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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

To those that did not see my last post which seemed to get a bit of action, I am currently working for a GC in order to pursuit my dream as a superintendent. While talking to the guy that hired me, I asked him about the opportunity to have the company pay for some classes. He made it clear that it is not standard practice, but, they do make exceptions. Since my super is aware of this, it is likely he will put in the good word to hopefully get the wheels rolling. :thumbup:

So, to get to my question, I am looking to take some classes to help me become familiar with all trades to hopefully run jobs in the future. What classes would you recommend? The community college near me offers a construction management associates degree for construction managers, construction cost estimating and field supervisors. The class list is posted below. Obviously, I would prefer to not take the classes that are not related to construction, but, would it be better to go for the associates degree and suck it up?

Construction Methodology and Procedures I
ARC 134 Construction Methodology and Procedures II
ARC 225 Site Planning & Technology
ARC 243 Environmental Systems or Technical Elective
BLD 101 Construction Management I
BLD 102 Construction Management II
BLD 165 Construction Field Operations
BLD 231 Construction Estimating I
BLD 232 Construction Estimating II
BLD 241 Construction Management III
BLD 242 Construction Management IV
BLD 247 Construction Planning & Scheduling
CAD 165 Architectural Blueprint Reading
CAD 201 Computer Aided Drafting & Design I
CIV 171 Surveying I
CST Elective
ENG 111 College Composition I
ENG 115 Technical Writing
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3
MTH 115 Technical Mathematics I 3
PED 116 Lifetime Fitness & Wellness 1
PED\RPK Elective
Social Science Elective
SDV 100 College Success Skills
 

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Project Superintendent
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Those classes are a good idea, but....

There is no substitute for years of field experience...

First working in the trades

Then as a Foreman

Then starting as a Superintendent.

Those classes seem like they are more appropriate for a project engineer/manager.
Griz is spot on. I never saw a kid come out of college with the knowledge to be a superintendent. It doesn't hurt, to get you into the position you need to be in to get a leg up, but the school of hard knocks is the school you will need to eventually attend.
 

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Griz is spot on. I never saw a kid come out of college with the knowledge to be a superintendent. It doesn't hurt, to get you into the position you need to be in to get a leg up, but the school of hard knocks is the school you will need to eventually attend.
Ohhhhhh, I've seen them come out of college, and I've seen them have the "knowledge'. They have also told me so, just in case I mistook their ignorance for lack of knowledge. :laughing:
 

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General Contractor
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There is no school and there is no road maps to become someone in charge. Everything is based on your personality, knowledge, experience, and your ability to work with people, know how to take charge of the situation and being able to accomplish what needs to be done.
 

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Things may be different where you live, but out here where I live Supers are usually a job someone takes when they cant" do it "anymore, whatever" it" was. The best supers are guys that have YEARS in the field. I do see a need for such positions in the near future. Most importantly you need to learn Spanish:blink:
 

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I agree with what the others have said. Book learning is fine , there is nothing like real world hands on. Personally I think anyone that is going to be in positions like that should have to work in the field for a number of years.
 

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I am going to agree and disagree. If you have the opportunity to take some classes on the company's dime go for it. They will give you a basis to work off as you move up the ladder. I would take the class list to another super in the company and see what they say.But as they guys said on the job experience is something you will never learn in school. What ever you choose good luck.
 

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If you want to go to school pursue a full BA in construction management or don't go at all. The degree itself is worth a lot, the classes aren't worth much at all individually.

Super's generally start off as project engineers or carpenters. Each path takes about the same amount of time to reach the desired position.

At this point you should really be looking twards completing a carpenter's apprenticeship program. Once you reach the foreman level start taking classes on windows office and whatever scheduling software your company uses.

All in all you have a great goal, but you may not like the position once you get it.
 

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I'm also going to agree and disagree. I don't think that you will ever learn enough in school to achieve the position you desire based on your education alone. I think that the classes that will give you the best education probably aren't degree tract courses. Take as many classes you can on communication. Like composition and speech or debate classes. Those will give you confidence in how you communicate with people, and it's good to get out of your comfort zone doing that if you want to be in charge of people. Other good classes would be some entry level psychology. That will help you with learning how to manage people also. Then, if you plan on staying in the area, take some classes in the local history. It will give you an appreciation of the present, and give you insight into the common bonds of the past that you share with others. Classes in economics or business can help you if you want to grow beyond being a super and perhaps want to one day be an owner. Foreign language classes, (Spanish) can help you to communicate with a large majority of workers that you will need to supervise.

In short, I think that a industry specific or degree tract only classes are probably too narrow to give you the best results of "being educated". Use your on the job experience to give you the technical knowledge you need, and use the classroom to get you the people management skills and business skills that you will need.
 

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Randy Bush said:
I agree with what the others have said. Book learning is fine , there is nothing like real world hands on. Personally I think anyone that is going to be in positions like that should have to work in the field for a number of years.
Now if we could just get architects to spend a few years in the field learning what they draw, we would all be better off.
 

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Hi all,

To those that did not see my last post which seemed to get a bit of action, I am currently working for a GC in order to pursuit my dream as a superintendent. While talking to the guy that hired me, I asked him about the opportunity to have the company pay for some classes. He made it clear that it is not standard practice, but, they do make exceptions. Since my super is aware of this, it is likely he will put in the good word to hopefully get the wheels rolling. :thumbup:

So, to get to my question, I am looking to take some classes to help me become familiar with all trades to hopefully run jobs in the future. What classes would you recommend? The community college near me offers a construction management associates degree for construction managers, construction cost estimating and field supervisors. The class list is posted below. Obviously, I would prefer to not take the classes that are not related to construction, but, would it be better to go for the associates degree and suck it up?

Construction Methodology and Procedures I
ARC 134 Construction Methodology and Procedures II
ARC 225 Site Planning & Technology
ARC 243 Environmental Systems or Technical Elective
BLD 101 Construction Management I
BLD 102 Construction Management II
BLD 165 Construction Field Operations
BLD 231 Construction Estimating I
BLD 232 Construction Estimating II
BLD 241 Construction Management III
BLD 242 Construction Management IV
BLD 247 Construction Planning & Scheduling
CAD 165 Architectural Blueprint Reading
CAD 201 Computer Aided Drafting & Design I
CIV 171 Surveying I
CST Elective
ENG 111 College Composition I
ENG 115 Technical Writing
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3
MTH 115 Technical Mathematics I 3
PED 116 Lifetime Fitness & Wellness 1
PED\RPK Elective
Social Science Elective
SDV 100 College Success Skills
These are all wise choices, of which you WILL find benefit, particularly when combined with real-world, hands-on experience (no substitute for this, of course). To strive in bettering yourself is certainly a very admirable trait, especially nowadays in a world teeming with an entitlement mentality.

Just remember this model for folks in a leadership position:

You do NOT manage people: you manage resources, and LEAD people.
 

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Now if we could just get architects to spend a few years in the field learning what they draw, we would all be better off.
Funny you mention that. 20 years ago my real good friend was getting out of college with a architectural degree. Told him go pound nails for a year and learn to build what you'll soon design like your brother did.
He wanted nothing to do with it. He learned everything in school.

His brother is a successful architect with his own firm in the D.C area making moocho bucks.
My bud has a job working as a draftsman. All isn't lost though, his wife makes a heap load of money. Lucky bastard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In case I did not mention in my initial post, I am currently doing labor/ carpentry work/ being my supers assistant. Hands on experience is definitely something that I will have regardless if I take these classes or not. What I am really wondering is, is this a good list of classes to help be a better leader in the future, or would you recommend looking into something else?
 

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Not everyone can be nor are they cut out to be a leader.

No amount of education will enable you to lead.

Leaders are generally not made but come by the trait naturally.



Both tid bits of Griz's advice are absolutely,unequivocally spot on beyond measure !


Many ,many moons ago while serving in the army we called the O.C.S. graduates 90 day wonders. That is probably why there are thousands of zippo lighters around from the Viet Nam era engraved with these words..........We are the unwilling,led by THE UNKNOWING to do the impossible for the ungrateful.
 

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And many times the best way to lead is by example. If you don't have a lot of first hand knowledge about how things are done that is hard to do.
Not to mention, Mudpad, that leading other folks is vastly different from the concept that leading encompasses merely "bossing" others around, or having an authoritative demeanor. A person that possesses the innate ability to lead others certainly understands how to motivate others, in some instances by example, to perform to their highest level, and be able to clearly articulate the importance of doing so. Sometimes, however, this demeanor and articulation is perceived as being a jerk by those less qualified to lead others, or what it takes to do so. One has to be a great follower in order to be a great leader.
 
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