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HomeNewsCampusConstruction Management degree builds pathways for students

Construction Management degree builds pathways for students

A new four-year Construction Management – Honours Bachelor program is in its second year at Durham College and students say it is already exposing them to different career opportunities.

The program is a new addition to the Whitby campus, and taught in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Information Technology (SEIT).

Ramon O’Brien entered his second year of the program and says it’s been “truly enriching” for him to get an understanding of different sides of the construction industry.

With a background in real estate, he came into the program with that in mind, and said the program offered him the opportunity to take on roles that fit his specific interests in residential and commercial buildings.

He said the first year of his program was focused on theories and principles behind construction management. The second year has been more hands on, with tests, site visits, and learning industry standard software more of a regular occurrence.

The program offers two field placements, one is an optional summer placement, and a mandatory placement that students take at the end of the final semester.

“When we finish the program, once we get our degree, we’re able to kind of hit the ground running, because we’ll have some work experience alongside the education,” O’Brien said.

Professor Sina Safinia said the program has been working to meet the “pragmatic” industry’s expectations.

“We know what they need, we know what they’re doing. Many of our professors are actually currently even working in the industry,” he said.

In particular, he points to the students’ options after they graduate.

“There are endless opportunities that are very, very different areas and different things that they can get into,” he said. “Construction is a vast industry. It’s many, many different opportunities available for them in different sides.”

According to Safinia, construction is more fragmented than other industries, which tend to work under an umbrella rather than relying on many different moving parts. The projects in the program let students take advantage of this, he said.

“In my project management class, their major assignment was that they’re going to start a new business in construction, outside Canada,” he said, “so they had lots of very interesting projects, they learn about the business side as well.”

There are currently 18 first-year students in the program, and 12 second-year students. As for its future, Safinia said the program recently got approved to introduce a three-year bachelor degree.

It will start in fall 2025.