Ashwani Awasthi is the Managing Director – RICS School of Built Environment. He has over 21 years experience in infrastructure and project management, facility management, strategic planning, and organisational and human resource management across varied industries. Prior to joining RICS, Ashwani was chief administrative officer with Pramerica BHI Advisors, a US-based real estate advisory and investment management company. Previously Ashwani also worked as a chief operating officer with Helix Financial India (now Black Rock Solutions) where he was responsible for overall strategy of the offshore operations, implementation, compliance and administrative matters of the company.
The Built Environment sector (a combined term for Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure) was already facing challenges like liquidity, buyer-seller mistrust, ethical practices, and a shortage of skilled manpower when it got further hit by the impact of the lockdown due to the global pandemic. The BE industry, with the cooperation of the government, is already working towards rectifying these issues. Although it is difficult to make predictions in such a volatile environment, the coming 6 to 12 months are expected to be a turbulent period as construction projects are already delayed. Increased use of technology and skilled professionals are expected to play a big role in bringing the industry back on track. Hence, those who choose to upskill themselves in relevant BE areas stand a better chance at employability and also for fast-track career growth.
Why pursue higher studies in BE now?
Those looking to start a career now may find that the pandemic-hit economy is offering fewer opportunities. On the other hand, with not many activities to distract our attention, the virus-hit, home-bound times are the best to pay attention to a professional course and upskill oneself. Most educational institutions are working online as they have been closed for the past many months due to the pandemic, yet the closure is temporary in nature, and it should not be the reason for a break in education, career, and success. Rather, students would do well to utilise this time judiciously and productively and engage in activities and enrol in programs that will aid in building their future. Those opting for an MBA now, for example, would have acquired the desired competence by the time the economy recovers and will be graduating at a time offering much better future prospects. What we are currently witnessing appears to be a tug of war between improving economic data and the still escalating virus situation. Therefore, having appropriate educational skill sets can protect you against the economic chill winds, and you can prove to be a primary driver of progress.
Sectors like real estate and built environment are likely to emerge from the economic turmoil faster than other sectors. Organisations setting up workplaces in India will bring huge demand for office space and other auxiliary needs like housing, malls etc. For young graduates, including civil engineers and architects, this is the right time to up-skill themselves by pursuing postgraduate courses like an MBA in Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure, MBA in Construction Economics and Quantity Surveying, MBA in Construction Project Management or MBA in Facilities Management from institutes that offer internationally accredited programmes in these areas.
Choose a programme which caters to the needs of a growing industry
Students must choose an industry-led academic institution that delivers specialised undergraduate and postgraduate programs to students ambitious to work in their concerned sector and prefer those institutes which offer international accreditation.
Let us take a look at some MBA courses in the built environment that can help careers in BE.
MBA in Construction Project Management
An MBA in construction project management will provide a stepping-stone to excel in the role of a project manager. Project managers lead a team of specialists, including architects, electrical engineers, structural engineers, finance experts, and sustainability experts. MBA CPM teaches how to manage, control, and understand the projects in the construction industry. The duties of a project manager include directing, planning, & coordinating activities on construction sites, hiring & supervising workers, overseeing project designs, monitoring supplies, and choosing contractors. It is essential for the project managers of tomorrow to be well-equipped with new-age technologies.
MBA in Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure
An MBA in Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure (REUI) equips professionals in economic principles related to real estate, land, planning, property management, environmental laws, and construction technology. If you are inclined towards any of these core values, an MBA in REUI will come in handy. The course enables students to analyse real estate markets and figure out optimal scenarios for development and investment, along with crafting a project-specific marketing plan.
MBA in Construction Economics and Quantity Surveying
The primary responsibility of a quantity surveyor is to understand all the technical aspects of a construction site. As a quantity surveyor, candidates will be responsible for achieving the highest quality of work and understanding budgets, quantities, and measurements. Quantity surveying professionals have the luxury to specialise and work either exclusively for their clients or for contractors. This specialised MBA course will help you excel as a professional advisor on both cost and commercial matters.
Students must choose an industry-led academic institution that delivers specialised undergraduate and postgraduate programs to be industry ready on graduation.