Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Construction industry -- Data processing; Building -- Study and teaching -- Data processing;


The rapid growth of computer usage in American society, and in the construction industry in particular, has important implications for construction education programs. There is a lack of current information about computer usage in the construction industry. Without this information, construction educators are less likely to provide students with relevant computer competencies that relate to the needs of the construction industry.

The objective of this study was to determine to what extent construction education programs provide the necessary computer competencies for their students. This was accomplished by comparing the current status of computer usage in the construction industry with computer-related instruction in construction education programs.

The status of computer usage in the construction industry was determined by surveying a randomly selected sample of construction firms in nine states in the north-central United States. One-half of these firms were members of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and one-half were members of the National Home Builders Association (NAHB)

The status of computer-related instruction was determined by surveying a randomly selected sample of post-secondary institutions offering construction education programs in the same nine, north-central states. Forty-three of these institutions were community colleges and 29 were colleges/universities.

The results of the study revealed that construction education programs are providing computer competencies to the students that will be utilizing data processing equipment as they enter positions in the construction industry. Colleges/universities in construction engineering and management are offering programs which develop more computer competencies than community colleges with vocational programs.

Construction educators indicate that their students need more computer competencies to enter positions in the construction industry. They appear to be making a reasonable effort to provide training for their students with hardware and software that is compatible with equipment and materials used in the construction industry.

The improvements needed to make computer-related instruction more compatible with computer usage in industry should focus on the type of computer competencies that are needed in the construction industry. The contractors indicated that operational ability was the most important competency, with programming ability a distant, second priority. Educators should be aware of this priority as they develop and revise curriculum for computer-related instruction.

Construction educators did not indicate as many functional areas for computer utilization as did contractors. There was a significant (E_

Construction educators must strive to meet the present and future needs of the construction industry if they are going to develop and sustain a viable computer-related instruction component within their construction education curriculums.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Arnold J. Freitag


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Date Original


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