My college freshman son has been bent on studying civil for so many years. I hear that it’s not the best sub-discipline but his choice I guess. He did have the good fortune of participating in the ACE mentorship program (every aspiring architect, construction, or engineer student should seek this out in high school!) and it’s clear from the events I attended and folks I talked with, construction management is a lucrative major. What is everyone’s thoughts regarding a minor. Kid can do it as he came in with a fair number of AP and college credits.
And how are you defining “the best sub-discipline?”
Just because he can do it doesn’t mean that he should or would benefit. Minors usually don’t do a whole lot other than add an air of formality to additional targeted coursework in another subject. They generally have no real bearing on career prospects.
Several colleges have ABET accredited Construction Engineering and Management programs. Is this available at your son’s college? Anecdotally, demand for these graduates is high.
@boneh3ad all anecdotes but each every time I mention civil, someone says “you know…job prospects are better for electrical or mechanical…” It has happened on numerous occasions.
My kid is at a coop school so depending on how things shake out, he may be ahead time from AP and dual enrollments courses for which he received credit. Idle hands…
I looked and Construction management at both my son’s school as well as hubby’s work (possible master’s) and they are not ABET. But I think they are more management focused vs engineering. Both have good employment outcomes.
Having a declared minor is pretty meaningless. However, it doesn’t hurt.
Construction management firms hire lots of civil engineering graduates, probably more than construction management majors in the companies I’ve worked with. If he’s concerned about getting into the CM field with a civil engineering major, he shouldn’t be. If your son can handle the math & physics that are part of the curriculum, he should actually stay in the civil engineering major.
Construction management programs (not construction engineering & management) is not engineering, and thus, would not be, nor would have any reason to be accredited by ABET.
For what it’s worth, this is the route I took into construction management.
Choosing something that interests him is FAR more important than chasing other’s perceptions of the job market. Just let him start in civil and let him see how things evolve. Students don’t have the knowledge base to really understand what the day in and day out job will be like until they are deep into their training. The last thing you want is for him to choose a career path he ends up hating because you talked him into pursuing something “better” than what he was intrinsically motivated to do. Time will sort it all out and he’ll be fine.
Don’t listen to other people. They’re parroting things they’ve heard. Civil/structural is a wonderful field to go into. My husband and I have had our own engineering consulting firm for 20 years and have done quite well. The thought of doing electrical or mechanical was/is repulsive to me, ha.
He needs to be the one to decide whether to go into design or construction management, also. Just because he’s good at one doesn’t mean he’ll be good at the other. You can do well financially in design, so don’t worry about it.
Oh, and the minor does not matter AT ALL. Potential employers will look at the courses and experience.
Design and construction are pretty different. I think very few people would be equally happy in either. The good news is, as a civil engineering major, he can try out both sides via internships.
Thank you all for the thoughtful responses. He definitely loves civil and has no intent on changing. I’m tired of hearing naysayer after naysayer. My thought on the minor was I guess really as filler because of coming in with so many credits. We’ll see how he does a couple semesters in and take it from there.
Make sure HE’S the one making decisions. He’s picked an excellent field and should be the one steering the ship.
Thanks @MaineLonghorn we (more like I) are letting it play out. He did the ACE mentorship program, that experience was amazing and I think sealed the civil deal for him.
It’s hard to get out early even with AP credits, but it can make getting a MS more efficient. My son started taking graduate level classes in ME his third year and now, just 23, has a BS/MS and a full time job.
My daughter did Civil and she had a job, a fairly good paying on, before she graduated. She’s happy with her choice.
Her boyfriend was in construction management. They had many classes in common, although not at the same time because he was 2 years ahead of her. He got an MBA (from the same school), and has an extra year of work experience on her. He had no trouble getting a job near hers when she graduated. I think a good deal of his job is financial, preparing estimates for jobs and running the project budget.
While a minor might be possible, it may not if the classes are used toward the major; some schools don’t allow courses to be used for the major and minor.
Again, I wouldn’t give another thought about a minor - it won’t help at all.