San Diego State University Construction Program Helps Students Build Their Careers

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San Diego State University is adding a new project management curriculum to its online construction certificate programs this summer for students hoping to build a career in this industry.

I will be so much more efficient by applying the principles I am learning through the San Diego State program

Continuing education is a great way for individuals to improve their standing in a current job or sharpen their skills to re-enter the workforce.

Don Asquith of Sunnyvale, Calif., a construction industry veteran of nearly four decades, is preparing for re-entry into the job market by earning his online professional certificate in construction supervision through San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies.

Asquith began as an apprentice carpenter in 1977, then recently encountered a bend in the road when he suffered a disability that necessitated making a quick transition to supervision.

“I’ve played the role of supervisor over the years, but I was always shooting from the hip,” Asquith said. “When you study things formally, you find out how little you knew before. It’s easy for tradesmen to think they know it all. These courses can correct many years of unknowingly doing the wrong thing.”

As an example, Asquith remembers how he grew up in the construction industry with bosses simply yelling at someone to “get the job done” without proper supervision.

“We now know that style is counterproductive,” he said. “Mentoring and teamwork are the better way to go.”

As Asquith trains to become a construction supervisor, he is learning there are many aspects to getting the job done. As a checklist advocate, he is focusing on such pertinent construction subjects as safety, quality control, cost analysis, meetings, productivity, and inspections.

“I’ve been a superintendent before,” Asquith said. “I will be so much more efficient by applying the principles I am learning through the San Diego State program.”

As a long-time carpenter, Asquith notes how someone in that position does not think of how much a box of nails or other construction materials cost. But as a potential supervisor, he is learning how to pay attention to such details.

In order to earn his construction supervision certificate, which he believes is a key element in getting back into the job market, Asquith needs to finish three more classes in the ten-course program at SDSU.

“This program has credibility – both from SDSU and the Associated General Contractors of America,” Asquith said. “SDSU is a good pony to bet on. I have been there and done that. I know what it takes. This program offers real knowledge appropriate for supervisors in the construction industry. The course information is sufficiently deep to capture the imagination of the seasoned professional – and at the same time accessible enough to a guy who may have a full-time job to gain a lot and still complete the program successfully.”

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, the housing crash and the Great Recession that followed cost more than 2.2 million construction workers their jobs since 2006. Fewer than half a million have returned – many moved on to other industries or retired – which is why the construction industry now faces a shortage of workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the industry’s need for workers “will grow twice as fast as the average for all industries and will face a workforce shortage of 1.6 million workers by 2022.”

SDSU's College of Extended Studies offers five online construction certificate programs: civil sitework, construction estimating, construction practices, construction supervision, and a new project management program that begins this summer. The next session of programs begins April 6.

For an online demo, go to ConstructionClasses.com/demo course.

SDSU's College of Extended Studies reaches out to San Diego, the nation, and the world with a wide variety of lifelong learning opportunities, and more than 50 certificate programs for career advancement. Topics range from contract management, construction, and craft beer, to grant writing, marketing, and human resources. And many programs are available online. The CES also offers one of the largest ESL programs in the U.S. through the American Language Institute; and university-quality courses to students age 50 and better through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Other opportunities include seminars, study abroad, corporate education and access to regular SDSU classes through Open University. For more information or to register, visit neverstoplearning.net or call (619) 265-7378 (SDSU).

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