The Center for Professional Studies (CPS) was contracted by the Maryland State Department of Education to author the Construction Design and Management curriculum for secondary education statewide. CPS has served as one of the lead academic organizations researching the evolution of technology and modeling within the construction field.


Maryland’s Construction Industry Employment Forecast
Recent studies forecast that construction employment in Maryland will grow by 8.5 percent over the next year.[1] According to the “Baltimore Regional Talent Development Pipeline Study,” released by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council in October 2013, the hiring demand for workers in construction occupations is projected to exceed 17,000 openings, including replacement hiring for turnover, by 2020.[2] Although the outlook regarding job availability is promising, many incumbent workers within the industry may be under-skilled.


The construction industry is experiencing a significant shift in needed skills focusing on the emergence of building information modeling (BIM).  According to McGraw-Hill’s 2013 report on BIM in North America, firm investments in BIM training will increase by 43 percent by 2014.[3] And approximately 63 percent of respondents to McGraw-Hill’s analysis found that construction costs were reduced after the adoption of BIM. [4]


Screen shot from a building modeling program

Screen shot from a building modeling program


Meeting Maryland’s Construction Industry Needs
CPS has partnered with the Maryland Center for Construction Education and Innovation (MCCEI) in targeting the needs of industry.  MCCEI recently released a report detailing the need for construction employees trained in BIM.


Importantly, while BIM and other technolo­gies are expected to become everyday tools in the near future, survey respondents reported a concern that very few workers are presently skilled in these programs. This represents an important area of opportunity for Maryland education programs and a potential source of local competitive advantage for both indi­vidual workers and companies alike.[5]


CPS is on the cusp on educational transformation and looking to play a significant role in enhancing the pipeline of new workers in the region.


Current Status of High School Level Construction-Related Programs
Student enrollment at the high school level in construction-related programs has declined in recent years. Industry leaders point to a negative view of the industry and the growth of interest in the technology fields.


Enrollment Trend in CTE Construction-Related Programs 2008/09 through 2012/13

Enrollment Trend in CTE Construction-Related Programs 2008/09 through 2012/13


What many parents and students do not understand, is the incredible amount of technology that goes into a commercial construction projects, and BIM is at the center of this evolution.  Occupations associated with BIM integration and other technologies include construction management, architects, and engineers. By 2020, many of these occupations will experience rapid demand for employment within the target region.  The work we are doing to educate the next generation of construction professionals.

[1] Gary Haber, “Maryland employment expected to get boost from construction jobs in 2014,” Baltimore Business Journal, November 6, 2013.

[2] Baltimore Metropolitan Council, “Baltimore Regional Talent Development Pipeline Study,” 19.

[3] McGraw-Hill, “The Business Value of BIM in North America: A Multi-Year Trend Analysis and User Ratings (2007-2012) Data,” 31.

[4] Ibid, 40.

[5] MCCEI, “The Critical Path: Positioning Maryland as an Innovation Leader in the Global Construction Industry,” 19.

About Jeff Beeson

Jeff serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Professional Studies (CPS), a unit committed to delivering high quality training and educational services through innovative instructional design to the region’s workforce. Jeff brings a number of years of experience at both the state and federal level focusing on the development of corporate and government partnerships, grant management and workforce development programs. Jeff blogs about workforce shortages and innovative approaches to delivering continuing education.

Leave a Reply