For the second straight year, the Construction Management (CM) program at Sacramento State is reporting that 100% of its graduating class has secured a job. This means that since the May 25 commencement ceremony, all 32 graduates - 29 men and three women - have traded in their tassels for hard hats.

Photo courtesy of Sacramento State/Randy Allen
Some of the successful graduates of the Sacramento State Construction Management program.

"We pride ourselves on the ability to provide a practically orientated education in our undergraduate Construction Management program," says Mikael Anderson, chair of the Department of Construction Management. "This is accomplished by hiring faculty with many years of professional [construction] experience."

He says the teaching staff includes two licensed civil engineers, two licensed general contractors, and two members with LEED accreditation.  Along with these professionals, he says the school encourages students to work as interns with local contractors while attending classes. 

Working in the field while attending school is a function of our university's location in an urban environment with local industry support," says Anderson. "Students that take advantage of interning during school stand out amongst their peers, as they bring their experience to the classroom."

The university's four-year CM program, which began in the early 1970s, is one of the oldest in state. Last year, it became a full-fledged academic department within the institution's College of Engineering and Computer Science, and it recently was reaccredited by the American Council for Construction Education.

Graduates of Sac State’s CM program go on to various careers in the construction industry, including engineers, project managers and executives, estimators and more. Of the 200 students currently enrolled in construction management, 10 percent are women.

"I feel the industry as a whole is trying to make CM more attractive for women," says Anderson. "Many parents think CM is for men that want to work as laborers, often not realizing it has become a professional discipline with some of the most high paying salaries out of school. I try to educate these parents at high school career fairs or other similar events."

As the industry evolves with more complicated project delivery methods using tools like BIM, he says more women will see CM as a legitimate career opportunity. And when they see how many of the school's grads are finding work, that should increase their enrollment numbers too.

Henry Meier, a 1988 graduate of the CM program, says one of the factors for the school's impressive 100% graduate employment is because students are being taught and mentored by actual industry professionals.

"They are getting tremendous real-life experiences and skill sets," says Meier, who is now a project executive with Swinerton in Sacramento, and president of the school's CM advisory board.