Michigan State launches BIM certification program

Dive Brief:

  • In an effort to bridge the divide between academics and the construction field, Michigan State University has kicked off its post-graduate certificate in BIM, the institution announced in a news release.
  • The East Lansing, Michigan-based university partnered with Technostruct, a BIM- and VDC-focused firm with headquarters in San Francisco, to create the online-only curriculum. The firm’s education arm, TechnoStruct Academy, is Michigan State’s industry partner in the effort.
  • Over six months, participants will learn from nine modules, including two international projects. Upon completion, certificate holders will be qualified as BIM coordinators, regardless of their background in engineering or architecture, according to the release. These roles draw an average salary of $95,671 per year, according to Glassdoor.

Dive Insight:

The two institutions also offer a dual certification, which includes an experience certificate from TechnoStruct, and a joint certification from MSU and TSA, per the release. 

Participants will learn to use programs from contech giant Autodesk, which include Revit and Navisworks, along with BIM Track, according to a program brochure. Students will also learn to model different facets of a building’s interior infrastructure, which include fire protection, plumbing and electrical systems.

Twenty-six students populate the first cohort, and it costs $1,600 per person for the first two groups, according to Armin Yeganeh, assistant professor in the construction management program at Michigan State. After the third iteration, the fee will increase to $2,000.

Yeganeh expects the program to recruit 240 to 360 students per year.

“This program goes beyond the basics offered in a bachelor’s degree, equipping graduates with advanced, industry-specific skills through the use of cutting-edge software and practical project experience,” Yeganeh told Construction Dive in an email. “Such a specialized skill set is crucial for today’s fast-evolving Building Information Modeling field and is not attainable in a standard undergraduate curriculum.”

Other universities have also partnered with private industry to bridge the gap between academia and the construction industry — Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana, Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, established Trimble Technology Labs on their campuses to train students in architecture, engineering and construction.

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