Professor helping student.

Many interviewees can go into a job interview with a bachelor’s degree. However, BYU-Idaho alumni from the Department of Design and Construction Management can go into a job interview not only with a bachelor’s degree, but also an employable associate degree and two employable certificates. 

Through the recent restructuring of degrees within the Department of Design and Construction Management, students have a competitive advantage in the workplace. As part of the new 2019-2020 catalog, the department now offers students two integrated standard degrees, instead of one specialized degree. 

Previously, students seeking a bachelor’s degree within the department were required to major in construction management, select an emphasis, and take classes to receive a minor in business. Now, with the new integrated standard degrees, students are able to major in construction management or virtual design and construction. 

They can also select classes that constitute an employable certificate, an employable associate degree, and enough free electives to earn a second certificate of the student’s choice.

“The basic idea was to allow students more freedom to choose an area of their own interest to pursue rather than have us dictate that area of interest in a specialized degree,” said Mike Sessions, chair of the Department of Design and Construction Management. 

For example, if a student is interested in becoming an architect and chooses to major in virtual design and construction, their bachelor’s degree will be composed of an associate degree in architecture, a certification in building information modeling systems, and an additional certificate of their choice or extra electives such as art classes.

“We do think that we’ve created a degree program that is of its day, so-to-speak. It’s timely. We think it will do good things for our students,” said Pat Huish, a faculty member in the Department of Design and Construction Management.

Students are quickly enrolling in these programs, and during the Winter 2019 Semester—the first semester of the new integrated standard degrees—23 students declared the virtual design and construction major.

Mike Grimley, a design and construction management student, feels this degree is adequately preparing him for the workforce through portfolio-building class projects and exposure to the design programs he will be using in his future career. 

“The virtual design and construction major goes to great lengths to make sure that you are qualified to be employed with ease,” Grimley said.