For newly qualified architects, nothing is more attractive than finding a job straight away. So they can use the knowledge, methods and tools of the architectural education. Although market conditions are currently favourable and unemployment figures for recently qualified architects are moving in the right direction, there is still room for improvement. This is why Aarhus School of Architecture is now launching a collaboration with the consultants Ballisager. The aim of this collaboration is to improve students’ job search skills after they graduate.
‘It is important for us that our graduates inform their job search and that they know where they can get career guidance when they begin their professional lives as architects. Market conditions are good at the moment, but the industry is sensitive and can change relatively quickly. We want to give good support to all newly qualified architects to help them find their first job,’ says Misja Barnow, who is an architect and career advisor in Aarhus School of Architecture’s Career Lab.
As part of our new career guidance initiative, the school’s graduating students will be given access to digital guidance tools as well as personal career guidance. The overall guidance will to a greater extent focus on bridging the gap between studying architecture and the professional lives of newly qualified architects.
‘For the new architects the challenge has two parts. One part is the employers, who are looking for experienced employees, and the other part lies with the students. Many people find employment directly; but for some, considering alternative ways into the labour market may be helpful. There are exciting jobs in the public sector and many interesting design studios in towns that do not necessarily have the attention of job seekers – and what is more, there are fewer applicants for these jobs. We also see many job seekers who do not quite know how to fully master the job search process – e.g. how to avoid the concerns of employers about lack of experience,’ says Tomas Ballisager, managing director of the Ballisager consulting team. He continues:
‘In my experience, Aarhus School of Architecture has a strong focus on giving their students a good start in the labour market. This is very commendable. Even though the figures are good at the moment and many find jobs straight away, there is still a group of students who take longer than is perhaps necessary and who could find employment quicker with a little help. They are the ones we should help with this project. Also the architectural profession is a discipline where the number of tasks often fluctuates, and many people are employed on a project basis. We, therefore, hope this initiative will not only prepare the graduates for their first job but also for looking for jobs in the future. And that we can optimise their opportunities, regardless what the labour market is like at that time.’