If you’re thinking about a career in construction management, you are making an excellent choice. Construction managers are in demand, and this is expected to keep increasing more than in other industries. Online courses are an excellent way to cut costs while still getting quality educational experiences to start or advance your career.
The following are the five best online courses to get you started.
How We Chose Our Ratings
Ratings are based on a number of factors to determine the best online courses in the field of construction management. Main factors include the quality of the institution offering the course, flexibility, price, prerequisites, and student reviews.
Many of the programs work whether you are just starting out or if you have experience and are looking for a promotion to management, while others require either experience or a degree. All of these programs are excellent and offered by accredited institutions.
Top 5 Best Online Construction Management Courses
#1 Columbia University Construction Management Specialization Through Coursera
Coursera is an excellent website that allows users to get certifications affordably through highly-ranked universities. This particular program is through Columbia University in New York. After completion of the specialization, you will receive a certificate from Columbia University that you can include in your resume and LinkedIn.
The specialization consists of four courses. There is a recommended order in which to take them but doing so is not required. They offer video lectures, readings and practical, and real-world projects that you can talk about during the interview process. There is even a peer-review system, which combats the isolation of online coursework and better resembles a traditional in-person class than many programs.
The courses require about 3-5 hours weekly. However, there are graded assignments that must be passed to earn the certificate. Upon completion, you will have real-world skills including project scheduling, plans, budgets and risk analysis.
The tuition fee is through a subscription. There is a 7-day free trial if you want to get a feel for the course before making a full commitment. If you decide you do not like the program at that time, you can cancel your subscription.
A low flat rate is charged monthly until the program is complete. It means you will pay less money if you quickly complete your courses. However, classes do start on a schedule, so it’s not as flexible as some of the other online certificates. If you want to only take one course instead of the entire specialization, you have to cancel your subscription after the class is over, so you do not get charged for the next month. They also offer financial aid.
Overall, this is an excellent program to help you advance your career. The only drawback is that these courses do not give you college credit. However, its price is unmatched, and it offers students a broad range of educational experiences. There is a peer-review process, and the user ratings are excellent. , you will have a certificate from the renowned Columbia University to list on your resume to put you ahead of the pack during a job search.
Who Should Try It?
Someone who wants a flexible, affordable program with a classroom atmosphere offered by a high-quality university.
$49 monthly until program is complete.
#2 Ashworth College Construction Management Certificate
This course is a close second because of its quality, affordability, and flexibility. It is an undergraduate certificate program which means the classes are college-level and can be used as credit toward an associate degree if you wish to do that down the line.
Ashworth is an accredited college. Hence, this certificate will carry more weight than some of the other courses out there. There are various tuition options, but the best deal is full payment worth $899. If you choose to use a payment plan, the tuition is still competitive and varies depending on whether you select automatic payments. The tuition price includes everything you need such as textbooks, materials, career guidance, and a live graduation ceremony.
You can begin the course immediately after enrollment. You set your own pace and have academic support. There are two required courses, and the rest are electives you can choose based on the type of role you are seeking. You will have access to career-building tools that Ashworth makes available to its student body. Overall, this course does an impressive job of combining value and quality.
Who Should Try It?
A person who wants to get started right away with high-quality, college-level courses.
$1,099-$1,199 depending on whether you select automatic payments.
#3 Colorado State University Degree Specialization in Construction Management
Through this program, you will receive a certificate of completion that will boost your resume or help you get a promotion. If you decide later that you would like to earn your full bachelor’s degree from Colorado State, you may be able to use the credits you received in the certificate program toward that degree.
Colorado State is a well-respected and nationally accredited university. This program consists of five courses and 15 credit hours. It is a bit on the pricier side, but still very competitive given the university’s stellar reputation. This is another rare university that does not charge student fees. So, while the tuition may have an up-front higher cost, at least you will not be surprised by the never-ending list of fees.
The courses are thorough and taught by high-quality instructors. They are comprehensive, general courses rather than specialized. This is a good program to advance your career or get you started toward a full degree.
Who Should Try It?
Someone considering a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management or who wants to make his or her resume more appealing for managerial positions.
$1,050 per course, so about $5,250 for the entire specialization.
#4 University of Washington Certificate in Construction Management
This is another excellent certificate program offered online by a prestigious university. While the above courses work well regardless of whether you are new to the field, University of Washington offers a class that works best for experienced professionals.
Ideally, you would have at least five years of experience in commercial construction before taking this course. This makes the program very compelling for purposes of getting that promotion to management you’ve been seeking.
The online program is four courses over three quarters with evening class schedules, so it takes nine months to complete it. It is the most expensive course on the list so far, but if you are looking for a promotion, the prestige and quality of this course may be worth it for you. If you want to complete your master’s at some point, earning this certificate will help you fulfill some of the prerequisites.
The course covers management techniques, accident prevention and safety, and a lot of strategies for cost estimation. An additional benefit is that you will complete a final project that you can later add to your portfolio. In this way, the course helps you hone your real-life skills as well as your book knowledge.
If considering this course, be sure to check out the prerequisites to make sure the program would be a good fit. While this course is not for beginners, if you are experienced and looking to advance to management in your field, this could be the perfect program for you.
Who Should Try It?
An experienced professional looking to take his or her career to the management level.
The starting cost is $6,860.
#5 Drexel University Online Certificate in Construction Management
The Drexel Online Certificate is a strong program for developing quality construction management professionals. There is an emphasis on a holistic approach that involves not only technical skills and scientific methodologies, but also creativity, critical thinking and innovation, all of which are necessary for exceptional leadership.
Unlike the others programs on the list, this course requires a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite, which could present a barrier to entry for some. The program works on its own for professional development or as a step towards earning a master’s degree.
Drexel boasts a flexible program that is extremely interactive with classmates and faculty. The instructors are professionals in the field with a wide array of experience.
As with most of the institutions on the list, there are enrollment deadlines to heed. It’s composed of four 10-week quarters annually. It’s 18 credit hours and typically takes two years to complete, which makes it more of a time commitment than the other courses on this list. Depending on your experience, there may be an additional leadership course required, which is at the discretion of the faculty.
This is a graduate-level certificate course at a well-respected institution, and it requires a lot of credits to complete, so this is by far the most expensive option on the list. Unfortunately, it’s not eligible for financial aid. However, if you are in a place in your life where you are able to dedicate the time and resources to a very well-respected certificate to advance your career, this may be just the right program for you.
Who Should Try It?
The professional with a Bachelor’s Degree who is ready to prioritize advancing his or her career.
$1,265 per credit, for an overall cost that starts out around $22,770.
Deciding which online program to pursue is not an easy decision. There are so many options out there, and it’s scary not knowing whether something is a scam or the real deal. While some programs may seem inexpensive, if they do not teach you valuable skills and do not hold weight with employers, they are a waste of money.
A quality program will be an investment that will pay off in terms of higher salary and increased responsibilities. Fortunately, there are some options out there that are both objectively affordable and of high quality.
Here are some of the criteria you can consider when looking for an online school:
It is important that whichever courses you pursue, you first confirm that they are accredited. Educational accreditation guarantees that the program has sufficient quality. This does not only help ensure you learn from the class but also enable you to earn respect from future employers. Sadly, there are many fraudulent “universities,” and accreditation also tells you that the course is not a scam.
A program may sound great on paper, and of course, its website will make it seem amazing, but it’s vital to also look at reviews from students before signing up. Real-life reviews can be deal changers. Keep in mind that more reviews can also signify the reliability of the information.
If you can get hold of statistics, make sure to review them before making a final decision. It is particularly helpful to know the graduation rates and post-graduation employment stats for the course you may attend.
When selecting a program, make sure the coursework reflects the career path you wish to choose. Some curriculum may be better suited for your goals than others.
You don’t want to get super excited about a course, only to realize later that it has prerequisites. Before you sign up, make sure you either match the criteria for entry or that you are willing to take additional classes.
You will want to make sure the course meets your budget. There are high-quality courses out there that are not budget-breaking, but it takes some research. Along these lines, look for whether financial aid is offered and confirm whether any fees will increase your tuition beyond the expected price.
7. Time Commitment
When getting information about a course, make sure to ask about the time commitment and flexibility. Sometimes this is listed on the website, and other times, you will need to reach out to the school administration. You need to make sure your schedule will allow you to be successful in the course.
Bringing It All Together
With the right guidelines, you can find an online construction management course that fits your needs and your budget. The five courses above are a great start. If you are still looking for more options, use the buyer’s guide to help you narrow down your search. With these tips, you’ll be off to a rewarding and successful career in no time.