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Online Education (masters Degree In Facilities Management)

By Expert Author: John Srob

An online facilities management master's degree program prepares graduates to manage the maintenance, planning and operations of various facilities. They should be able to work closely with employees, vendors, contractors, customers and others on facility issues, as well as supervise custodial, grounds and maintenance staff. Focus is placed on both the managerial and technical issues surrounding facility management.

Topics covered include energy management, supply chain logistics, labor relations, organizational behavior, architectural planning, construction management and workplace planning. Students may also be required to work under the guidance of a staff member - either remotely or on-campus - to complete a facilities management independent project.

Program Information and Requirements

Sometimes offered as a master's degree in technology with a facilities management concentration, an online facilities management master's degree program can be completed online, on-campus or in a hybrid format.

Prospective students are typically required to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, satisfactory GRE scores and prior coursework in areas such as statistics. Students commonly have an undergraduate background in areas such as business, architecture, construction management or engineering technology. Programs are often developed using International Facility Management Association standards.

Students access course materials via streaming video, online reading materials, digital presentations and more. Technical requirements may include an updated operating system, webcam, DVD drive, photo scanner and a broadband or cable Internet connection.

Sample Master's-Level Facilities Management Coursework

A facilities management master's degree curriculum incorporates principles of engineering, architecture, business administration and more.

Facility Management Fundamentals Course

This course goes over the principles behind the overall facility management planning process. Topics covered include purchasing and procurement, risk management, preventative maintenance programs, regulatory issues, professional conduct and infrastructure management.

Project Management Course

An online project management course covers topics such as project selection, total quality management, conflict resolution, community relations, resource allocation and consensus building. The course also looks at techniques used to plan and monitor projects.

Finance and Accounting Course

This course looks at the various financial aspects within facilities management, including financial statement analysis, accounting methods, profitability analysis, project evaluation, measurements of assets and budgeting.

Every organisation uses buildings of some sort and their occupation requires recurrent resources for rent, cleaning, energy, water, security, and more, which can actually amount to more over time than the capital cost of developing the buildings in the first place. Facility managers look after the infrastructure of business and have the responsibility of ensuring that the premises of their employers assist them in fulfilling their core business objectives, retain their capital value through appropriate maintenance as well as obtain value from their day-to-day operating costs.

The Master of Facilities Management recognises that the facilities manager requires an understanding of business finance and management information as well as the technical areas of buildings. Emphasis is placed on understanding the strategic objectives of an organisation and the way that facilities contribute towards their realisation. You will also be encouraged to direct your learning to your working situation where appropriate, through assignments undertaken in the course.

Successful completion of the Master of Facilities Management will qualify you for corporate membership of the Australian Institute of Building (AIB) as a Chartered Building Professional, subject to the required practical experience.
Students who wish to earn a degree in facilities management can pursue select degree programs accredited by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), a certification organization for the industry.

These programs can generally be completed in four years, and some schools require students to complete an internship, which offers hands-on experience. This career involves multiple disciplines, and knowledge of architecture, mathematics, psychology and managerial skills can prove beneficial. Some colleges may require prospective graduates to complete a capstone project and thesis. To be considered for admission, students need to be high school graduates.

Program Coursework

The curriculum typically includes certain general education courses, such as English, world studies and science. Since facilities managers can be involved in so many aspects of running a building, students take part in a diverse curriculum. Courses can include:

Business and contract law
Building design
Financial analysis and accounting
Project and personnel management
Introduction to business statistics

Popular careers
Facilities management professionals may need to spend time outdoors or travel to construction sites. They may also need to work overtime during the week and be on-call during evenings and weekends. Graduates who manage healthcare facilities can work as:

Healthcare environmental service managers
Sustainable hospital design consultants
Hospital plant operations directors

Continuing Education, Credentials and Certification
Certification, while not mandatory, can be beneficial for facilities managers. The IFMA offers a Facilities Management Professional (FMP) credential program both to current facilities managers and to those embarking on careers in the field.

This program covers the basics of facilities management and can be administered online. Having an FMP credential can be helpful to those who wish to take the IFMA-administered Certified Facility Manager (CFM) exam, a 4-hour test covering such topics as operations, maintenance and project planning. Education and work experience requirements for the CFM exam can vary.

Master's Program in Facilities Management

Graduates determined to expand their knowledge of the constructional, managerial and architectural aspects of facilities management can obtain master's degrees. Like undergraduate programs in facilities management, certain Master of Science programs in the subject can be accredited by the IFMA.

The 2-3 year programs often require the completion of a master's thesis. In addition, students with prior work experience may be eligible to earn advanced standing credits towards their degree. All applicants need to have a bachelor's degree to qualify for admission.

Program Coursework

Many colleges and universities offer evening courses for students who work during the day. Subjects covered can include:

Facility maintenance and operation
Environmental issues
Property development
Real estate management
Managerial finance

You May Qualify For Financial Aid.

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