Educating the 21st century construction professionals

Hon Wan Edwin Chan, M. W. Chan, David Scott, Antony T.S. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Traditionally recognized construction professionals such as architects, engineers, and surveyors occupy segregated roles in the construction industry. With the rapidly growing complexity and ever increasing sophistication in project procurement and construction, new disciplines have been added to the traditional construction professions. The characteristics and the roles of the different disciplines in the construction industry are becoming less clear-cut. Specialism within the different disciplines and the working relationship among them are also not easily defined. Transprofessional practice among the several disciplines of construction professionals is commonplace. The skills needed by each discipline and the education structure required to develop those skills cannot be usefully examined on a discipline-by-discipline basis. This paper, based on a research study carried out with a questionnaire survey, aims to investigate these phenomena in professional practices within the construction industry and to develop cogent and sustainable directions for the education of construction professionals in the new millennium. Results from the study suggest that the demands of a transprofessional discipline practice call for construction professionals to critically reexamine their professional skills and realistically evaluate the professional demands made on them by the ever-increasing complexity and technological sophistication in construction and project procurement. The work concludes that the curricula for educating aspiring construction professionals should embrace a multidisciplinary and an integrative-professional approach. Such an approach should be implemented in curricula designed for undergraduates and for the continuing professional education of practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Construction industry
  • Continuing education
  • Engineering education
  • Professional personnel
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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