February is Career and Technical Education Month®, a celebration of the value and accomplishments of education that prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers. This applies to continuing education as well, an important path for contractors to take to keep abreast of industry trends and opportunities for digitalization.
The construction industry tends to lag in technology adoption, but as our 2022 industry predictions reported, contractors will need to put tech in their toolbox to stay competitive. But what happens if you lack the fundamentals of digital know-how?
From online training resources to academies and apprenticeships, we’ll map out where to start and how to stay proactive in your tech education journey.
Why Tech Education and Training in Construction Is Important
– You wouldn’t hire an intern to project manage a multi-million-dollar job. So why expect yourself to understand more sophisticated cloud-based software if you lack the basics of computer knowledge? Like every construction site, you need to start with a solid foundation.
– The construction industry has moved toward digitalization. Updating workflow processes with new technology allows for better collaboration, time and money savings, less rework, and improved failure rate.
– By being a tech leader as a business owner, you’ll attract and retain a younger tech-savvy workforce at your company.
– Antiquated methods like pen and paper cost you more in mistakes than the time dedicated to learn a new cloud-based software.
– Physical demands of the industry can shorten careers because of impacts on the body. Putting tech in your employees’ toolbox gives them longevity at your company and career path choices.
Where to Learn Basic Computer Skills – eResources
Give yourself a good foundation by understanding the basics of computers before moving into training for new software. Below are some great online resources to get started.
LinkedIn Learning: $29.99/month or free with Premium Account
A quick search for “basic computer skills” in LinkedIn Learning shows over 1500 results. You can choose from courses such as Computer Literacy for MAC or Microsoft Office: First Steps. There are even courses focused on Working and Collaborating Online and Learning WiFi.
SkillShare: Free for the first month, $32.00/month after
SkillShare is an online learning community with thousands of classes inspiring users to learn new skills. Learn all about the MAC, Microsoft Word Bootcamp, Computer Basics, and Gmail Mastery.
Goodwill Community Foundation provides free online courses in technology, workplace skills, and more. You can take courses on Email (Email Basics, Gmail), Internet (Firefox, Chrome, etc), and Computers (Typing Tutorial, Mouse Tutorial).
Cloud-Based Software Training Tips
- When you’re shopping for cloud-based tools knowing tech isn’t your strong point, research what type of training is available for the software. STACK’s trainers and customer success team have a primary focus to help customers get the most out of their subscription and bid and win more profitable work, no matter how tech savvy they are.
- Check out customer reviews of the software to see what you can read about training and support. STACK receives stellar reviews from our customers, many about our knowledgeable trainers and friendly and communicative customer support.
- While Procore and Autodesk offer comprehensive solutions, are you technically equipped to leverage all of their features? Find the software best suited to your specific needs. STACK provides our customers with preconstruction and construction solutions while still knowing your name. Our CEO and Founder, Phil Ogilby, has roots in the construction industry starting as a roofing contractor. He knows the importance of individualized service.
- Don’t forget about tech resources within our own industry. Subscribe to publications such as Engineering News Record, Construction Dive, and Construction Business Owner to learn current tech trends and solutions. Join industry trade associations that offer online academies and courses like the Associated Builders and Contractors, American Society of Professional Estimators, or the American Subcontractors Association.
Continuing Education and Construction Industry Recognized Credentials
Many companies are looking for people with construction industry-recognized certifications. Adding industry credentials and certifications to your toolbelt makes you not only more valuable as a business, it also means more money in your pocket for premium service.
And remember as your business grows, you’ll want to grow your tech solutions as well. STACK’s preconstruction solutions enable fast and accurate takeoff and estimating while our construction solutions power real-time field and project collaboration.
The ABC offers an academy of workforce development, education, and competitions to help advance careers and earn credentials. They also founded the NCCER (see below)!
The NCCER is revolutionizing training for the construction industry with curricula and assessments for more than 70 trades. They also offer credentials tracking in a registry system that allows companies to track qualifications of their craft professionals, another great tool for retaining employees.
The Estimating Academy at ASPE offers fundamentals of estimating classes as well as advanced Construction Project Management and Planning and Scheduling courses.
The ACI University offers webinars and online courses from Concrete Technology to Construction Practices and the ability to get certified.
A Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credential is becoming synonymous with green building. It showcases your knowledge, experience, and credibility in sustainability. The USGBC offers on-demand courses and live events to learn about LEED.
Once you have the basics of tech down, you’ll be well on your way to expanding your knowledge and improving your business with cloud-based resources. Sign up for a free STACK account and give it a try!