advantages and challenges of online courses? Online options provide many advantages, including flexibility and the ability to learn from anywhere. You can save time and expense when you do not have to travel to attend courses. If there are times in the day when your energy is at its peak, you can learn then. However, delivery methods are designed for the masses, and for some, it may be difficult to focus for the lengths of lectures, to learn the material without the face-to-face feedback and guidance offered in the traditional classroom, or to interact with others. Similar to non-credit options, typically online courses have no guidance for taking advantage of supplier offers or quoting previous jobs. Have you considered your personal learning style? Professors may text, record audio, or conduct video lectures in your class. Text-based learning might be more conducive than video for math or other quantitative subjects.

5.1. What offerings are available online? There are a number of online resources that can be valuable for professionals involved in construction. However, there are wide variations between the types of offerings available, from website tutorials to online degree programs. The following lists some examples that are available from various sources.

5.1. Overview of Online Learning

Continuing education is not only important for industry professionals. Twenty-five percent of the construction educators surveyed related experience in the construction industry, including attendance of professional engineering and surveying reviews, as “extremely useful” to their development as an educator in two-year colleges. Students who have instructors who are educated in the industry and have kept up with the latest technology and practice trends are also more successful in their adopted career. According to the University of Illinois, employers rate 81% of their construction management graduates as having technical skills that not only meet, but far exceed the industry’s technical standards for entry-level CM employment positions. Given all these benefits, it would be beneficial for practicing construction professionals to continue to seek out educational opportunities and for institutions of higher education to continue to provide these opportunities through graduate certificate programs.

The continuing education of professionals in the construction industry is important. According to a study done by the US Construction Management Association in 2003, obtaining continuing education credits was an important factor for members of the CM/AE/PM field (professionals involved in the planning, design and construction process) related to their professional development. This has led many institutions of higher education to develop graduate certificate programs in construction management that are promoted for post-baccalaureate students to use for continuing education units (CEU). A graduate certificate is an efficient and effective way to obtain CEUs which are needed in many states to maintain professional certifications. In a graduate certificate program, students do not need to be admitted to a master’s degree program and they only have to take four classes to receive a graduate certificate. Additionally, their application can also be used to apply to a master’s program if they so choose to continue studying.

5.2. Advantages of Online Learning in Construction Industry

Online education can be an excellent bridge between the required education needed to move to the next level and working full-time which is often necessary in the construction industry. By its very nature, online learning typically allows a lot of flexibility and often works well alongside a full-time job in that it can be done outside of traditional work hours or in half-hour increments on a smartphone while on a break. If designed and executed properly, online learning can be particularly suited to make sure that all construction jobs can get the training they need, decreasing the “no experience” category in favor of workers who are much more qualified, all without having to leave work to go back to school. This is one big reason that online learning provides such a great opportunity for those in the construction industry.

There are a lot of inherent advantages to online learning, and virtually all industries could benefit from the implementation of self-driven, technology-driven educational strategies. However, the construction industry may be particularly well-suited to online learning because of a number of advantages. The construction industry is unique in that it encompasses such a wide range of jobs that workers perform. While some industries can get a great deal of use from advanced technology or other types of in-depth engineering training, for instance, the construction industry encompasses everyone from those with “no experience,” meaning no schooling or specific training, to true experts in various aspects of the industry. This could range from those working in the dirt or those laying down or creating structures, to those designing structures, to project managers, and that’s just scratching the surface, as those involved in the construction industry every day are well aware.

5.3. Popular Online Learning Platforms

Coursera is an online education platform that provides universal access to the world’s best education, with partners such as Duke University and the University of North Carolina in particular to provide learning opportunities. Some universities offer materials in qualifications and knowledge. Needs: Coursera reviews textbook materials and gets feedback from students, including constructive criticism and additional educational qualifications as this will enable them to easily search for materials. Otherwise, the school will need to be better prepared. Incorrect information content and balancing school response time. Say courses are incomplete and do not cover specific topics like Design, Engineering, or more steel and complex concrete buildings. The course may not accept email threads for practice reviews, nor may the course participate. Costs are somewhat expensive for the professional development courses offered. More content is available, but markets that are not specific to professionals in the construction industry.

Udemy is an online learning platform aimed at professional adults and students. Course content covers the majority of prerequisites in construction practice. Students have access to their own instructor, but all instructors are assigned to an online instructor and Udemy. Minuses: Udemy must ensure that there are multiple courses available on every subject, so if students finish a course with a particular instructor, they may feel incomplete as they search for a course with another instructor to date. Udemy does not allow Legal and Safety to provide instructors with required documents to teach certain professional development courses. Some courses are offered by site instructors, and the credibility of their expertise is not assessed unless verified by qualified external authorities. Many courses have a low price for valuable content, but it is not clear what might have attracted students to the complete price needed to achieve a good product, especially in certified courses offered.

5.4. Maximizing the Benefits of Online Learning

Do you want to evolve more in a competitive workplace with evolving technologies, situational flexibility, while also traveling less and spending less on printed learning/presentation materials? Then here are a few pacing items from some happy knowledge logistics customers. First, ask your manager or employer for enrollment in one of our online learning or live face-to-camera, interactive online learning programs. We’ll also deliver an in-house, private online/multimedia learning course at any of our current destination learning cities. Second, be sure to familiarize yourself with all the areas of your company’s existing technology capabilities and available learning resources. You may see the perfect opportunity for hosting our company’s learning event for lots of colleagues and a great value. Collaborative learning and whole-team learning, with specific learning content that is practical and useful to your company, social project teams and client sites, will prove to be even more beneficial. If you think it may, please do get started. Since we will be able to align our work, share your ideas from the start. Subscribe to my blog, where we are eager to share your experiences, trade an insight with us, discuss further opportunities related to new ideas and technology markets, and work on reaching your targets and best interests with cooperation.

“Opportunities for continuing education and professional development in the construction industry” briefly describes this growth and contrasts traditional education with continuing education and professional development, listing the perceived and real barriers to growth for this transition, and then offering some associated opportunities for industry and education professionals to consider for the evolution ahead. Considering the skills shortage in the construction industry today, all sectors of the construction industry are encouraged to adapt so that they can effectively attract, develop, and retain a diverse, skilled and talented workforce fit to carry us forward into the future. A wide range of continuing education and professional development opportunities that already exist are and have been producing excellent results in meeting the needs of construction professionals and the construction industry. However, there is always the potential and need for more, if we choose to adapt to new, innovative models, philosophies, and technologies.

6. Professional Development Resources

(1) Recorded webinar courses: Many construction and engineering organizations and professional associations create comprehensive resources tailored to industry interests, regulatory requirements, and ethical considerations. Examples include the Construction Management Association of America CCCM, CCM, and CFCC professional certifications and the American Society of Professional Estimators CPE and CRPC courses. (2) Online courses: Online educational programs with comprehensive syllabi and lectures, course materials, reference textbooks, review materials, and practice exams are available through many organizations and universities. (3) Textbooks and self-study guides. The prevalence of distance education learning options has provoked an expansion in accessible resources for all types of construction education, including some very good textbooks and exams currently being used in construction degree programs. For example, an open text introductory construction project management course, including a textbook and other class materials, has been developed for the OpenCourseWare program at Utah State University. The Jenkins, Chianta, and Walasek textbook and companion materials are released as Creative Commons materials.

The following list includes a variety of resources that may apply to the professional development of construction students and workers. This list is not exhaustive and is limited to online resources. No endorsement of products is made or implied in this examination of available educational resources. The list is limited to the resources that are generally accessible through subscription or purchase. The resources are considered by type to ease navigation. The last, less limited portion of the list includes a range of resources that may have educational applications. Also, more information about specific resources may be obtained from the National Centers for Construction Education and Research. Overviews, specific course descriptions and syllabi, and databases of these instructional resources are available through the Construction Industry Institute. The teachconstruction.org website includes links that may simplify subscription and exploration of many of these resources. Finally, a wider review of educational opportunities available in the higher education system may also identify more learning opportunities or lesson ideas that focus upon industry awareness or other research needs.

6.1. Importance of Professional Development

Post-initial professional development is another challenge of the reform of the construction industry, especially in the current stage when new trade policies are experimented, especially those on energy and the environment. There are considerable financial resources allocated for this purpose. It is enough to access them, taking into account the national development strategies, the tactics of technological development and innovation, with a direct impact on the competitive capacity of experts in construction and CSOs, who have the role to ensure the transfer and further development of technology and innovation.

Increasing globalization and the digital era expose new challenges and opportunities to the construction industry, conditioned by the wave of innovations required in infrastructure sectors, especially digital transformation, society 5.0, Internet of Things, Big Data, digital software, digital infrastructure, virtual infrastructure, and networked infrastructure. Here, the professional competence of the services must be carried out in a strategic process by developing essential skills in civil constructions: IT and communication, social and civic competence, entrepreneurship and financial skills, the ability to work in a team, language and expression skills, ability to design studies, and high mathematical thinking skills.

The representatives of the specialized institutes in Romania, but also the managers of the construction companies, are increasingly attracted by new technologies and less by classical materials for construction. So, the focus will be more and more on the study of these new materials and the various possibilities of applications and connections between them, for a sustainable development of construction. The general tendencies, globally accepted since 2016, are the rational use of available resources, the use of energy efficient processes, and the sustainable use of buildings. When these tendencies are not complied with, they are considered negative effects in terms of involved environmental impacts. Hence, all the legislative, architectural-urban measures, construction environmental and social strategic measures should be respected and implemented in the field.

The fast pace of technological development in the field requires continuous, targeted professional development for specialists in civil construction, which is mandatory and indispensable. Only well-prepared specialists are able to manage complex construction processes, optimize solutions leading to reduced investment costs, perform work in less time, ensure greater operational safety, and reduce environmental impacts by reducing energy and raw material consumption. Lifelong learning in the field can start from the understanding and acceptance of the new emerging requirements.

6.2. Resources for Professional Development

Opportunities for Continuing Education and Professional Development in the Construction Industry. Online education is a way to reach professionals with constraints on time, travel constraints because of the economic constraints of 2009, and geographical constraints. There is a wealth of information available through the journal-related websites such as the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management (ASCE), the AIAA Journal, and Journals of other allied educators. Universities also sponsor online degree programs, as does the AGC: Delivered entirely online, these seven-week courses give you and your employees the power to learn and apply materials at a pace that is convenient for you.

Online Resources. The syntheses and final reports of CERF research projects can be applied to thinking about an issue and give insights into the best practices in an area. The website that provides a database and cross-topic search to these resources is. It is a useful area to identify possible terms and topics that may be addressed in a course on construction economics. The CERM courses offer additional content that can be added to a research project.

6.3. Networking Opportunities for Professional Growth

University of Management (UM) degree programs and professional organizations like CMAA and AACE International throughout the US have been connected following the same approach. Members from the following benefit from these aligned goals: Technology Transfer Center (TTC) Advisory Boards, industry consortiums, executive round tables or advisory boards, and customer-focused user groups/communities that have evolved from the respective T2 centers. “Soft skills” include first impressions, listening, verbal and written communication, honesty and integrity, image, ethical behavior, trust, and boundaries. Networking enhances the lessons learned in companies. The more those within the construction professional community participate with each other, the more success will be achieved.

General contractors, owners, designers, and construction professionals in all phases of construction, including project managers, superintendents, estimators, and others in the industry, can lend their expertise to university CM programs, particularly ABET-accredited programs. Faculty and students can benefit from participation in the ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) student chapter, AGC, CMAA (Construction Management Association of America), CSI (Construction Specifications Institute), DBIA (Design-Build Institute of America), IIBEC (International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants), NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), and other trade organizations. When professionals speak to students, directly or via Skype or other applications, it broadens the students’ inspiration to join the industry, especially as the professionals often discuss lessons they learned through their careers. Though executives may delegate the task of teaching to their employees, it is an opportunity that should be shared among all levels within employee-owned organizations.

6.4. Strategies for Continuous Professional Development

6.4.6. Provide active support, but not too much. Too much micromanagement can be paralyzing and demoralizing. Managers should allow employees to pursue certification and skills development opportunities outside of their annual professional goals. Managers can encourage, merely, for employees to participate in extracurricular business or community activities via game-based productivity control.

6.4.6. Help employees. Employees are loyal and more satisfied when they are given opportunities for development. And employees are starved for opportunities for developing themselves. Managers need to create supportive environments that break down impediments. Employees want and need professional development that could be accessible directly through management sponsorship of e-learning or conferences, paid registration fees for related organizations, support of activities like presenting at conferences, coaching and mentoring managers, and manager-manager discussions.

6.5 Help them. Surveys show that over four-fifths of employees think “their job should extend into developing themselves professionally.” But the majority of companies “…fail to help employees develop or engage in any professional activity.” Seventy percent of employees who do not think themselves to be having a successful career development experience are also dissatisfied with their job. This is a conundrum – employers who do not help with professional growth will lose employees — employees who don’t have the resources to better their situation. Employees who receive support for development are either rewarded by their existing employers or leave and use their growth to prove new opportunities themselves.

6.4.4. Make it a really big deal. Don’t treat internships or professional and career development as a semi-after-work obligation. Don’t just give people time off, but have a big send-off party in recognition of the value of the activity. This will reinforce the message and help foster excitement among coworkers.

7. Employer-Sponsored Training Programs

Although by no means limited to big businesses, early employer-sponsored training programs were more likely to be found in firms with relatively large, specialized staffs and cost accounting systems. Managers and supervisors at the fledgling post-industrial revolution manufacturing plants often played a major role in training new employees, and the formalization of programs used in the general business called for apprentice systems which were more likely to be funded and organized by firms connected with the construction trades. By the late 19th century, large organizations had labor referees and immigrant reception centers, and free instruction on private equipment and facilities in healthcare, skilled work, and traditional heavy industries was not uncommon. Sandiford has posited in the text that apprentices enjoyed up to 300 hours per year of employer certainty based on a review of royal commission reports.

Employer-Sponsored Training Programs: The employment education literature has devoted at least as much attention to employer-sponsored training programs as to employer-assisted educational programs, primarily because the former are older and more widespread in the U.S. employment scene. However, there is still confusion over the name of the phenomenon, and we shall refer to it as simply employer-sponsored training (EST). The content of those programs has been previously discussed in the following portion of the book, with particular reference to the construction industry.

7.1. Benefits of Employer-Sponsored Training

In summary, employees want career growth and professional development. They seek challenges and ultimately want to achieve personal and professional growth and recognition. Offering professional development and educational reimbursement is an excellent way to attract and retain good employees. Increasing the construction management talent pool is important for the future of the built environment. Determining what topics are most needed in the workforce can be seen as a collaboration among construction professionals, educators, and professional associations.

Many employers give limited consideration to employee education and use a variety of excuses to avoid it. Some of the reasons often given by employers to avoid providing employee assistance for advanced training are: 1. The workload of their employees must be done 2. Employers believe that asking for educational assistance is inherently dangerous and career-threatening 3. Employers consider attendance in college detracts from the employee’s focus on the job 4. Employers may think that they are providing the employees all the training they need 5. The construction industry is cyclical, and an employee may not stay with the employer until retirement 6. Employers are not aware of how the college experience could benefit them 7. Employers view advanced training as an expensive perk with a long-term payback.

Higher education continues to enroll greater numbers of students each year. Unfortunately, the interest in construction management programs is not as strong.

Employer support for professional development and continuing education in the construction industry can provide valuable benefits. Those benefits include: 1. Improved employee morale and satisfaction 2. Employee achievement of their career goals 3. Access to employees with advanced training and knowledge 4. Enhanced employee loyalty to the employer 5. A larger and more specialized labor pool to support the organization’s future endeavors.

7.2. Types of Employer-Sponsored Training Programs

A broad definition of professional development and continuing education (PDCE) was used. Employer-sponsored training can take many forms. Because of this, the types of employer-sponsored PDCE were categorized into seven job-related topics. The choice was made to categorize the training in this manner so that the particular topics that were either popular or unpopular among the workforce could be identified more easily. Since this study aspired to gauge general attitudes towards PDCE within the construction industry, specific certifications or technological trainings were not included as these benefits are generally recognized and understood. It was deemed more important to elicit information on the type of training a worker may be required to pursue versus the specific kind of certification or technological training they may have to obtain.

To attract and keep skilled workers in this rapidly growing and changing industry, employers must understand their workers’ wants and needs for training and professional development. The purpose of this study was to learn more about construction workers’ general attitudes toward and participation in employer-sponsored professional development and continuing education programs.

If you are currently in the construction workforce, do you have the opportunity to participate in employer-sponsored training when it is offered? Are you satisfied with the training and professional development opportunities provided by your employer?

7.3. How to Leverage Employer-Sponsored Training

In the construction industry, employer merit is predicated on the successful completion of projects within budget, on schedule, with relatively few safety incidents, and of the right quality while ensuring customer satisfaction and a reasonable profit. Companies that successfully meet these targets are viewed by employees as leaders in the industry and are employers of choice, and can leverage the merit earned into a business development advantage. In short, these companies are successful, tend to be stable during market volatility, and are in a position to promote and venue ongoing training easily because of the market opportunities created by their business development model.

The results of a previous survey also show that nearly three-quarters (73%) of companies plan to offer training initiated by the employer. This major finding is not surprising, as the company ultimately decides which courses should be taken by employees. However, the results reflect what the construction industry is and has been experiencing for decades. The awards of professional construction degree programs continue to lag in some companies, thus perpetuating structurally high levels of undereducation and critical training needs among workers. It is expected of employees to find their continuing education opportunities. Hence, color, background, culture, and experience that may discourage some employees from investing in training, or even bettering their knowledge or skills to further their careers in construction. As this author has stated in the past: “The underlying issue is the need to properly employ individuals who have embraced the high likelihood of continuing and lifelong learning in the construction field. There needs to be a change to personal career path awareness, where individuals embrace not just the responsibilities for themselves, their companies, and the industry to achieve career path satisfaction, but also promote and seek out continual learning in the construction industry.

8. Industry Conferences and Events

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) draws about 3,000 members to their annual convention. The learning opportunities here focus mainly on business principles related to mechanical construction and general management. If interested in entering any of the trades including iron workers, sheet metal workers, carpenters, electricians, or plumbers and pipefitters, colleges and career schools offer education and training to students interested in these careers. Also, the national trade associations for each of these trades offer annual conferences, conventions, and training sessions either at universities or apprenticeship schools or at the association’s headquarters throughout the United States.

Attending one of these shows can provide a construction management student or an industry leader a wide assortment of technical information and continuous self-improvement or professional development opportunities. If working in the construction management field, many employers would encourage and pay for registration fees, travel, lodging, and/or other related expenses in attending these types of annual events. If currently enrolled in a construction management program, some faculty also award extra credit to encourage attendance at selected sessions. Some of the construction industry’s large trade associations also hold large annual meetings that are concentrated in business aspects of the specific markets they serve. Again, these have both technical and business educational opportunities for managers in the construction industry.

The construction industry holds numerous annual conferences, some through regional and national associations and others independent of associations. While some of these will only draw a small group of people related to the field the conference focuses on, some of the other conferences can draw thousands of attendees each year providing continuous learning opportunities to its members. The associated trade show exhibits can also provide product demonstrators, educational materials and first-hand networking opportunities. Two independent conferences that leading construction associations support and are typically some of the largest annual construction conferences include the World of Concrete show held annually in Las Vegas and the CONEXPO EX-CON / Con/Agg show held in Las Vegas.

8.1. Overview of Construction Industry Conferences

A conference is a meeting, exhibition, or presentation—which often runs multiple days—that is filled with information, innovation, inspiration, and interaction. In construction, individuals manage, design, engineer, and take care of infrastructure and the built environment. The U.S. construction industry is expected to spend one billion dollars each day, through the year 2020. Regardless of industry, the role of the conference and the event planning industry continue to grow. The meetings and events industry continue to provide opportunities for professionals to complete work more efficiently and build a level of knowledge that ensures the effectiveness of an event. The industry promotes professional development through a variety of industry-specific activities that include conferences, trade shows, e-media events, membership, grants, internships/externships, work study, and formal education.

Each year, there are more than 20,000 conferences held worldwide, with 30% of these coming from the United States. The conference and event planning industry is a $14 billion segment, with more than 134,000 working professionals. The United States is the largest meeting industry, with a 32% global market share. The number of event managers in the U.S. is expected to grow by 20% from 2010 to 2020, which surpasses the 14% average predicted for all industries. By 2022, the meeting and event industry will generate over $307 billion in event marketing revenue. This benefits both the meeting planner and meeting supplier, resulting in opportunities for both education and networking. This section highlights the opportunities related to academics and trade organizations specific to the meeting industry. These opportunities build attendees’ professionalism and efficiency within meetings, and directly contribute to the overall success of any event. In construction, as in any other industry, businesses encompass the services, sales, distribution, and manufacturing of a product or service.

8.2. Benefits of Attending Conferences and Events

What we often forget is what the employees can gain from attending or being trained. Here are some other advantages to keep in mind when planning your company’s professional development. Your employees are the face of the company. The more adept and confident they are, the better they are serving your clients and displaying your business. Workers at all levels who receive professional training or education are more motivated and invested in their business. They not only come back equipped with a strategic plan but are better able to contribute to the work of the whole team. Investing in professional development is an integral part of the implementation of a training plan that effectively fulfills the business objectives. Workshops are a powerful way to communicate and validate concepts across multiple areas. Employees cannot maximize their education themselves, and without a clear vision, professional development becomes an exercise in tedium.

Conferences are invaluable opportunities to learn, network, and stay abreast of the latest trends and technologies in the industry. Not only do many conferences provide CEUs for architects and engineers, it is during these events that one can find out what is new in lay down techniques, including the benefits and limitations of what is available. Networking sidebars with product representatives and colleagues in a non-competitive environment. This is your opportunity to learn directly from manufacturers of the latest materials and products. Some events will also provide tours of recent installations in the region and “see and think of” pool of content that is delivered by some of the industry’s top leading professionals. It is also a great opportunity to learn from peers, and through areas and come back armed with solutions for the daily challenges of your business.

8.3. Identifying and Choosing Relevant Conferences

Thirdly, by recognizing much earlier that knowledge is widely distributed and that spreading knowledge amongst practitioners (including humans) provides time and effort for the genuine work, if a big name at a university or a highly respected faculty member is a speaker at a professional conference like CONSTRUCT, SRI, CSI, and so on, the topics to be covered during the presentation whether for better or for worse have passed significant thresholds of peer review and consideration to be included in a program because they reflect contemporary and leading-edge practices in the specialty. The same sort of filtering must be in place for the journal/conference in question overall, so that the conference itself is respected by leading professionals.

Recognizing that deciding on which conferences and meetings are worthwhile to devote time and resources is a constant challenge for busy professionals, we provide the earlier list of criteria because all three of the data-driven standards for CPD events make important and relevant contributions to such assessments. Firstly, if a conference or symposium is attended regularly and frequently by respected leaders and seasoned professionals within a specialty field, there is an excellent likelihood that its contents reflect the state of the art for that specialty at that time, and that the discussions and opinions of the attendees should help to reconcile any debate in good ways. Secondly, if a broad-based and multidisciplinary and leading-edge conference specifically offers mandated CPD recognition, then this recognition may be a useful filter, even if the event is approached with the focus only on those sessions of specific concern to the individual’s interest.

8.4. Making the Most of Conference Experience

Browse the Expo halls of the conference. Even if you are not thinking of making any purchases, you will pick up literature, information, and establish contacts. Go with more people to the seminars that are faster readers than you, so you can “divide and conquer”. Don’t waste your time when people are occupied with presentations because you won’t be able to engage them. Deliver information packets for those not at your presentation. Do not let indifference stop your attempts at networking. Even if the first person you try to talk to is not receptive, there is no guarantee that the next person will not be interested. Most importantly, follow up on a regular basis after the conference so that you do not lose touch, whether it is through personal notes or just industry information. Remember, you never know if the “next person” may be the person who may bring unlimited business to your company.

To maximize the return on time and investment at a conference, be sure to get hard and soft formats in early for print so that attendees can make notes. Know the equipment available, whether it be computer, slide projector, overhead, or Elmo. Arrive at the room 20 minutes in advance if possible. Get a feeling for the audience. Spend the time adjusting the lights, the volume, the screen (it is amazing how long it takes to get those tiny projections in focus when the room is filled with people waiting to get the PowerPoint presentations). You would not think that it is essential, but introduce yourself with an intriguing question: “Pardon me, sir, by any chance are you bald?” Focus on your presentation as a conversation, not a lecture. Do not read your slides. Finally, if you fall behind in presentations, finish early to the relief of all audience members. Be prepared to take and handle questions within the time limit. Finally, stay and listen to the remaining presenters.

It is not always easy to get approval to attend a conference. When you get it, many people expect that there is some sort of quid pro quo, that you are not just going on a field trip but that what you learn will be valuable to the company, the client, or the project. Many companies expect that you will make a presentation on your return to share your new knowledge with your colleagues. In fact, there is even an old joke: early conference paper deliveries were rated on the number of attendees, the number of snoring attendees, and the decibel level brought on by pseudo-awake attendees’ snoring!

9. Professional Associations and Organizations

Finally, the George Brown College (located in Toronto), a Canadian institute offers construction management programs that are now available online. In addition to educational programs, the ABCG organization also provides resources for promoting growth in the industry.

A secondary organization, the Project Management Institute (PMI), offers a variety of project management certification and designation programs.

Another professional organization that focuses on all areas of construction management is the United States Construction Center (USCBC), offering a certification program and numerous project management programs.

The Construction Management Association (CMA): Launched in 1978, which focuses on construction management and advancing professional construction management standards and practices. Information on its certification programs is available on their website.

In the state of Georgia, the Georgia Building Chapter is a professional organization that offers certifications and ongoing, required continuing education in the construction certification program.

The American Institute of Constructors (AIC): Founded in 1929, the AIC offers professional certifications, practice support, and the development of resources that promote excellence in the industry.

One of the best ways to become a lifelong learner is to join a professional construction association or organization. Chances are, your employer will pay for your membership since the association’s focus is your area of expertise. Although there are several professional construction organizations, a brief introduction to several of the most well-known follows.

9.1. Importance of Professional Associations

The attendance of the professional, in events convened by entities recognized by the system, offers justifications for technical competence, according to the criteria below defined for each level of specialized certification in the area of construction, characterizing the possibilities of use of entities in productivity in the construction area. Development of the sector and, consequently, development and productivity in the Brazilian construction industry, need immediate improvement, although in the long term, human abilities and compliance with sustainable development because assimilation of techniques that comply with the new environmental proposals. In the construction sector, the objective towards professional improvement is achieved by the acquisition of knowledge that can be reached by basic education or professional continuing education models.

During the common reengineering process in construction companies, some promoted technological and organizational changes occur, but they are not, however, about the investment in skills that the necessary technological changes require. In this sense, from continuing education and professional development programs, the modalities of formation that offer more possibilities of generating successful models are considered. It is concluded that the dynamics and stormy present educational processes force us to prioritize the training of a person who knows how to reflect, that adapts to changes, that is capable of learning to learn. Recall, and are the final qualities that make a professional a person that the society continues to claim to take responsibility for continuing education.

9.2. Membership Benefits of Professional Associations

Construction industry professionals recognize that knowledge is the primary means of differentiation among individuals. The process of knowledge building is necessary to effectively compete in today’s marketplace. To be successful today, professionals must rely on education to attain jobs requiring various levels of specialized knowledge. In addition, professionals must engage in continuous education and training in order to retain their status as experts. Those skilled in the field of construction practice have embraced the idea of continuing education as opposed to uninterrupted entry-level knowledge transfer, as ascertaining knowledge and remaining credentialed is critical to quality workers in more demanding roles. With this focus on continuing education, professional associations in the construction industry have been designed to provide its members with career-specific needs and subsequent career-specific training.

One of the major benefits of professional associations is continuing education and ongoing training. All professions require some form of formal education and training. Depending on the jurisdiction, regulations may require professionals to continue formal education and obtain continuing education credits in order to maintain their professional status within the discipline. Extending beyond this, professional associations offer an array of topics in which to engage professionals. Because professional associations generally allow professionals within a field to gather in a formal, yet non-threatening environment, professionals are more likely to attend and take an active role in their education and training. Within construction, numerous professional associations actively offer education and training opportunities. In fact, education and training have become primary components of why construction professionals choose to participate in a specific professional association. An industry analysis of professionals within the construction discipline saw a rank from the least to the greatest being ethics, professional liability, business management, risk management, and claims. As continuing education opportunities increase within a discipline, professional associations will be called to be competitive. Present, as well as potential, member dissatisfaction leads to the downfall of professional associations.

9.3. Involvement Opportunities in Professional Associations

Associations range in size and purpose, and the objectives and services of each one are varied. Some organizations focus on a particular specialized subset of construction, such as transportation or water infrastructure, while some organizations focus on construction as a whole. Those that focus on construction as a whole are varied, and can focus on advocacy related to, for instance, the success of minority and women-owned construction firms, or the use of alternative project delivery methods.

Associations are a force in any field, and the field of construction, which includes those associated with firms and programs, the instructors of that field, as well as public and private project stakeholders, are not exempt. The membership organizations that represent these individuals attempt to enhance the profession as a whole, by introducing or furthering educational services, but are also associated with advocacy or in creating standards.

As it relates to professional organizations, their number and types have become more expansive to cover very specific niches. The need for associations to differentiate services from one another has resulted not only in the increase in number of specialized organizations, but also an increase in non-traditional services provided by organizations. In some respects, the increase in membership organizations that support niche professions has had a positive effect, implementing more stringent methods of recognizing professionals or have provided markers as to what are new or current practices in the field.

Membership-based associations that provide specialized services have become more prevalent over the years, as the fields of work for many professionals have become much broader, requiring that a particular skill set is more attainable than it has been in the past. Thanks largely to the web and social media in the last several years, information is more easily and widely accessible.

Opportunities for continuing education and professional development in the construction industry. If you are a professional association (national, state or local), with a focus in the construction field, and would like to add your organization to the list, please complete our online form.

9.4. Selecting the Right Professional Association

Regarded as an affirmation of professional values and as a commitment to freelancing within the highroads of expertise, professional associations play a larger role than ever. And while the value of professional associations is generally acknowledged within the enterprise, the specific range and quantity of opportunities per professional association are less well defined, and a designed selection process that links research practices to particular professional associations is not yet in evidence. When selecting the right professional association, a little critical thinking is needed. Beyond the impulsive pursuit of a professional association reputation, marketing, and institutional trends, professionals can and should apply a critical approach as described herein for compelling professionals to examine potential professional associations about and who can team with relevant professional associations that have the relevant expertise. To better engage with professional practitioners, researchers can also align research in new ways with industry requirements identified through associations arranged by a particular corporate who are members.

This paper scopes professional associations and discusses how to use critical thinking when selecting the right ones. Different authors about professional associations and their function and primacy were reviewed. It is strongly recommended for individuals and organizations to connect with relevant professional associations to stay on the well-trodden highroad where innovative knowledge first appears. Each of the major with a line of research tailored to the climate is then discussed in sequence. Logistics, thermodynamics, and microwave remote sensing are but some examples of where a geoscientist can leverage their careers using information kept at the right professional association.

10. Mentoring and Coaching Programs

Professional guidance has a number of meanings, being imparted in various ways. Sometimes the protégé is a fresh graduate who has been absorbed at the companies at which the mentor provides her services. Should there be an instructionally-based and supported interrelation between these two, the situation may be further purified. Merely performing the task may also be regarded as mentoring. Whether within an industry, hence within a company or not, knowledge is a scarce resource. By exchanging such an essential durable commodity among individuals, the processes need not be orchestrated. Finding appropriate opportunities in which the mentor is comfortable to be him or her is key. Maintaining that comfort level throughout the process is paramount.

10. Mentoring and coaching programs. Mentorship is a vital aspect of the longstanding learning process that one experiences in his or her career path. Even though top executives in the construction field may have graduated from reputable universities, certain qualities like loyalty, energy, and dedication that he or she may possess were instilled in them by someone in the construction sector. Therefore, prior to the mentor choosing the protégé, the work itself provides some form of shelter for both the mentor and the protégé in the quest for knowledge. There are various types of mentoring in existence, all of which have a very important role to play in the mentor getting the best out of it and sharing this with his student.

10.1. Role of Mentoring and Coaching in Professional Development

The individual mentor-mentee relationship is complex, with numerous aspects, dimensions, and relationships, all within the personality of the individual. This complexity suggests the need for a scientific research approach rather than a more one-time that often produces the right answer, which is always more time-consuming and labor-intensive. For both mentoring and coaching to be effectively employed by organizations as learning techniques for the development of the large number of potential resources in the workplace, a few things must happen. Organizations must first better understand, appreciate, and embrace the value of mentoring and coaching in the many forms within the organization. Organizations must find more innovative ways of providing for mentoring relationships. Lastly, potential resource people must be better equipped so that mentoring and coaching are needed when seeking licensed memberships in the resource professions. If the engineering profession is truly interested in population it, especially with diversity, the resource profession as a whole should equip professionals for leadership.

Over the past decade, it has become apparent that mentors and coaches have a role to play in the development of individuals within organizations, particularly those who are resource people. Many organizations, to some extent, already make use of a limited form of mentoring for senior staff or professionals who have made a significant contribution to the company, project or department. Many others perform limited forms of coaching, in the interpretation of technical knowledge or skills that the organization wishes employees to acquire. However, there are some gaps in understanding at an organization level as to the role, proper me-suite, responsibilities, and contributions of both mentors and coaches in professional development.

10.2. Benefits of Participating in Mentoring Programs

In addition, motivated and engaged human capital is increasingly associated with employee retention, particularly the early workforce within a demanding industry such as construction. Since the concept of pairing a mentor (or coach, or sponsor) with an early professional is core to the success of mentoring relationships, implementing those programs enhances junior employees’ growth and retention. The industry as a whole can then potentially retain promising human talent for the next construction project or provide a path upwards into leadership positions maintaining the level of personnel available as a seasoned professional. A mutually beneficial relationship can subsequently be leveraged to encourage a spirit of mentoring and professional development across the company. Communication and exchange of ideas can create the mentorship culture where teamwork, knowledge sharing, and opportunities for continued professional growth are the company’s expressed values, with mentoring programs the vehicle to achieve those goals.

Mentorship and related relationships such as coaching and sponsoring are widely recognized as reputable strategies for human capital development and employee retention. Today’s labor shortages have escalated the war for talent, especially with the decline of seasoned professionals in the construction industry. Meanwhile, the promotion of young professionals to succeed the outflow of seasoned professionals further drives the need for skill and knowledge development. Mentor-protege relationships not only facilitate leadership and professional development of junior talents, but mentors also find it rewarding with the opportunity to contribute to organizational growth, knowledge sharing, team cohesion, improved productivity, and the ability to promote company values and culture. The implementation of such programs provides mentor and protege participants the opportunity to gain diversified industry knowledge and perspectives within the participants’ homogenized organization or industry. A personalized development plan is expected for the mentee, targeted towards their needs, career development goals, and other opportunities within the organization or industry, to ensure both the protege and mentor gain value from the interaction.

10.3. Finding and Engaging with Mentors and Coaches

Regardless of the title, the entire learning agreement should be built around specific functional and/or technical competencies. They are usually contained in job descriptions and are considered to be the most suitable for the role. If a mentee doesn’t currently possess, or hasn’t attempted to develop the necessary competencies, then completing the formal or informal training, or work assignments, may develop those competencies. They can usually gain the skills in a reasonable time frame with the help of the mentor or coach. The summary of the benefits includes providing visibility by associating their name with a competent professional; it helps the mentee become grounded in effective and efficient processes (behavior and professional conduct) necessary for personal and professional success. Data gathered through lean project delivery research shows the best way for lean principles and practices to cause breakthrough results is through leadership.

Mentoring and coaching can be powerful tools for professional development. Mentoring is the process where an experienced person or expert professional provides advice and guidance to a novice or less experienced individual in their area of specialty. It is most effective when the mentor and mentee have similar characteristics, like shared mental models, behavior, or goals. It is usually a longer-term program in which the mentor helps the novice understand the communication, behaviors, and leadership aspects of their role. By contrast, coaching is a process where the coach supports the individual on specific skills and processes. Thus, a mentor might provide general advice on behavior and professional conduct, while a coach will help an individual through the communication process. While the relationship isn’t dependent on what the mentor/coach and mentee have in common, the mentor or coach will usually specialize in one area of developmental needs.

10.4. Developing a Successful Mentoring Relationship

One way to promote the professional development of employees is through mentoring. This chapter presents the many possible mentoring activities that can be developed. Information provided here is useful for both individuals who want to engage in mentoring activities as well as organizations who are looking to expand their human resource development programs. Current workers in any industry must continue to learn and develop new skills and competencies in order to remain relevant in the workforce. Leaders and organizations must adopt a perspective of continued career development and subsequent growth, advancement, and success. Companies facing future uncertainties can use uncertainty and associated learning as a key strategic business driver to ensure future continued success. Employees must continue to develop, grow, and learn as the business world contributes and evolves and as organizations aim for continued success.

Key factors to developing a successful mentoring relationship are introduced. We recommend that both individuals establish a structure, commitment, feedback, and coaching opportunities. Mentors should also help develop the next generation and gain personal and professional benefits. The construction industry continues to face a shortage of qualified and experienced workers. Since costly investments are made in the initial training and development of new employees, it is imperative for organizations to provide multiple pathways for career advancement. This serves not only to help the current workforce gain necessary experience that can be passed down to the next generation, but it also ensures that workers are able to keep their knowledge and skills relevant, improving overall work quality and sustainability.

11. Financial Support for Continuing Education

Benefits may want to invest in training for a number of other reasons such as: reduced cost due to improved efficiency; improved productivity; improved morale, loyalty, and retention; gaining a competitive edge; expense is sometimes a deterrent to pursuing educational opportunities. However, there is financial support available from many sources, both in and out of the construction community. The following list offers a variety of support where money can be found to pursue your continuing education objectives. This will enable you to continue your pursuit of lifelong learning. Keep in mind, however, that any financial support is not designed to enable full-funding of a college education but rather is a supplement to personal and/or employee self-funding of educational objectives. With the list of sources and methods below, hopefully, you can be well-resourced to pursue the continuing education opportunities that you have targeted for yourself or for your employees.

Education can be a multi-faceted pursuit. A class can provide valuable coursework that can be applied directly to a job. Training might allow personnel to increase their skills or work literacy. Vocational-type education can provide personnel with valuable technical skills and knowledge. It can also be a training ground for future leaders. Often overlooked is the fact that training for some can give personnel the educational prerequisites needed. There are some that excel in the job but do not have the requisite diploma. Unfortunately, there are educational requirements mandated by law for certain positions. Training might also play a part in keeping the firm competitive. These goals should be explicitly recognized so that they can be given proper emphasis and not conflict with each other. The construction manager should set the educational goals for individuals within his organization to meet all of these needs. However, each agency’s program should be flexible to accommodate all of these goals. Construction firms are no different than any other enterprise. In order to be effective, they must continually look for opportunities to improve. Therefore, some of the sources that follow may have relevance in many areas beyond their expected applications.

11.1. Scholarships and Grants for Construction Industry Professionals

The construction, real estate, building, and landscape industries represented by nine professional organizations not only support the existing and future professionals but also bolster the continued research, education, and training in these industries. They plan the present activities of the entire profession and embrace the interrelated aspects of these industries. The paper identifies these groups and 10 of their annual scholarships and case competitions. Consequently, construction industry professionals can consult these groups directly to ask for their support to pursue lifelong learning. Then, as they improve case study, research, or leadership skills, they can ask their firms to become members of these organizations participating in these contests to attract more clients, markets, or revenues.

Real estate-related organizations, professional associations, and trade and worker’s unions are not the only sources of scholarships and grants for construction industry professionals interested in further development. Banks, insurance companies, manufacturing companies, professional organizations to which construction, real estate, building, and landscape industries subscribe, U.S. government agencies, and institutions of higher education where students can prepare for careers in the construction industry are some of the other sources of scholarships and grants identified in the study.

11.2. Employer Tuition Reimbursement Programs

Employees in the construction industry, on average, receive twice, if not three, if not four, times less financial assistance from their employers for their longest US-based education and/or training programs than peer employees in the rest of the economy. Even worse, that number has been trending downward since the early 2000s, and that number is unlikely to change as long as construction and HR managers keep increasing the construction industry’s demand for construction jobs. At current US-based college tuition rates, college and university education, at least in the US, is no longer affordable, even for those students who work part-time and all summer long, and even for those students with the lowest in-state college and university in-district tuition rates. As long as workers in the construction industry will have to pay the full cost of their college and university tuition, the negative relationship between workers’ demand for construction jobs and college and university tuition rates is not likely to improve.”

Are firms in the construction industry less likely to offer tuition reimbursement or similar programs to their workers to financially assist employees in their education? Similar to training programs, workers might prioritize education and training programs because they can help them improve their productivity, contribute toward the use of more tools and machines in the firm, and excel at their work in ways that can reduce workplace accidents, waste, and rework. Several studies that have investigated the effectiveness of education and training programs also point to the role employers play in deciding the likelihood of their employees’ use of these programs. In those studies, authors typically assume that workers pay for their education and training programs when their employers invest nothing in them, pay for part of these programs and then subtract that amount from their regular wages, and/or grant financial assistance to their employees, perhaps in the form of tuition reimbursement. Given existing evidence that shows the construction industry is less likely to offer their workers training and that existing evidence also shows the employees in the construction industry receive little financial assistance from their employers for their longest education and/or training programs, comparatively, in comparison to peer firms, the answer to this question is going to be yes.

“… Existing evidence does not support the idea that workers in the construction industry are less likely to receive financial assistance from their employers for their education compared to peer workers in different industries.

11.3. Government Assistance for Continuing Education

Annual training contributions apply in the form of salaried hours. For this reason, a special levy is paid for each hour worked. The special levy is calculated based on payroll and is detailed in each employee’s statements of wages. Each year, all employees who are subject to this levy are entitled to have a refundable tax credit of an amount equal. In order to qualify for this credit, an employee must undertake training totaling $900.00 over a 12-month period. More specifically, in order to be eligible for this credit, each individual must attend a minimum of 200 hours of construction activities for a maximum of 2 consecutive calendar years following the calendar year in which the first permit is issued for his or her residence. Don’t be pennywise and make the attempt to hide some employees, as they may seek legal recourse against their employer. They obtain the status of apprentice and can be followed by the Joint Training Committee, which will supervise and supply the necessary training.

As a construction company covered by Quebec’s Act for Workforce Vocational Training and Ongoing Education, you have to pay an annual contribution calculated on your total payroll. That money goes into the Workforce Vocational Training and Ongoing Education Fund, which is then distributed to eligible businesses through tax credits. This tax credit amounts to 1% of your total payroll or 1.25% if the largest number of employees in the given 12-month period exceeds 1,000 and up to 2,000. The total tax credit applicable to an employer is limited to one half of the annual contribution. Additionally, employees in sectors that do not yet have a collective agreement have the right to training as established in the Construction Training Fund’s administration regulations. Each employee is entitled to a number of hours of training, the cost of which is borne by the employer. However, you are allowed to cover the cost of this obligatory training from the employer contribution to Workforce Vocational Training and Ongoing Education.

11.4. Personal Financing Options for Professional Development

It may make sense to work with a financial planner with experience in professional development finance, and choose a finance package that a company endorses or have used in the past. Other options include borrowing against a retirement plan / saving account, or a home equity line of credit. This approach is not true self-financing, because a retirement plan or line of credit are used to pay for the professional development while continuing to work, but ultimately, while a balance needs to be recognized between the logical financial options and the reality of one’s position, needs and considerations, planned next step to become not only more employable and earn a higher income, but also to accomplish your dream career and personal goals.

Employers are more open to compensate all or a portion of personal professional development requirements for their employees (either on or off site if it is for career development and retention), because as mentioned earlier, a professional work force improves profits through more efficiency and by more effectively controlling costs. Employees should always check with their employer to see if they will cover all or part of the costs of their professional development before they pay the registration fees themselves, and should ask if their company has written procedures for any changes in your employment agreement or termination after professional development is provided, should receive written instructions on repayment guidelines upon termination, and most important, recognize, value, and be loyal to all that the company has provided for them.

12. Balancing Continuing Education with Work and Personal Life

With a continuing education professional development portfolio, we can provide a program for lifelong learning and a challenge for future options in careers while enjoying the challenge and excitement of achieving personal goals.

Goal setting is a time for reflecting on one’s life, considering how far one has come, and then facing the challenge of making the most of the future. By establishing clear goals, individuals can decide their actions and efforts, thus giving their lives purpose and meaning.

Developing some ‘switching strategies’ can also be beneficial to balance your activities. For example, spend an hour jogging or biking during early morning, winding down from work during your evening walk or workout at the gym, and also while watching television, which you usually do while relaxing.

Determine ways to balance these activities. For example, find time to read while sitting at the beauty parlor, barbershop, dentist, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, traveling on a plane, bus, or train. Also, get involved in e-learning. It is extremely difficult to blend continuous learning with available time, but with careful planning, you will find time.

No matter how busy you are with family, other life commitments, career, personal continuing education, or any other activities or obligations you may have to fulfill, it is important to budget your time and allow yourself time to learn, read, or attend conferences and seminars.

Having set your goals and knowing where you are going, you can now start planning how to get there. Invest your time and exert constant effort. Continuous application of a little time and a little effort equals success. If you just blunder ahead without clear thought and direction, you are likely to become lost.

12.1. Strategies for Time Management

The issue is that with ever-increasing career responsibilities, we often forget to add training time as a regular, non-negotiable agenda item. However, the real value of continued training and education in developing our industry reduces the intention of such resolutions to reality. More studies in the field of lifelong learning and professional development have shown that time is a key barrier to the implementation of continuing training. The statistics of the BLS so far are not optimistic: less than one-third of adults who had completed any labor force training at the time of the survey. However, thinking about the limited time available to planning or participating in training is not planning or participating in training. So let’s discuss some strategies that would help in making it work.

Balancing priorities in our lives is one of the toughest challenges we face. Delighting in full schedules and multitasking has become a badge of honor, and along with that badge comes the guilt for not spending enough time with our loved ones. We run from one commitment to another and expect everything to be done – yesterday. Being caught on the treadmill of daily tasks, daily emails, and long working hours makes it hard to make room for training and personal development. I fully understand this because I am owning and wearing those badges for both personal interest. And so, this is particularly evident in an industry like construction, where individuals work long hours and have their commitments beyond their regular working environment, in running their businesses, projects, or offices. Time to read and relax is something that is long gone, and attending professional development opportunities appears more like an unattainable luxury.

12.2. Setting Realistic Goals for Professional Development

If you are considering whether to pursue a certain goal, set it as a PEG goal. If not, this goal is probably not important to you. Refined goals should be relevant to your current situation as well as to the tasks you perform on a daily basis. One can never learn more than they want to, but there should be clear motivations for personal goals and those that are developed or planned for one or more individuals who share the same goal. The goal can, for example, be related to the tasks you perform together, which could imply a common goal. If the goal is perceived as relevant, these goals are maintained and motivated. Performance delivers a developmental stimulus that can be related to skill development and to the individual, and is perceived by the degree of control. A developmental stimulus like this entails a surplus of potential motivational aspects.

When establishing, managing, and reflecting on opportunities for professional development, it is important to find a balance between setting ambitious goals and feeling frustrated if you do not reach them. Sometimes, achieving a goal is nothing more than a means to an end. On one hand, the goals we set should expand our abilities and encourage us to learn and mature. On the other hand, it is important to set realistic expectations for our work that will still be relevant on Monday, and for our colleagues who will still be open to feedback and discussions on Tuesday. One rule of thumb is that you should have worked with 80% of your knowledge and tools for 20%, and the remaining 20% with the 80%. Keeping this balance prevents frustration and feels motivating. Unrealistic expectations can also lead to stress, causing you to end up working more rather than smarter. Once the goals are set, they should also be managed, refined, and clarified.

12.3. Prioritizing Continuing Education Commitments

Of the firms that are members of trade organizations, 66% of the respondents find that the CE is very relevant to the company’s skills. Trade organizations are composed of a wide range of experience levels within the industry, and they provide members with various resources such as training opportunities. Among the different types of training resources, structured programs have been cited as the most relevant resource for CE by many firms. After structured programs, conferences have also been ranked as the second most popular resource for CE, with the trade organization being the top provider of these opportunities. Therefore, the trade organization provides the most significant opportunities for reaching the construction industry companies and delivering relevant and needed training sessions.

12.3.2. Education that will influence the abilities of a company to remain competitive, such as safety, quality control, and communications, is considered important when evaluating training needs. These results help to justify that companies are seeking CE within the industry to not only increase the profits of the company but also to provide customers with a better product. By ranking the top five training areas, a firm may begin to develop a formal curriculum. It was mentioned that additional CE in project management and risk management are areas under development. There have been significant advancements in these areas over the last few years, and companies are recognizing their importance and including them in their programs.

12.4. Creating a Work-Life-Learning Balance

The construction industry is no different than any other business today. Self-motivation and willfulness to learn are highly valued in the industry by professionals when they hire. The field is changing at a higher pace, and the industry requires leaders and managers to absorb and input what they learn. It is typical for young professionals to establish or grow in their careers without knowing the structural dynamics within the industry itself. Investing in self-growth and career development is equally important to produce better outcomes and operations in the workplace. The final article thus provides an abundance of resources and professional community support, along with educational opportunities throughout the country to continue one’s education in the specialty of construction while remaining employed in a full-time capacity and/or taking care of personal and family obligations.

The construction industry is certainly unlike many other disciplines in so much that it is extraordinarily fast-paced. The demand of constantly delivering projects on time and within budget constraints in itself is an enormous challenge. In addition, the travel required from the working professional itself is very exhausting. Ergo, it becomes very difficult for such professionals to take time off from work. All of the above-noted points lead to individuals not making time and/or pursuing further continuing education opportunities once they have graduated and are working full time. However, it must be noted that opportunities and support systems to undertake such opportunities are available. A good professional development program can actually enhance the overall job performance.

13. Evaluating the Return on Investment of Professional Development

It is important that continuing development is not just seen as the individual’s responsibility but rather is embraced and fostered at all levels. Few construction companies appear to promote the importance of CPD or are perceived to provide the time, opportunity, and support for CPD with the industry workforce. CPD is not just technical; it is about widening individuals’ horizons and giving them wider perspectives. The most successful training can result in a transformation of both the individual and the organization. CPD should reflect the development in technical skills and knowledge, as well as intellectual, emotional, and personal competence. Understanding CPD’s strategic role is key to investing in it. RICS and associate organizations provide an Awards Process. Participating in this process can do a company’s performance good ‘because skills development highlights an organization’s commitment to training which, through increased effectiveness and efficiency, should already give the company a competitive advantage’.

Effective CPD is difficult to achieve and depends not only on the format of delivery but also on the opportunities taken to put the practices and processes into play. Furthermore, ‘an effective training scheme can lead to innovation, workforce development, quality improvements, and ultimately [might lead to] winning… more work. A lack of CPD of the employees has a significant adverse impact on the KPIs.

13.1. Measuring the Impact of Professional Development

It is not difficult to point out students who have gained from undergraduate and graduate level education. It is more challenging to determine program effectiveness for practicing professionals. One can talk or observe students to determine how well they understand or are capable of performing a task; however, the task the students are asked to perform may be somewhat different from the tasks that practicing professionals perform. In 2010, five years after introduction into an elective, project management class, participants’ perceptions of the impact of the course knowledge on their current jobs were solicited. Additionally, participants were asked what they may have done differently, if given the chance. Of the 133 participants, 7 declined, 16 did not respond, 110 offered comments, and 5 projected an impact of the knowledge that may come in the future. Twenty students indicated that no impact has resulted. Data suggest positive impact of the course material on the time allocation of 18 students, 11 students on expectations, 9 on interpreting diverse behaviors, 18 on substantive aspects and knowledge, 22 on tools (using a wide range of PM tools), and 6 on people skills, a wide range of subjects.

The most effective time to evaluate the changes brought about by an attendance at a development program or by the implementation of new knowledge or a new technology is after time has passed. Although acknowledging the value of evaluation and evaluation results, we should be more concerned with the transfer of knowledge to the job and any future impact resulting from the transfer. The evaluation of training provides an opportunity to assess the impact and effectiveness of education. Results from the development programs in the construction profession at the University of Houston can encourage construction trainers that they are improving participants’ knowledge.

13.2. Assessing Career Advancement Opportunities

13.3. The pre-promotion period 13.3.1. Overview. Construction work is very complex and demanding. Workers are subjected to a myriad of workplace hazards including heavy equipment and machinery, working from heights, electrical hazards, noise and dust. The pre-promotion period, or foreman training, is essential to ensure that managers accommodate workers’ beliefs, values, and norms and provide them with training and support to enable them to pass through the socialization process and adjust to their new roles in an efficient manner. Socialization refers to the process by which individuals are made aware of, and willing to adapt to and function in the organization’s values, ethics, behavior, and work practices. In addition, it provides managers an opportunity to, first, assess if the potential foreman will have the respect needed from the crew to be a leader and, second, assess the worker’s “soft skills” or people skills such as the ability to be assertive, handle tough conversations, become an arbitrator if needed. Data gathered include feedback from the crews on the individual’s communication proficiencies and leadership ability.

13.2. Assessing career advancement opportunities. It is not uncommon in the construction industry for an employee to be promoted based on the individual’s technical capabilities with no regard to managerial potential. The “pre-promotion period” offers a unique vantage point to evaluate management skills in an individual as he/she has recent experience of being at the worker level. It affords an opportunity to evaluate an individual’s skills and personality as well as ability or willingness to learn new skills or refine existing ones. Successful management is accomplished through open and effective communication, problem solving and conflict resolution, time management skills, decision making, organizational and strategic planning skills. Assessing these skills ahead of time can prevent costly employee turnover. For this reason, many senior-level managers utilize the “pre-promotion period” as a grooming tool for potential future management candidates.

13.3. Determining the Value of Certifications and Training

The professionals were asked to rate the impact of training and certifications on the companies and job satisfaction of the employee with a median value of 4 or 4.5. The project managers rated low knowledge of field operations as neutral; the remaining median values were 4 or higher. The superintendents had lower median values on technical training for superintendents and superintendent knowledge as these were valued at 2. For the shorter certification program for superintendents, the median value was 4.5. The management, managers rated 5 and above for all items. Technical training, colleagues, and superintendent training were rated a median of 4 or higher with only one value of 3 during the management training. The general foreman split their ratings of 3 with a slightly higher valuation of training for colleagues. Overall, the return on investment of training and certifications for job satisfaction was high.

During the interviews, the professionals rated the impact of training and certifications on their company’s ability to compete in the market as important or very important with a median value of 4 out of 5. Management training and certifications were rated as the most important with a median value of 5, followed by project managers with a median of 4, and field certifications and training with a median of 3. Surprisingly, the superintendents, especially technical training for superintendents, were rated lower than the overall field in general. The value of training and certifications to colleagues or team was considered to be an important or very important median value of 4 out of 5. Field certifications were once again rated the lowest with a median value of 3, and superintendents were rated lower than average with a median of 3 and technical training was rated a 2 from general foreman. The value of training and certifications to the individual employee’s job satisfaction is important or very important with a median value of 4. Once again, field certifications and for the general foreman were rated lower than the average.

13.4. Tracking and Documenting Professional Development

How then can professionals effectively record their participation in professional development activities? The answer ultimately depends upon the specific reporting requirements set by their profession’s oversight body. In some cases, a record of completion will be sufficient. Other organizations will have specific requirements about what details should be included in a record of professional development. It is common for professional development records to be supported by additional documentation in the form of the course syllabus, program brochures, copies of educational materials handed out during an event, resumes of speakers, etc.

Tracking one’s professional development is an essential part of the lifelong learning process. Professionals need to keep records of their learning experiences in order to ensure they are meeting the requirements set by their industry or profession, and as a way to assess their own professional growth. Such records may be needed by an employer, licensing board, association, society, accrediting institution, or government entity in order to verify one’s attendance and participation in specific activities. It is likely that members of the audience who participate in continuing education and professional development activities will be required to report evidence of their participation in these activities. However, given each organization’s specific rules, recording professional development can be a very different process from industry to industry, and from association to association.

14. Future Trends in Continuing Education and Professional Development

Opportunities for continuing education and professional development in the construction industry: The construction industry has veterans and new professionals who have knowledge, skills, and ways of working that are centuries-old. Technology is changing very fast in the digital built environment, and the construction industry faces significant challenges because “the way we currently deliver infrastructure is not sustainable.” Since knowledge and professionalism are essential to justify architectural activity, the form in which to acquire knowledge must be inclusive and not linear. The active participation of students in collaborative and problem-based experiences requires spatial and social flexibility.

14.1. Technological Advancements in Learning and Development

The use of AR in construction is extensive, but with the primary focus on the construction process and not for training purposes, while VR has been tested by offering better and synchronized learning opportunities. The construction virtual design rooms or ‘CAVEs’ have also shown signs of immersive training benefits. Promisingly attracting participants among students, apprentices, professionals, and other construction actors, learning and development initiatives are so often offered through advanced systems. These are predominantly apps, around which standardized instructional formats are available. Agile learning systems have been adapted for construction within mobile apps and on-the-job certificate training. With the global pandemic and social distancing measures arising, online learning has become the leading non-traditional method of delivery.

Advancing technology is undoubtedly shaping new possibilities for learning and across other aspects of organizational design. The contemporary challenging circumstances created the opportunity for construction training and education to realign with the operational requirement. This review recognized the most prominent technological advancements tailored to learning and development practice, namely augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), agile learning systems, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and online methods for apprentices. The technological advancements in construction learning and development are proposed to reduce the skills gap, surmount the barriers of previously adopted instructional techniques, and market traditional education providers.

14.2. Shifts in Industry Skills and Knowledge Requirements

As Kodukula and Papudesu (2003) state, transformation is quite drastic and takes place at a frenetic pace. This has become possible because the fusion of technologies, or new emerging technologies, is finding applications in almost all areas that matter – construction industry included. Drawing a parallel with nature where the fastest, though it happens to be part of the vegetative world, recomposites life forms and other forms of life energy in order to treat and function optimally, would qualify to be monitored, then selectively harvested, and harnessed for betterment. It is only education and training, particularly involving lifelong learning linked with continuing professional development, opportunities as well as the drive required ways to handle to lead these changes. Human calculus certainly is a dynamic system, but finds parallel in the advancement of traditional disciplines to its present status of being reinforced by construction management initiatives.

Opportunities for continuing education and professional development in the construction industry. At the start of the 21st century, there are several shifts occurring in the industry that affect both the need for continuing professional development and the way in which such educational activities may be delivered. In a changing industry, professionals must adapt, learn new knowledge, acquire new technical skills and tools, and develop new human interaction skills. Professionals must adapt and continuously self-improve with further education and professional development. More and more, it is recognized that quality of education and lifelong learning opportunities are key to improving the individual’s ability to improve the outcome of his/her work. Nayak and O’Hare (2004) stress the important role played by educational establishments in bringing awareness of what is expected in the career of construction professionals, what their duties are, possibilities, and expectations.

14.3. Emerging Training Methods and Modalities

Some sectors have been successful in putting in place the critical work-related factors such as learner-friendly learning environments, resources, quality curriculum, information technology (IT) infrastructure, mentor support, and workplace and industry-sensitive workplace community training programs and courses for a greater impact. Transformation of the industry can only be realized if a radical change is made from the existing learning models to new innovative training for the workforce. In relation to the construction training environment, there are several rationales for integrating new technologies into training: one is increased learning time; second is increased communication over spatial separation, and third, greater learner control over the learning process. The challenge is in designing appropriate constant professional development (CPD)-related curricular courses that not only become self-directed, personalized with materials and tasks, but support the social construction of knowledge among the trainees. As in construction projects, building training programs are instructional products where design activities typically occur in collaborative, iterative, and experimental ways.

The construction industry continues to lag behind in the adoption of modern training methods and modalities. Researchers maintain that the contemporary workforce is increasingly technology-savvy, which is a clear indication that training methods and modalities should evolve with industry training needs as well as with the learning styles of trainees. Emerging training methods and modalities, which are widely deployed in the construction industry, include multimedia and interactive authoring instruction, virtual reality, the internet, web-based instructions, handheld devices, and electronic training materials development. Benefits ascribed to these methods and modalities include reduced training times, ease of use, increased accessibility, decreased traveling and maintenance costs, and immediate feedback. Aside from these, the convenience, flexibility, and the collaborative learning process are also worthy of note. Findings from survey studies, interviews, observational analysis, and case studies reveal that despite an increase in the use of these methods in training, there has not been a significant revolution in the way training is delivered in the construction workforce in many trades.

14.4. Predictions for the Future of Professional Development

There are many opportunities for individuals to acquire a wide range of competencies important in their role, regardless of the perspective chosen. As with the sponsor roles, the sponsored roles are learning experiences. Traditionally, they consist of site supervision, although other activities are gaining prominence in the construction industry. Training is provided via internal employees and during the project of external stakeholders, including architects, engineers, and subcontractors. Various on-site experiences can be developed and acquired. Some of them involve troubleshooting and other responsibilities (e.g., formal decision-making, handling of paperwork and correspondence, customer service), while others include understanding project stakeholders, employee health and safety, management and leadership techniques, training, and career development.

Opportunities for continuing education and professional development (CEPD) in the construction industry are abundant. There have been numerous predictions regarding future educational needs in construction. Some believe small computer-aided design (CAD) companies providing training will disappear as systems become more automated, such as with building information modeling (BIM) and integrated project delivery (IPD). Others think that college and university training may become shorter given that personalized and online instruction will allow students to learn at a faster pace. Universities might be joined by new providers such as Google, which may offer data analytics skills to project management as part of Google’s cloud infrastructure platform, or Amazon, which may offer contract negotiation skills as part of the platform they both rely upon. LinkedIn, Microsoft, and GitHub, among other technology providers that integrate into the entire construction process, are also potential sources. The most recent forecast of the Society of Women Engineers names the top 10 leadership skills for 2020 including cross-collaboration, soft skills development, and empathy for the customer. There seems that no real industry focus has been identified as of yet and how these skills and individuals seeking them will be developed. Some envision a place where the incubation of science/engineering ideas and innovations would be achieved, allowing a “win” for everybody. Few suggest a bounty system for innovation, which can be accomplished within the industry or academia; but both spheres must be integrated with the collaboration of industry problem-solvers, and the academic community will have additional linkages created and vice versa. Industry-focused leadership is significantly different from academic sciences, and, thus, the role of both mentors and mentees must be played.

15. Overcoming Challenges in Continuing Education and Professional Development

In the United States, the funding for the workforce training budget has decreased significantly. An example is the state of Texas spending less than $108. Then in Canada, only $325 is spent on training. Furthermore, professional development opportunities can be hard to locate. This is because it is often inadequate at universities, colleges, trade schools, and engineering programs, and professors lack the funding and expertise to deliver this kind of training. There is also the concern among those in the industry that continuing education costs too much, takes too much time, and has little value. Other difficulties experienced by the construction education industry include the fact that a significant portion of the workforce does not meet minimum job requirements due to low reading and mathematical skills. As well, the industry faces language, cultural, and age barriers with recruiting staff. Employees must have the skills necessary to operate machinery, use technology, and understand architectural plans containing complex and detailed information. These are the typical traits needed to succeed.

Opportunities for continuing education and professional development in the construction industry have been designed to assist individuals seeking to further their personal growth and development, their career opportunities and success, or to increase the competitiveness and productivity of construction organizations while overcoming barriers and constraints. The topics will include the skills needed in various types of construction and the current and future directions of their respective industries. The research model selected will show the differences among stakeholders of continuing education and professional development and reveal potential implementation issues. It is hoped that the findings will assist the stakeholders in overcoming constraints and workforce development challenges.

15.1. Lack of Time and Resources

This can dissuade suitably qualified professionals who could be in mid or high-ranked positions from pursuing their career aspirations through study. Developers and builders will only grant work projects to training organizations with outstanding reputations. Upon graduation, the skills obtained in the field of learning may be obsolete. The success of the learning organization’s association with the industry can influence an individual’s decision when choosing where to study. It is therefore important for companies in the construction industry to maintain an open line of communication with universities, public training and polytechnics offering training, and continuing education programs in construction and construction management. By ensuring that the syllabus is regularly updated and changed to meet the changes in the skills needs in the construction industry, the institutions will increase their acceptability of graduates in the industry. Building Industries’ student work placements will produce graduates who could provide solutions to a range of challenges confronting building industries. Goulet emphasizes Bowen’s model, which links industry to academics, through appropriate collaboration and meaningful communication. There will be a real gap between the skill sets of graduates and skills needed by the construction industry, based on the findings of Hoyle and Sandford. This incompatibility is the creation of an academic department that is unresponsive to industry and elsewhere is termed ivory-tower syndrome.

The view that the best time to receive construction training is when you are already in the workforce is often heard. Having tied both feet of the Nigerian builder to their work sites, there are significant challenges in getting professionals to continue their education with respect to time and travel. In an increasingly time-poor society, part-time education has seen a notable decline in enrollment. It is almost insurmountably tough to take adult learners out of their professional lives, especially when a university is situated elsewhere and cannot assist a student’s location or industry-specific needs. For example, as a result of the spread of the construction industry across states in Nigeria, learning opportunities will impact differently on the professionals in each state. Also, often construction firms are reluctant to allot professionals rescued time from work and sometimes, professionals are wary of part-time study due to the perception that it may lead to excessive or unrealistic workloads. It is cheaper for learners to study full time than part-time. Full-time students receive priority funding and grants, while part-time students receive less support.

15.2. Balancing Workload and Learning Commitments

Trade-off opportunity cost and satisfaction: There is usually a trade-off between your potential satisfaction from learning and the cost of this satisfaction, which includes factors such as time, energy, money, effort, commitment, work-life balance, and opportunity cost. It is crucial that as ongoing learners we differentiate between our genuine interests and our need or want to satisfy our curiosity. In summary, compare your options before you choose to learn and then continue to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of learning.

Consider the timing of courses and research projects: If you are already heavily committed at work or in your personal life, take only one course per term instead of two or do not begin a research project. It is also possible to take courses with other options. For example, if you are unable to fulfill the requirements of part-time study, take a certificate course and earn a grade of 70% in order to obtain credit once every three weeks. Invest time in advance to look for courses that meet your interests and schedule.

For some busy professionals, being engaged in lifelong learning activities might seem like an impossible or impractical goal. However, lack of time does not necessarily need to be a major barrier to learning. The key to ongoing learning lies in finding an appropriate balance, which means ensuring that we do not become so overwhelmed with course and assignment requirements that there is no time left for remaining social, family, work, or personal commitments. Some strategies to allow for more balance in our lives include the following:

15.3. Addressing Skill Gaps and Training Needs

The need to bridge the gap between education and the real-world requirements of the construction sector has been largely recognized. A pressing challenge in construction skill development is believed to be the relevance of courses offered in vocational schools as well as that of construction science and property development courses offered by universities. While parents and job seekers generally favor universities as a route of career development, the opposite seems to be the case when it comes to courses that develop technical skills and differ improvements for industry workers. Despite these differences of qualification- and job-skills-related preferences by various stakeholders, the shortage of skilled labor remains a major challenge as construction skills are still necessary not only for the benefit of the worker but to the person, to society and the industries, including the construction industry itself. Overall, the development of skills within the construction industry has become problematic and to address this problem, there is now more demand for continuing education and professional development.

In the case of the commercial building and construction industry, the most pressing issue for the workforce is the deficit in skills. The problems faced by other sectors of the industry involve the quantity of the workforce, retention and recruitment activities. The American residential construction workforce problem does not have to do with the quantity of workers but the skills possessed by the workers. Based on these findings, one would expect to find differences in the skills possessed by the workers in the 2 sectors of the industry. However, the existing body of research fails to empirically distinguish between commercial building construction skill gaps and problems being faced in horizontal heavy and civil construction as opposed to residential construction in terms of skill shortages. The aim of this study is to quantitatively explore this construction market segmentation approach, proposing some recommendations for future classroom education and training interventions for the 2 distinctly different categories of construction within the contemporary Northern American context.

15.4. Strategies for Motivation and Overcoming Obstacles

Following are some strategies for combating demotivation among employees who are considering training. “There are only two motivations for change: the desire for improvement or the fear of consequences.” Regardless of the type of motivation – to move away from the current state or to move toward a preferred state. If a person has a desire to perform, then he/she will likely spend a reasonable time in preparing and practicing the performance. The claim has been that if the person is motivated, then that person will seek out available resources. Essentially, the person’s behavior is directed toward a goal, and changes will only occur if the current internal state is sufficiently strong. If an individual sets goals and masters strategies to continue taking steps toward the goal and also perseveres in the face of obstacles, that person will experience feelings of pride and accomplishment. Goals both define and direct motivation. A behavioral element that might overcome procrastination on the part of those individuals who have recently expressed that they wanted to improve their productivity and project delivery speed is to get these individuals to commit to working for at least five minutes on their project.

Following are some strategies for combating demotivation among employees who are considering training. Before deciding to take training, many individuals in construction may experience a condition known as training anxiety. Following are some strategies designed to put their minds at rest and help them succeed. Getting employees to attend a workshop will not guarantee that they will learn from it. To address this issue, a structured step-by-step treatment plan is provided that is very empirical in nature for enhancing the retention and transfer of knowledge. In conclusion, while many companies in the construction industry are adopting strategic and operational planning, the vast majority of emphasis has been placed on the “hard” elements such as organization structure, duties and responsibilities, etc. There has been little attention paid to “soft” elements such as active involvement in organizational aspirations and promoting learning in the industry via training and continuous education. Empirical studies have found that values and related goals regarding education were mostly foster individual competencies and, thus, the technological capabilities in the construction industry.