Construction Trades Gain In Popularity With College Students

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Undergraduate enrollment in construction trade programs has grown 26 percent since last year

August 11, 2017
people building a house

Photo: Robbin Cresswell

Labor shortages are the bane of the housing industry, one of the roots of high home prices and the lack of new construction. Colleges, however, are starting to get more students involved with the trades.

According to US News & World Report, construction trades had the largest percentage increase in enrollment at four-year institutions over the last year. A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center indicated that national undergraduate enrollment in trades grew 26 percent, from 7,659 in spring 2016, to nearly 10,000 this spring.

In this case, construction trades include subjects from carpentry to management.

Though the rise is small (US News points out that 1.5 million undergraduates studied in business programs in 2017), institutions are giving more attention to construction classes.

There were 60 baccalaureate degree programs for construction management that were accredited by the ACCE in 2006; by the 2015-2016 school year, there were 73 accredited programs. … At University of Washington, which has an accredited program, construction management students take courses in physics, business law and accounting, among other subjects.

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