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Job Market for Architects
by Katy Purviance on 08/12/08 @ 10:26:25 am
Categories: Architects, Applying to Grad School, Articles | 415 words | 1842 views

I just came across another article about the difficulty new graduates might find when they go looking for their first job.

Are architecture students facing a fragile jobs market?

Yes, says Portsmouth School of Architecture’s Pam Cole, we’re heading out of the comfort zone of the past few years; no, says Flacq director Marcus Lee, it’s just a question of persistence.

Pam Cole of the Portsmouth School of Architecture offers this advice –

There is recession-proof work out there, and finding out about a practice’s workload could pay dividends. The education and health sectors are resilient, and the Olympics is not going to go away. Students prepared to think globally will still find great opportunities abroad.

Marcus Lee, Director of Flacq, and a Class of 2008 mentor, has this to say –

Decide on your list of desirable practices and remember to target less well known offices. Be persistent — it took 18 months of haranguing for me to get a job with Richard Rogers.

Read the whole thing.

I’ve had a couple of architects comfort me and my decision to start grad school now; they propose that by the time I graduate, the economy will have picked back up again. And when it does pick back up, I think the years of pent-up demand will stimulate a whirlwind of activity.

I would advise all job seekers to find what is called your USP, or Unique Selling Proposition. It’s what advertisers find (and manipulate) to get you to desire their products. You can do the same for yourself.

How are you different from all the other applicants out there? What sets you apart?

When I made my applications for grad school, I started by taking a long, hard look at my life. I did not earn a bachelor degree in architecture, neither did I attend a top undergraduate school. I had never worked for an architect; indeed, the only architects I knew were my professors. If I wanted in to the Ivy League, I had to pull all the stops and give it everything I had.

I’ll discuss what I did in greater detail in a later post, but for now I want to leave you with this thought:

Find the fire in your belly that drives you, and let it speak. Let it push you into being the person you are meant to become. When you are fully alive and fully awke to your potential, you cannot help but find the right opportunity.

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places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

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