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What’s the difference between Project Management and Construction Project Management?

Every project, no matter its industry of origin, needs strong leadership to guide it to completion. Within construction, this involves coordinating the many divisions of the project delivery team, keeping stakeholders informed with progress updates, and ultimately bringing the project in on time and on budget – arguably tasks that a project manager in any industry will have to master.

So, does this mean that project management skills practiced within one industry are effective within any other, including construction? Do you really need specific construction project management experience when it comes to managing a build or renovation, or overseeing upgrades to infrastructure or mass transit systems?

The short answer to this is yes, and here we explain why. If you’re unsure whether or not a degree in construction project management is for you, this article should help.

Construction project management vs. project management

Side by side then, how do courses in construction project management and project management compare? 

Firstly, and most fundamentally, a non-industry specific project management degree won’t give you the key technical knowledge you need to succeed in a construction career. While at first glance, many of the responsibilities you’ll take on as construction project manager may seem the same as that of any PM, you cannot hope to cope with the complexities of a construction project without a solid understanding of how the industry operates.

A generic project management degree won’t help you explore the processes that run a construction site, the impact of weather on a build, or how to deal with demands from both clients and multiple contractors, for example. This kind of knowledge is crucial to construction project management, enabling you to react quickly and effectively to shifting project parameters, unexpected problems and the industry-particular working approaches, digital management systems, procurement practices, legalities and compliance requirements of the construction sector.

As such, courses in construction project management are highly practical in their focus, with an emphasis on grounding newly-acquired knowledge in real-life scenarios, and more importantly, within students’ own construction roles. Conversely, project management degrees tend to be based heavily in business theory, covering all aspects of general commercial management that can be applied to any profession.

Gaining the specific construction expertise you need  

If you’re looking to secure a role in construction project management, a non-sector specific project management degree is not going to give you the return on investment you need. 

Instead, the in-depth industry focus you gain with a course like our Online MSc in Construction Project Management not only helps you understand construction projects in action, but also gives you the senior-level management skills you need to turn operational proficiency into strategic dexterity. Those who have relevant experience in the construction world, but lack certain construction practices and methodologies can fill the gaps in their knowledge, while those needing leadership experience in order to reach the next rung of the construction career ladder can build the skills they need to do so.

“Students will benefit from highly-focused construction content and first-hand experience from a team of professors strongly linked to international construction firms, and gain all they need to progress their careers in construction project management or a related field,” says course leader, Chris Coffey

RICS-accredited and named number two in the UK for Building, Town and Country Planning by the Guardian University Guide 2019, our 100% online course also provides a qualification with the internationally-recognised credentials you need to stand out to prospective construction employers.         
      
“My main ambition for the future is to reach the pinnacle of my chosen profession,” says current Online MSc student Aiden Munnelly. “To achieve my goals with least resistance I strongly believe that an accreditation must be gained - the MSc in Construction Project Management is the first step towards becoming a chartered member of an accredited body.”

Calling all budding construction project managers

So, if it’s a role as a construction project manager you’re after, this course could be for you. Find out more about what it covers and how it could propel your construction career forward by filling in our online form.