It’s estimated that “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.” Careers in building information modeling (BIM) and virtual design and construction (VDC) are among the up-and-coming career options that are attracting the attention of both large and small educational institutions like Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Georgia. Starting in spring 2022, Georgia Highlands will join Purdue as one of the few schools in the country to offer degree programs in BIM and VDC. Both programs offer classes on a wide range of construction-related topics and teach students how to construct projects digitally using 3D modeling technologies, which is highly anticipated to be the way of the future.
Collaboration between higher education institutions and businesses worldwide is further helping drive opportunities for hands-on learning through the development of curriculum, technology labs and access to internships and mentors. Partnerships like these play a critical role in attracting young people to the construction industry and providing the skills they need to succeed.
Although the construction industry has faced a shortage of workers for some time, education, businesses and industry associations are coming together to offer up truly innovative programs to grow the workforce just as America needs it most. New degrees, apprenticeships and returnships offer opportunities for new and existing employees to gain valuable skills to enter or return to the workforce, which could be mirrored and executed by other industries in need. Together, these opportunities could inject the necessary skilled labor into our country to help it grow and prosper for years to come.