Early introduction to construction inspires alumnus’ management path
Jason Flack '02 knew early on that he wanted to pursue a career in the construction industry.
When he was in high school his parents built a house, and he joined the small construction team that worked on it. He enjoyed the labor but couldn’t see himself swinging a hammer for the rest of his life.
He decided to pursue a degree in construction management.
“A lot of people don’t realize all the opportunities in construction,” Flack says. “They drive down the road and see the building happen, but they don’t realize everything that goes on behind the scenes.”
Today Flack is director of pre-construction at Comstock Construction in Wahpeton, N.D. He serves on the executive team and secures work for the company.
Flack earned his associate degree at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton and then transferred to Minnesota State University Moorhead to pursue his bachelor’s degree in construction management.
“The hands-on approach at MSUM was helpful,” he says. “My instructors all had industry experience.”
Transferring to MSUM was easy, Flack says. All of his general, liberal arts credits transferred and he was able to immediately start in the construction management program. He pursued the four-year degree because he felt it would provide more career opportunities.
Jobs in construction management are projected to grow 8% from now until 2029, a rate much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Students with construction management degrees are prepared to take on roles ranging from project management and cost estimation to construction inspection.
Like nearly all graduates of the MSUM construction management program, Flack had a job before he graduated. He had been working in the field for Comstock Construction throughout his undergraduate work. Once he had a four-year degree, he was offered a project management job.
“(Working in construction) is the only thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done in the field,” he says.
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