Date of Award
Master of Construction Science and Management (MCSM)
Construction Science and Management
Jason D. Lucas
This retrospective survey-based study explores the various factors that influenced Gen Z undergraduate students currently enrolled in construction-related programs to pursue a career in construction, combining the insights from overarching studies divided into two segments. The first part of the study focuses on understanding the exposure and participation of Gen Z students in STEM and construction programs during their middle and high school years to better understand the influence of such programs at the school level for a career decision in construction. Structured academic frameworks like semester curricula and offered electives emerged as a significant channel of STEM exposure, with the highest participation rate in Mathematics and Statistics in both middle and high school. There was a notable increase in student participation in construction programs as they transitioned from middle to high school, demonstrating a growing interest nurtured through schools in shaping the career trajectory toward construction.
The second segment of the study broadens the scope, delving into two realms: first, understanding the perception of students on how influential the middle and high school curriculum were in their decision to pursue a career in construction, and second, exploring the influence of multifaceted factors in their decision. It was revealed that students who participated in STEM and construction programs during their formative schooling years modestly perceived such experience as an influential factor as opposed to those who did not participate. However, exploration of various factors rendered such experience, while valuable, less impactful compared to personal background, such as family influence and practical considerations such as attractive career prospects in influencing students to pursue a career in construction.
Together, these studies underscore the necessity of a holistic approach in attracting and preparing the next generation for a career in construction. They suggest that educational initiatives should be complemented by efforts that address social influence and align with students' aspirations and the practical realities of the construction industry. This dual focus is essential for an effective workforce pipeline to address the current workforce shortage the construction industry faces.
Bharadwaj, Bishesh, "Factors That Influenced Current Gen Z Undergraduate Students Enrolled in Construction-Related Programs to Pursue a Career in Construction" (2023). All Theses. 4166.