The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a lot of changes in our lives and these changes are going to be with us for a long time, therefore, redefining a new “normal”. Being online has taken a whole new meaning as most offices are working from home and education at all levels is being imparted in real-time but virtually. Technology has become the key to making the world go around as everything revolves around it. It is important to accept and adapt to these changes and realign yourself with the new parameters of normal and at the same time try to proactively visualise what the new emerging world would be like.
Real Estate, Construction and Infrastructure Sector
Where the built environment sector is concerned, this sector was already battling a few challenges like liquidity, buyer-seller mistrust, ethical practices and a shortage of skilled manpower when it got further hit by the impact of the successive lockdowns. The industry, with the cooperation of the government, is already working towards rectifying some of these issues. Although it's hazardous 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 and we don’t know when the stalled construction is expected to resume. The migrant workforce plays a major role in construction projects and presently all states have different rules concerning their safety and reemployment. The way forward would be increased use of technology and people who upskill themselves will stand a better chance where employability is concerned.
Employability in a post-Covid-19 world
Postgraduates who have a management degree in very sector-specific and role-specific skills will find it easier to find employment in the post-Covid 19 world. This hiatus in the economy would be a good time for the youth to upskill themselves. In about 12 to 15 months the economy is expected to start turning around and demand for skilled professionals will be on the rise. This is the perfect time for graduates to pursue a sector-specific MBA program as skills will be the clear differentiator in giving you an edge over the others and to ensure that you can grasp the emerging employment opportunities.
Most organizations are using this time to introspect and redefine their requirements but basis the current situation, there is expected to be an increased demand for the following job roles in the Construction and Real Estate Sector:
Claims and Dispute Resolution
In the post-Covid scenario, when work resumes after a long break, disputes are bound to arise in contracts and many contracts will have to be rewritten. This will give rise to more job roles in this field. Those who have an MBA degree in Construction Economics and Quantity Surveying (CEQS) are capable of reviewing construction contracts and establishing effective contract management procedures to reduce the likelihood of disputes arising.
Roles in Financial Feasibility
Postgraduates from all real estate streams like CEQS, Construction Project Management (CPM) and Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure (REUI) are proficient in assisting in establishing client requirements and undertaking feasibility studies. Organisations will revisit the ongoing projects and also review the upcoming projects to assess how profitability, loans, revolving credit and cash flow reserves can support ongoing operations in a low-revenue environment. This will create a demand for professionals in this field.
Health & Safety
Going forward, health and safety are going to be of prime importance and due to COVID-19, organisations are establishing risk-mitigation programs for employees who still need to work on-site. Those who have pursued an MBA program in CEQS and CPM have a complete understanding of the implications of health and safety regulations and will be in more demand.
Supply chain Management in Construction Industry
The successive lockdowns have completely disrupted the supply chain in the real estate sector. In the present conditions, organisations will rethink their supply chain management, especially those affecting critical materials and components. They will need to identify potential weak links in the supply chain — especially in geographies currently affected by COVID-19 and those that could be impacted in the future.
Students who have pursued an MBA in CEQS or CPM are taught how to collaborate with site managers, surveyors, engineers, site workers and other professionals to organise the transportation of materials and to ensure that all procedures are carried out safely.
Requirement of professionals proficient in BIM, AutoCAD, Revit
Once the Covid 19 pandemic declines and the industry picks up pace once again, organisations are likely to upgrade their technical infrastructure to reduce dependence on migrant labour. Several products and services in the sector can be on a cloud-based deployment, digitisation combined with a strong network infrastructure can help to substantially mitigate losses. All this will lead to a global increase in demand for Business Information Modelling (BIM) solutions and students who are trained in BIM, AutoCAD, Revit and other software related to it will be in more demand.
Our students at RICS School of Built Environment Amity University follow a 4.0 curriculum and are exposed to the latest technology available in the sector. They go through a full module of BIM. All our courses are curated according to the industry demands. Therefore, I feel that they will be able to make the most of their education as the skills that they have been trained in are going to be in even more demand in the post-Covid 19 space in the real estate and built environment sector.
Students or young professionals who plan well and make use of this downtime time to upskill themselves will certainly stand a much better chance to obtain good jobs roles once the market opens up again.
About RICS SBE:
RICS School of Built Environment (RICS SBE), Amity University is an industry-led academic institution that delivers specialized undergraduate and postgraduate programs to students ambitious to work in the real estate, construction and infrastructure sector. It also aids as a hub for research and development of technical proficiency in a built environment.