UK universities are failing to properly equip graduates with the necessary skills required for practicing architecture, according to RIBA’s 2014 Skills Survey. Of the 149 employers and 580 architectural students or recent graduates who responded to the wide-spread survey, a large majority criticized architectural education for prioritizing “theoretical knowledge ahead of practical ability” and agreed that most graduates are ill-prepared for work after studying at the university.
“I can think of no other profession where new graduates must wait a decade or more to be given significant responsibility because they have not acquired basic skills in university,” says Yarema Ronish, RIBA client adviser and director at Richard Morton Architects.
According to the survey, 80% percent of employers and 73% students agreed that graduates lack the practical skills needed to practice architecture. Additionally, 79% of employers and 77% of students believe more time should be devoted to practice during training in order to ensure graduates are more “work ready” when they enter practice.
The cost of education and low paying entry level jobs were also a concern amongst both groups. “Employers need to compete with graduate schemes offered in other industries otherwise we risk de-valuing our industry in terms of pay and quality of working conditions,” says Jenny Dobson, Market Research Co-ordinator at RIBA Enterprises.
An interesting generation gap regarding important skills necessary for securing a job was also highlighted in the report; only one third of students and graduates regarded hand drawing as a desirable skill compared to 70% of employers. However, knowledge of 2D and 3D CAD was rated highly by both groups.
You can view the survey in its entirety, here.