The Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) Young Professionals 2011 survey polled Construction Industry Owners, Contractors, Designers, and Users on the topics of Technology and Professional Development. A snapshot of these survey results are discussed below.

Moore’s Law describes, in general, the effect by which our technological capacity doubles every two years.  We asked, what is the most important technology tool in your company?  The results:

• 23% Email

• 22% Database Software such as Microsoft Excel or Access

• 18% CM or Scheduling Software

• 16% BIM/ CAD

• 12% Other (miscellaneous)

• 7% Smart Phones

• 2% Tablet Devices such as iPad

Across all age groups, Email and Excel were hands down considered the most important technology.  31-40 year olds were mostly dependent upon Email (33%) with 41-50 year olds the least (16%).  Both Email and Microsoft Excel have been main stream since about 1995 – the last time the Buffalo Bills made it to the Super Bowl.  While only 2% of those surveyed view tablets like iPads as the most important technology available, 59% view these devices as valuable tools for the construction industry and not just toys [7% view tablets as toys, while 35% are unsure].  Baby Boomers (over 51) are the most optimistic (63%) about the value of iPads or other tablets in industry, while Millennials (under 30) are most skeptical with 12% reporting their perception of these devices as a less valuable toy.

60% of Millennials surveyed reported that either no tool was available to measure quality on their project(s) or a tool was available but it was not useful.  Likewise, 50% of Millennials reported that no tool was available to track safety on their project(s) or a tool was available but it was not useful.

How much time should young people be spending at their desk reading and responding to emails?  How much time should they be spending out in the field developing fundamental concepts of how to build?  Of those surveyed, 38% of Millennials spend 2-4hours every day answering emails.  44%% spend either zero or only 0-2hrs in the field (away from their desk) each day.

Is Email really the most important technology at your firm?  Tech company Atos doesn't think so, recently implementing a "zero email" policy banning its employees from sending emails at work, reports ABC News [S. Kim 11/29/11].  Atos has 74,000 employees!

A full report of the 2011 CURT Young Professionals Survey including the Professional Development section and complete demographic breakdowns will be available on CURT’s website (<>) by January 1, 2012.

A few quick demographic figures for the 2011 survey:

•         304 Respondents

•         67% of Respondents more than 50 years or younger than 30 years

•         45% Contractors

•         19% Owners