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Sunday, November 27, 2011

So You are Graduating...What Now?

Phil Bernstein recently published a very nice post that all of my student readers so take a look at:

Winter Commencement

As December now rolls around it's the eve of my last lecture in my professional practice class at Yale.  Although I've been teaching for almost twenty-five years, I still can't believe how quickly the semester accelerates into Thanksgiving, and suddenly it's all over but the shouting (or, in our case, final projects and juries).  About the same time as the term slammed to a closed I received a note from a student at Prarie View A&M, asking many of the existential questions that must be facing architecture students nearing their degrees.  Seemed like a good time to speculate a bit about that future, and what this year's graduates might be facing as they confront the job market in the spring, with enough time between now and then to contemplate their options and plot their strategies, so here goes:
What does the market look like out there for a young architect? 
Phil brings up some excellent points in his post.  I think the underlying issue that is now haunting all of my peers and myself is the uncertainty of our future.  All of the facts and numbers point to such a gloomy future.  6,000 of us graduating while there are still 20,000 more experienced architects looking for jobs too?!   That means we are at a 3 to 1 disadvantage even before we walk across the stage and shake our dean's hands.  So what do we have that those 20,000 architects do not?  The Revit Mind.
The Revit Mind does not simply mean we know Revit and they don't.  It means we think differently.  We problem solve differently.  We naturally collaborate across disciplines without a hint of discrimination or hesitation.  We contain the ability to complete three or four different tasks at once (while texting, checking Facebook, and watching a football game).  We are the Generation X Reviteers and we should not be afraid of those 20,000 CAD generation baby boomers... 
Just as Phil points out in his post, we need to stay "in the grid".  If we can creep into every nook and cranny of the building industry and utilize our Revit Mind's to their fullest effect I honestly believe that we have the power to revive it.