The Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture has recognized this and launched a completely new and interdisciplinary Bachelor’s program in Digital Construction to complement its existing range of programs in the fall of 2020. With a stable share of 15%, the construction and real estate sectors substantially contribute to Switzerland’s GDP. Together, they employ more than 500,000 workers in roughly 60,000 enterprises, making them key industries for Switzerland. As in other sectors, the impact of digitalization has been evident for a number of years. Ways of collaborating, career profiles and the demand for specialists have all undergone a transformation process that has now reached a crucial point. Today, the economy has an extremely high demand for architects, civil engineers and building technology specialists with digital skills. According to a February 2020 report by Job-radar.ch, some 18,000 positions are currently unfilled in the construction and real estate sectors. There are around 500 specialists missing in the field of building information modeling (BIM) alone. Due to digitalization, the construction industry has changed more quickly than the relevant educational landscape and it is a great challenge for university-level institutions to catch up and transform their degree programs. They currently fail to meet the high demand for digitally skilled talent and there is an urgent need for new strategies in education and continuing education.
With the introduction of its two new BSc and BA programs in Digital Construction, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts addresses these changes. It offers its students the unique opportunity to acquire a leading-edge mix of specialist, processual and digital skills in the disciplines of Architecture, Structural Engineering or Building Technologies. In an agile process, the degree programs are continually developed according to an entirely new, interdisciplinary and practical strategy.
As joint programs, the two new Digital Construction courses are connected with the established degree programs of the School of Engineering and Architecture, but they are also in constant exchange with the School of Computer Science and Information Technology. This forms the basis for an entirely new understanding of what it means to collaborate; digitalization interconnects all actors along the value chain, making it an integral part of permeable processes. It moves the “all together instead of each one for themselves” and, with it, the collaborative approach, center stage. What is more, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts also creates ideal conditions to transform its established programs towards digital planning, building and management over the coming years with its two new agile degree programs.
For their instruction in the areas of basic, foundational and specialist knowledge and their related and minor modules, the two new BSc/BA programs in Digital Construction rely on the study content of the established programs in the Architecture, Structural Engineering and Building Technology programs. Moreover, it will create synergies with the programs of the School of Computer Science and Information Technology and with the new Digital Engineering program.