Contractors Turning to More Early-Career College Graduates to Fill Professional Roles

At the same time, a growing number of recent graduates are seeking drafting and construction management roles, among others, according a recent report.

Jean Dimeo, Editorial Director, ConstructioNext, WOC360, IRE360

August 23, 2023

2 Min Read
young architects TongRo Images : Alamy.jpg
TongRo Images / Almay Stock Photos

Construction companies are turning to early-career college graduates to help meet the demand for certain management, design and tech positions, according to a report by Handshake, a platform connecting college students, colleges and employers, including in construction. 

Handshake found based on use by construction companies, college students and early-career professionals on its platform that:

  • Construction companies increased outreach to students by 46% during the past year and significantly increased internship postings for certain functions.

  • Applications for jobs in architecture, drafting and construction management rose more than 40% in the past year.

  • Construction company applications from computer science and data science majors more than doubled over the past year. 

In addition, while women make up 10.9% of the construction workforce, they accounted for 36% of construction job applications on Handshake.

Record Worker Shortage

Demand for workers in many construction roles remains at a historic high. According to an analysis by the Associated Builders and Contractors, the industry needs 546,000 additional workers, on top of its normal pace of hiring in 2023, to meet the nation’s construction demand.

The construction industry averaged more than 390,000 job openings per month in 2022, the highest level on record, and the industry's 4.6% unemployment rate in 2022 was the second lowest on record, ABC said.

Additionally, nearly one in four construction workers is over 55 and retirements continue to contract workforce, according to the association. 

Another factor is impacting the constrution workforce: funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed into law in 2021. McKinsey estimates that in 2028, the industry will face a 160,000-plus worker shortfall attributed to BIL.

Report Methodology

Handshake’s industry classifications are based on employer self-identification on its platform. All companies that self-identified as Construction, Construction & Engineering, Civil Engineering or Architecture & Planning were included in the construction industry analysis. 

Application trends were based on applications to full-time jobs and internships by students and alumni on the Handshake platform between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2023, and employer popularity was based on a weighted average of applications per job, job views and employer profile views between June 1, 2022, and June 1, 2023.

For more information from this report click here.







About the Author(s)

Jean Dimeo

Editorial Director, ConstructioNext, WOC360, IRE360, Informa Markets

Jean Dimeo is an award-winning editor, writer and publication manager who has worked in construction publishing for 30 years. Dimeo was managing editor of Construction Dive, our sister publication about commercial construction, and the editor in chief of Builder, EcoHome and Building Products, all about residential building and remodeling. She also worked as an editor for a Spanish-language construction publication and as a building products expert for consumer magazines including Better Homes & Gardens SIPs.

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