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What Is an MBA in Construction Project Management?

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree gives you a robust toolkit for managing people and processes, building successful business strategies and being an effective business leader. Many online MBA degrees provide curricula with a more specialized focus. At Lamar University, one of the specialized curriculum tracks is Construction Project Management.

With a diverse and nationally recognized foundation of core coursework, the online MBA in Construction Project Management from Lamar University prepares students for the rigorous demands of modern business leadership. Foundation courses in areas like international business strategies, managerial economics, managerial decision-making and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems prepare students for advanced coursework in the Construction Project Management specialization.

How Things Are Made

The construction industry is responsible for the growth and upkeep of a nation’s infrastructure, a city’s core services and new development, commercial property development, a population’s constant need for new housing and much more. Managing a construction project involves many moving parts and products, coming together in an intricate dance that turns a hole in the ground into an impressive structure of glass, steel and brick that will provide shelter and services for generations.

The immense complexity of construction project management was highlighted by challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges were rooted in supply chain and logistics issues, materials shortages, unstable workforces due to illness and stay-at-home orders, skyrocketing demand (and cost) for housing construction or renovations and numerous other factors.

These conditions compounded and complicated the myriad responsibilities of construction project managers. Interestingly, the pandemic also exposed the public at large to the complexities of the modern construction industry and the globally interconnected web of supply and demand. To a degree, this increased general awareness of how challenging construction project management can be — and how vital it is to modern life.

Clearly, being successful in this field requires highly specialized knowledge, skills and experience, all of which Lamar University’s construction project management studies are designed to help students develop. For instance, Lamar University’s Advanced Construction Planning and Scheduling course provides students with useful experience in the planning stage of a construction project. Materials have to be procured and delivered. Workers and machines must be prepared, present and ready when needed. And someone has to clean up the mess, a logistical feat in and of itself.

All these pieces of a construction project must work smoothly together so that the project can be completed on time and on budget. Learning how to break down work activity, manage resource allocation and craft a critical path methodology are all vitally important to the success of a well-run project. Reflecting current practices and innovations in the field, Lamar University students delve into the statistical modelling and planning software programs that facilitate accomplishing these tasks effectively and efficiently.

In addition to in-depth planning, you need to figure how to pay for it all. Lamar University’s Construction Cost Management course provides detailed instruction on project estimation projections, labor costs (both direct and indirect), material acquisition and equipment depreciation. There will be an accounting of every dollar spent and every nail hammered, and this course will teach you how to use modern software to provide accurate and efficient reports on the overall cost of the project.

Which Tool for Which Job?

In addition to the software and tools introduced in planning, scheduling and cost management studies, Lamar University’s Advanced Construction Project course introduces students to the cutting-edge, advanced technologies shaping the field. Technologies like virtual construction, building information modeling and project management information systems are explored in theory and application to key project management processes.

A course called Conflict and Negotiation Management in Construction provides students with the tools needed to address contract claims and disputes that will inevitably arise. While not a thrilling aspect of the field to have to deal with, construction project managers must be fluent in dispute resolution, negotiation and vigilant record keeping to keep all stakeholders content — and on stable legal ground.

Putting the Pieces Together

Lamar University’s Sustainable Practices in Construction course discusses core concepts of sustainability and environmental impact as they relate to a variety of construction projects. As the availability of core resources and materials changes, construction project managers must learn how to craft energy-efficient designs and buildings that can take advantage of renewable energy resources and materials. This course examines evolving technologies in green construction and materials as well as sustainability and resilience in infrastructure development, preparing students for coming changes in the construction industry.

An MBA with a focus in construction project management can elevate business leaders with existing experience in the construction industry into positions managing large projects on both a national and international level. There will always be a need to build and grow. MBAs who know how to craft sustainable infrastructure will be invaluable as our population and need for resources increase. Integrating core competencies in business management practices with a deep, specialized knowledge of the construction industry can provide visionary business leaders with the tools they need to build the future.

Learn more about the Lamar University online MBA in Construction Project Management.

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