Technologies are being implemented today that make the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry more interesting than it has been over the past five decades. It is an invigorating time to be involved in AEC, and the growth potential is massive. Some of the trends are:
- More software-as-a-service (SAAS) applications, which are relatively easy to roll out in a company.
- Artificial intelligence implemented more often into design and project workflows to optimize these processes.
- The marriage of construction with technologies that have been produced for other industries. They will enable laborers to be more productive, minimizing the skilled labor gap.
- Robotics will optimize mundane, repetitive tasks and create an extended labor force to completely automate some tasks. Robotic machines free up humans to work in an innovative capacity where they can do their best work.
Fortunately, the construction industry is benefitting from a new trend in education. Rather than looking to earn long-term college degrees, the focus for people entering the job market is shifting toward specializing in a certain skill – achieving a micro-degree or micro-credential.
Competency-based professional learning results in digital certifications of a person’s specific skills. The concept originated with computer programming and networking in the mid-1980s. Digital Promise cooperates with 35 organizations that offer micro-credentials, with the names of Dell, Gates and Zuckerberg showing up in the list of funders.
When people have expertise on a particular skill, they can be integrated into a company and perform right away without a complicated onboarding process. They become the company’s specialist for their specific skill(s).
This can be attractive to today’s tech-savvy job seekers. People with a micro-credential can work in a chosen field, and if they discover they have a career interest in something else, they can get another credential in another specialty. A career path of this type is suited to people who want to continue to learn new technologies. An employee with that drive can be retained by the employer, while being able to branch out to other technologies they are passionate about. Embracing micro-credentials can result in a wave of people that affect the growth of tech in the industry.
Construction jobs have always been known as manual labor. However, when we consider what the job of a construction worker will look like five or ten years from now, we could be seeing that worker operating robotic machines that do the difficult, dirty, dangerous work. Workers will certainly be participating in many of their meetings online. They will connect with project teams and owners about projects using virtual reality.
With the current tech revolution in the AEC space, we’re already seeing specialists in virtual reality, 3D printing, fabrication processes, robotics, and process automation. Micro-credentials – many of which can be achieved in about a year – not only can substitute for a four-year degree, they are more job-focused. As an added benefit, people can become a credentialed specialist in one-fourth the time required for a typical college degree.
Tune in to episode 128 of Bridging the Gap Podcast to hear more about new trends in technology education from Jorge Tubella.