For many incoming college students, the change to hybrid learning and the growing popularity of micro-credentials over a traditional 4-year education has made students more intentional about their career path and thinking about how technology will play a crucial role in their future. With industries such as big tech and e-commerce growing both pre and post-pandemic, students’ career path choices are constantly changing, and it’s up to them to focus on an industry set for growth. While direct tech jobs have been going viral over platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok, there is another industry that has seen exponential growth during and post-pandemic, facilities management. While the FM industry is often overlooked by Gen-Z, the influx of new FM technology and updated workforce trends have resulted in myriad job openings, many of which have a significant growth track and utilize modern technology. Here, our in-building logistics software experts at SCLogic discuss why incoming college students should consider a career in facilities management and the future of expansion for the FM industry.
FM Industry Insights for the Modern Workforce
The first question you probably ask when considering a future career path is, “how will this benefit me in the future?”, “is there an opportunity for expansion?” and so on. No one wants to go into a career that results in a stagnant job position, where you end up unhappy and unable to utilize your skillsets to the full extent. Thankfully, the FM industry has set a standard for future growth, and now is the perfect time to consider starting or shifting your FM career. Consider this, prior to the pandemic, the traditional workforce sat at a desk, working their 9-5 with little to no flexibility. Today we see hybrid workspaces across the country, and hot-desking and collaboration have become the norm. Not only are workplaces updating their policies, but they are also updating their facilities through BIM, machine learning, and biophilic design to create a space where employees find inspiration, incorporating their lifestyle into the workplace.
According to MarketWatch, the Global Facility Management Services market size is set to grow at a CAGR of almost 9%, with $122.97 billion between 2022-2025. Additionally, the Global Logistics market is set to hit a valuation of $6.55 trillion by 2027. However, while the industry is growing, talent is shrinking. The average age of a facilities management worker is 51 years old, and as these individuals prepare for retirement, there will be a shortage in the FM workforce. By the year 2030, 30%, almost a third of the entire workforce, will be made up of Gen-Z. What does this mean for incoming college students? A growing market and a need for talent results in the perfect storm for incoming college students and soon-to-be post-grads to begin their careers in the facilities management sector. Students will be entering the workforce at the inception of change in the FM industry, shifting from traditional operations procedures to an innovative, technology-first, sustainable career path.
How Students Can Prepare for the FM World
In the higher education sector, FM degrees are not as widely available as other, more common degrees such as Computer Science, Business Administration, and more. However, there are several large universities, as well as small private institutions, that offer degrees specific to facilities management. Some of these include BYU (Brigham Young University), Temple University, and the University of Minnesota – all of which are FMAC accredited degree programs under the Facility Management Accreditation Commission. Additionally, there are many technical schools across the country that focus on specific facilities management degrees, such as UC Berkely, which offers a professional certificate program with a focus on strategic planning, commercial real estate, space planning, and construction management, or Boston University’s FM certificate that focuses on planning and design, facility finances, security management, leadership, and more.
From there, students can research which micro-credentials (both university-provided and independent) and soft skills they can harness to optimize their chances at an excellent FM position out of the gate. For those focused on STEM areas of FM, getting certified in Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS) can put you ahead of the competition. For those outside of the STEM field, preparing for the future through certifications such as IFMA’s Sustainability Facility Professional can take your FM career to the next level.
While “hard skills” learned in a traditional higher education setting are helpful for beginning a career in facilities management, many “soft skills” play a significant role in job choice and position acceptance. For students, one of the best ways to prepare for an FM career is deciding which area or areas of facilities management you are most passionate about. For example, asset management and business continuity may strike the fancy of one student who has more technical knowledge, while areas such as EHS (environment, health, and safety) or operations and space management may be a better fit for a more communicative or creative individual. Learning about project management, finance, property management, and strong communication skills all play a role in your daily FM life.
FM of the Future: How Will the Industry Expand?
If there is one thing that we know about the future of facilities management, it is that technology use will continue to grow. Seeing as essentially all of Gen-Z has grown up with a phone or device by their side, technology is second nature. This makes the FM field more appealing and easier for the younger generation, as they can quickly adapt to new software platforms. IFMA has done a fantastic job of showcasing what it means to be an FM through interactive competitions such as the IFMA Foundation’s IgniteFM! competition, in which students are paired in teams with peers of different cultures to solve FM problems in a short timeframe. Outside of software usage for daily workflows, data has become a vital part of any facility. In-building operations software, such as our software, Intra, optimizes daily workflows to create an efficient facility. This means harnessing data for asset and office management through CAFM and IWMS platforms, and this is just scratching the surface.
Finally, one of the largest pushes for the FM industry that connects deeply with much of Gen-Z is the push for sustainability. When going into an FM career, the new generation will become a catalyst for changing the entirety of the building construction, operations, and maintenance process, replacing it with a technology-focused, sustainable infrastructure. For example, post-grad individuals can search for companies within the 2030 Districts Network, which supports urban areas in meeting targets, including a 50% reduction in building energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions. This is just one program of many that provides individuals looking for a sustainable career a network for growth, all while reducing their own carbon footprint and their community’s carbon footprint.
Learn More About FM Technology with SCLogic
At SCLogic, our job is to provide enterprise and higher education facilities with the toolsaaa./ they deserve to have an efficient and effective workforce with modern technology at their fingertips. Our in-building logistics software, Intra, solves many of the pain-points facilities face on a daily basis and replaces them with a sustainable alternative, reducing time and energy costs, identifying gaps, and maximizing productivity. Our mobile-first logistics platform was created to help businesses of all sizes while maintaining ease of use for employees of all ages and multiple configurations to prioritize clear and effective communication amongst departments. If you are considering a career in the facilities management industry, we’re here to tell you that it is so worthwhile. To learn more about our software platform, Intra, and how it can assist your facility, email [email protected] or schedule a demo with one of our team members today.