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Contract management and post-Covid education

Updated: May 20

Few areas have seen greater change during the Covid pandemic than education, particularly higher education. Colleges and universities have in many cases substantially reevaluated their missions since 2020.

Our colleague Jimm Rich, who joined us in 2016 after 35 years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is a prolific writer especially on federal contracting and contract management. Jimm’s latest article is titled “Reimagining Higher Education for Contract Managers” and appears in the April issue of Contract Management magazine.

Prior to Dawson & Associates, Jimm was Chief of Contracting for the Corps of Engineers’ Baltimore, Kansas City and Galveston districts.

An excerpt:

What is the role of higher education in the development of 21st century contract managers – and why should you care?

While there appears to be near unanimous support in the contract management community that education is important, it is less clear what the community means when they endorse the “education” of contract managers. It is also not clear who will do the educating. That question is further burdened by the need to discriminate between training and education. While those terms are routinely commingled in professional development discussions, there is substantial research and evidence differentiating education from training and why those discriminators are important.

The classification of training and education into separate and exclusive categories is helpful and misleading and somewhat a distinction without a difference. From the standpoint of the rising professional, there is likely not an either/or choice as Figure 1 might indicate. Heidi Timmerman emphasizes a practical piece of leadership advice is the need to exploit learning opportunities. And those opportunities will come in all shapes and sizes. To leverage learning opportunities, you need to be open to what is available irrespective of how the opportunity is characterized.

Jimm’s article is an excellent look at the type of education grounding today’s contract managers and other specialists need to prosper. For the full article, click here.

Steve Dawson

Chief Counsel


The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dawson & Associates.


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