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What do you think of SOME states allowing licensure as architects with a High School education?

Jan 18 '13 192 Last Comment
toasteroven
Jan 22, 13 3:37 pm

 This was my sentiment when I looked at the state handbook to license and saw that high school candidates could do so with more work experience.  I was stunned to learn that.  I didn't know that before, nor would I have imagined it...

 

Quite frankly - who cares if other people get their licenses this way?  The option exists, and if you or anyone else is seeing that the people who gain licenses through this path are actually causing serious harm to the public - THEN we can have a discussion. Right now your only evidence is people you know who are too lazy (or ignorant?) to even get licensed.  We're talking about licensed professionals here - not unlicensed production monkeys.

 

Also, for some of us, school WAS the prep course for the A.R.E.

 

Yeah... architecture school does serve a purpose, but it's not just about finding a job and getting your stamp.

Kevin W.Kevin W.
Jan 22, 13 3:47 pm

True. No matter if you went to school or not, in order to have value to an employer, you must be able to do what they need pronto. This industry for most (including myself) can not be considered a sprint, but a long, difficult but incredibly rewarding marathon. In addition to the day to day office experience, outside study must always take place. The office I am at now, the Architects responsibilities are pretty defined. There are those who only do CA, some who only do design...Someone who could do it all, very recently has become a very valuable asset to this firm. Knowledge and experience is power. Where you went to college only matters when they wear their colleges jersey the friday before a big game..My efforts, hard work, were and are in no way less exhaustive, than the grueling experience of college that Observant often mentions. I'm 52 years old and have had the good fortune to carve out a good place for myself in Architecture, my way. I really don't care what lawyers, doctors, or anyone else has to do to be what they want to be. Grades? Who the hell cares?

With the explosion of global mega firms merging and acquiring smaller firms, I think the playing field could be leveled for everyone, regardless of previous education. These mega firms have their own methods. These firms are spending large amounts of time and money in training their staff, their way. My firm gives regular training on everything from Revit, litigation prevention, standards, etc..Yes, the industry is changing rapidly, best to be Observant to the realities of the changes.

observant
Jan 22, 13 4:53 pm

The reason no one cares about this is because it's obvious they don't view architecture as a profession, but as a calling or vocation ... more like an artist.  It's too bad people don't want a barrier to entry.  No one is saying take licenses away from those who already are practicing.  I'm saying change the game going forward.  I have friends in all lines of work, for which specific coursework or no coursework sufficed in the past, but no longer.  Would all the bean counters, health professionals, lawyers, and actuaries want others to get in without having gone to school?  Hell no.  And they are vocal about it.  That's why they take care of each other, not by holding each others' hands, but by bolstering their professions.  They act like professionals.  Architects often do not, by having to flout conventions, and I'm not talking about design, and be lone wolfs.  That's the bottom line here: architects don't view themselves on the same tier as other professionals, nor do they want to.

snook_dude
Jan 22, 13 4:53 pm

observant

I have worked with many who have Master Degrees and many have worked under my direction as a project manager before I was a registered architect.  I  was never one to put it out there as to my level of education, unless someone is putting forward the nonsense that you have to have a Master's Degree to be a Architect.  If an individual has a  hoity-toity M. Arch degree came to  my office today and they have what it takes and I have the need to fill a position they will get hired.  What it takes is not the piece of paper, it is what the individual brings to the table. Is it someone who doesn't retreat in the line of fire, but forges ahead.  Someone who knows how to talk to a government official, without pissing them off and causing all of us in the firm to  lose money. So one who has respect for all of those they work with in the work place. Someone who demonstrates they are organized, creative and not to hung up on themselves. So remember that when you're walking thru the front door of any office.


I see there no difference between when I did it and  TODAY.  If a person chooses to take the route of a M. Arch degree, why should it have any bearing on the guy who goes out there and works, "The School of Hard Knocks." Over roughly the same amount of time they take the same exam and have acquired basically the same knowledge.  No one administering the exam knows where how their knowledge was acquired. No one grading the exam, knows who's design they are grading. So if the guy who has been kicking around in an office has the ability to meet the criteria by passing all of the registration exams and has been mentored into the profession then who cares.   And like I said:  "Go Suck Wind!"


I  In your mention of Cities you never mentioned Boston, which is where I took my first job. The partners were from MIT, the Associates were from MIT, project managers were from Turkey, Israel, Columbia, University of Calf Berkeley and Harvard. 


There are some ways this profession has a blind eye,  over the years I have had to go head to head with other firms generating preliminary designs for a client to select and architect and I have been the one selected based upon design.  Every time I have this kind of success I can say it feels good.

observant
Jan 22, 13 5:41 pm

Evidently, you're torqued enough to take a second swipe at telling me to "go suck wind."  I didn't go to an Ivy League school nor a Berkeley.  Boston offices have always been impressed with schools, just looking at that list, and it is one of the most crowded job markets.  It also takes one hell of a leap to assume that someone has an attitude just because they believe in an educational requirement.  I did my "school of hard knocks" on the heels of an education, at intern pay, doing the typical production tasks and working on buildings which were not glamorous, without complaining.  I know of some people who refused to go into an architectural office if, God forbid, they had to draft.  They felt entitled to design right away.  No "starchitect" here.  Just one who has always sought to be well-rounded.

will gallowaywill galloway
Jan 22, 13 8:05 pm

amazing that this thread has gone on this long. 

snook is pointing out, in his polite way, that your attitude would make you hard to work with in a lot of offices.  you may need to temper it a bit.  if you don't understand the point now, i recommend waiting a dozen years and reconsider.

observant
Jan 22, 13 8:45 pm

^

Making an observation about licensure requirements and one's behavior in a work environment aren't necessarily linked.  This is why I brought it up on this forum, not expecting what ensued.  I know others who share this opinion.  It has not affected their work dynamics, their being promoted, or being given primary responsibility for a project.  One coworker told me "You've added a level of professionalism that wasn't previously here" slightly after licensing.  I was stunned to hear that. That someone would even observe it is disturbing, in a way.  It means some people will appreciate it, like this coworker.  Conversely, I am sure some in an office would not.  Clients, consultants, building officials, and contractors/fabricators sure do.

Donna SinkDonna Sink
Jan 22, 13 10:58 pm

Contractors and fabricators tend to despise architects. Usually with good reason, i.e., that architects have no practical experience, you know, that kind of "in the trenches" experience that one can get licensed with in 20-some states.

jla-x
Jan 22, 13 11:45 pm

One coworker told me "You've added a level of professionalism that wasn't previously here"

I think that was a nice way of saying that you are boring.

observant
Jan 22, 13 11:45 pm

Really?  I have done fine with contractors and fabricators, from the very beginning.  But then, I don't come across as a bohemian dreamer.

Just recently, I mentioned this thread to a relative who is in one of the OTHER professions, you know, the kind that require a degree and an examination.  This person said that architects have no business sense, flunk Econ 101, and, if this is the prevailing attitude, they diminish the professionalism in the field.

I have a good friend who graduated from a reputable B. Arch.  She has done nothing but architecture since graduating, and eventually licensed.  Her pearl of wisdom:  "Architecture is the least professional of the professions."  It's sad to hear such a comment about our very interesting work from within our own ranks.

What have I said?  That, by allowing even BA/BS grads to license, I believe in allowing EVERY single graduate of ANY architectural program in the U.S. and Canada to become a licensed architect.  If you are even more "progressive" and this bothers you, why do you practice in Indiana, which is on the restrictive side of the fence?

observant
Jan 22, 13 11:46 pm

jla-x:

Not really.  He then added "I hope you don't leave."  If I wasn't somewhat quirky, I wouldn't be an architect, now would I?

jla-x
Jan 23, 13 12:16 am

joking....

jla-x
Jan 23, 13 12:24 am

This person said that architects have no business sense, flunk Econ 101, and, if this is the prevailing attitude, they diminish the professionalism in the field.

Less regulation and earlier licensure would allow for more young entrapenuers.  Business is only learned by doing.  Look at the culinary world.  I don'thave the numbers but I'm sure more people die every year from food poisoning than from poorly designed buildings, yet there is no state license to be a chef.  In cities with less regulation on things like food vendors (san fran) there are many new interesting businesses popping up everywhere. By the time an architect becomes licensed he/she is probably deep into the burdens of adult life making entrapenuership more difficult. 

Kevin W.Kevin W.
Jan 23, 13 12:27 am

Quirky, huh?

observant
Jan 23, 13 12:43 am

Compared to medical transcribers or utility workers, ALL architects are quirky.

arch.moya.diane
Jan 23, 13 3:30 am

Getting a degree nowadays is really important. You have to be in school for a long time for just for you to have a good future. It takes a  lot of skills put together to be great, a proper knowledge. But if you're really good and really smart? equipped with skills? then that's the time you could be someone great. Look at the world's most successful people. they did not even graduate. I agree as well that people who didn't graduate is far more successful than those who didn't. I guess It's not always about the education itself, it's about the drive that you have in Life. 

arch.moya.diane
Jan 23, 13 3:32 am

It's Unfair. but that's what Life is. We have to take it. 

Demont CampbellDemont Campbell
Jan 23, 13 4:20 am

Wow have you ever heard of a thing called job security. Yea you might have success now without a degree, but with new technology that is being taught (Revit,Rhino, 3DSmax, BIM)and heavily used by architects (Zaha, Gehry, OMA) you will not even be at the same level as college graduates and will very quickly become invaluable. You cannot say that you "picked" this up over time. These programs are lucrative and take time to craft.

Donna SinkDonna Sink
Jan 23, 13 7:02 am

I really don't understand what me living in Indiana has to do with anything in this blustery discussion except to point out again that I'm not anonymous here while observant is.

And for the record I get along great with contractors and fabricators and always have because I respect their knowledge and methods.  But seriously, you used having a degree as a reason why a fabricator would respect you more? No. Wrong.

I'm really not sure what your entire point is, observant.  If someone has the skills and experience to get licensed without a degree in a state that allows them to do so then how does that make your life worse? How does it affect you at all? There are talentless hacks who are licensed and brilliant designers who aren't.  As toasteroven said, as long as no one is being killed by poorly-designed buildings designed by non-degree holding licensed architects then what exactly is the issue?!

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Jan 23, 13 10:30 am

Let's not forget the financial aspects of professional degrees. You have to be able to afford one, or secure the debt necessary to complete one or - in the least number of cases - earn scholarships to pay for them. The first two are a most dubious set of qualifications ...

toasteroven
Jan 23, 13 10:58 am

Would all the bean counters, health professionals, lawyers, and actuaries want others to get in without having gone to school?

 

in several states you do not need to go to law school to become a lawyer.  in healthcare, they have a very different highly systematized internship process where they are placed in hospitals (and there is a lot more hand-holding).  Even in education (another licensed profession) - you typically have an entire year where you're in a classroom with another teacher before you get to take the exam - and their ongoing evaluation and professional development process - after licensure - is far more rigorous than what architects need to go through.

 

in architecture, only the intern is held accountable for their own development - in other fields - especially education and medicine - the mentors are also held somewhat accountable.  I think this creates a vastly different professional culture where it's not so much about "exclusivity" (which is what you're promoting) and more about support, good communication, and mutual responsibility.

 

there's another recent thread where the OP is a licensed architect and can't seem to figure out contract negotiation and is getting screwed over by - very likely illegal - contractor status in firms - and based on the time-frame they received their license I'm inferring that they have a professional degree.  I'm not convinced that restricting access to the profession only to degree holders would really change anything.

observant
Jan 23, 13 1:42 pm

Donna:  I was not saying a fabricator liked me more because of my degree.  Get real. I was saying I get along with fabricators because I talk "nuts and bolts."  As for your location, I was just saying that, if your heart bleeds, contact the state board in Indiana, and have them relax the standards.  I say we get even more bohemian.  A friend of mine who works as a librarian told me she saw a group of architects walk through her place of employment and asked me if it's "normal" for 55 year old guys to come in wearing tight hipster suits and sporting shoulder-length hair.  I told her that it was, if they had a statement to make or were proffering eyewash.  The uniform in school was a lot of black and small glasses.  When I first got there, I thought these people seem so avant-garde, that they must be good designers.  Either they weren't or they left architecture.  If you want to make the profession MORE bohemian, then be my guest.  That, in and of itself, is largely why people make jokes about architects and the wages are lower.

observant
Jan 23, 13 1:55 pm

Toaster:  Can you come up with a list of states where you can become an attorney without a law degree? I'd like to see it.  If any group is elitist about law school, class rank, and being on law review for their WHOLE lives, it's attorneys.  I can tell you that a lot of major firms wouldn't touch them.  The slickest of law firms restrict their recruitment to certain schools.  Maybe later lateral entries from "lesser" schools can occur.

Again, I think I'm being more liberal than the viewpoint of many states.  I'm saying let anybody with a 4 year degree license, if it's in architecture.  When I was taking my prep courses, some guy in the class had a BA in English.  Why not a BA in Architecture?

You do bring up a good point about the status of architects in internship and under contract status.  The problem is that the school and internship experience is inherently abusive, in that it does not empower the students.  (Some need a dose of reality and need to be dethroned, but not that many and not in the manner it is done).  That said, the owners of firms subjected to this repeat the cycle with interns and contract employees.  It's similar to any kind of dysfunction in families - it gets passed down. Look at how, even today, some "name" architects today allegedly have grads working for them for less than prevailing wages, and in expensive areas to boot ... both bohemian AND unprofessional.

jla-x
Jan 23, 13 2:06 pm

observant, you are seriously mixed up.  Becoming an architect is an extremely long beurocratic process.  If you think that wages are low because it's too easy or because we look weird, you are really missing some basic understanding of economics.  You seem to think that If we just cut our hair and shaved a little closer clients would materialise out of thin air....

curtkram
Jan 23, 13 2:21 pm

i say get rid of the 5 year b.arch.  4 year arch degrees should remain unaccredited.  make education require the 4+2, or provide whatever state allowed experience option (keep experience an option towards licensure, possibly even have NCARB outline requirements so lazy states can adopt them rather than thinking of their own).

the grad degree encourages students to look at a second school a little bit.  by that point they have a better understanding of architecture and should be able to make a more informed opinion on what school to get their grad degree from.  this could create more competition among schools to do a less shitty job since there would be competition for older and ideally slightly more intelligent students.  if you're getting an education, why stop short?  allowing a 4 year degree in place of a 6 year program devalues my experience.

curtkram
Jan 23, 13 2:23 pm

i haven't read much of this thread.  mostly just the last 2 posts and maybe 1 or 2 in the middle.  i apologize if my previous post somehow doesn't fit in, but it seems most of this topic is an unrestrained flow of random consciousness anyway.

observant
Jan 23, 13 2:44 pm

jla-x:

Not quite.  It's the "tortured artist" mentality that creates the problem.  They operate on slim margins, sometimes due to undercutting, and then pass on low(er) wages.  Or they are greedy and don't want to pay interns or newly minted architects what they can pay them.

As for my friend who said "it's the least professional of the professions," her husband also said to me "She has to be drawing," meaning that's what she was cut out to do, so she was going to do it.  Incidentally, she thanks me for inspiring her to license.  She preceded my M.Arch. 3 by a B.Arch., yet licensed some 3 years later.

observant
Jan 23, 13 2:53 pm

curtkram:

I could go either way with the degrees but believe in adjusting the licensing time frames.  Somewhere along the line, some schools decided to go away from 5 year B.Archs. and go to the 4+2 model.  I read about the logic, but have forgotten it.  Some of the successful Bay Area architects were 5-year B.Archs. from Berkeley.  Berkeley is now 4+2, and has been since I became interested in architecture.  I might agree with you.  In a 5 year B. Arch., the programs really wind down in the 5th year.  The 4+2 allows one to go to different schools, deepen in an area such as preservation, simulations of real world problems, or practical courses, such as more recent software.

If education isn't a contentious topic, then the internship is.  I first licensed in a flat 3 year internship jurisdiction, but continued to do IDP.   It takes MORE than 3 years to complete IDP, which I was in no rush to do, already having my first license.

Kevin W.Kevin W.
Jan 23, 13 2:56 pm

Are all your profession, inspirational, elloquent posts done on billable hours, Ob?

Parad0xx86
Jan 23, 13 3:00 pm

"4 year arch degrees should remain unaccredited."
In the past they were accredited, why not change it back to the accredited status again since there is really not much of a difference between the 5 year and the 4 year program. Remove the unnecessary classes, all the bloat. Trim it down to the essentials. People can still learn about the subjects they're interested in that's what the libraries are for.

"make education require the 4+2"
how does increasing the formal education for 1 more year makes one any more prepared for the professional practice?

"the grad degree encourages students to look at a second school a little bit"
How does this school experience relate to the profession again?

"this could create more competition among schools to do a less shitty job since there would be competition for older and ideally slightly more intelligent students."
What does intelligence have to do with the number of years in school or school grades? School/work performance is not the indicator of a high IQ and one does need a high IQ to be successful in business.

"allowing a 4 year degree in place of a 6 year program devalues my experience."
This is beyond retarded so I'll just skip it this time.

Curtkram you are aware that masters programs don't provide scholarships right? How do you expect a person from a poor even middle class background to complete all that education? Not to mention internships doesn't pay well if they ever pay. I'd expect someone like you would want to democratize education and give everybody an equal chance to succeed instead of putting more barriers in front of them.

observant
Jan 23, 13 3:00 pm

No.  I stay longer than that to compensate for any inefficiencies.  Eloquent has one "l."  Are you following this while billing?

My friends, within arch. and outside it, are stunned to find there is so much flouting of entrance requirements.

Parad0xx86
Jan 23, 13 3:08 pm

"My friends, within arch. and outside it, are stunned to find there is so much flouting of entrance requirements."
For example? And do those fields with lots of entrance requirements include more formal education too?

observant
Jan 23, 13 3:33 pm

^

Architects in degree jurisdictions, attorneys, and CPAs.

I saw your post above.  Let's bring it back down to basics.  The OP addressed having NO college education WHATSOEVER ... and NOT to disparage those who ALREADY are practicing that way, but to eliminate that option GOING FORWARD.

But even those who are practicing seem miffed.  I've been told to "go suck wind" TWICE.

Kevin W.Kevin W.
Jan 23, 13 3:47 pm

Nah...just a little mindless entertainment while enjoying a sandwich at my desk during lunch, or to get a laugh before turning in for the evening. Good catch on the added "l"....we had bets to see if you would catch it.

Donna SinkDonna Sink
Jan 23, 13 4:05 pm

Donna:  I was not saying a fabricator liked me more because of my degree.  Get real. I was saying I get along with fabricators because I talk "nuts and bolts."  As for your location, I was just saying that, if your heart bleeds, contact the state board in Indiana, and have them relax the standards.  I say we get even more bohemian.  A friend of mine who works as a librarian told me she saw a group of architects walk through her place of employment and asked me if it's "normal" for 55 year old guys to come in wearing tight hipster suits and sporting shoulder-length hair.  I told her that it was, if they had a statement to make or were proffering eyewash.  The uniform in school was a lot of black and small glasses.  When I first got there, I thought these people seem so avant-garde, that they must be good designers.  Either they weren't or they left architecture.  If you want to make the profession MORE bohemian, then be my guest.  That, in and of itself, is largely why people make jokes about architects and the wages are lower.

Nothing in this paragraph makes any logical sense to me.

Wait...observant, you're really Daniel Libeskind, aren't you?!

Kevin W.Kevin W.
Jan 23, 13 4:32 pm

He was trying to inspire you with his eloquence.

What...now you have a beef with dudes in their 50's with long hair?

OK....so far Obbie is thumbs down on the following becoming Architects..

Long haired tight suited middle aged hipster types?

Bottom feeder high school grads

Everyone from the great state of Indiany..

Everyone that is not like him.

Bohemians?

 

LITS4FormZ
Jan 23, 13 4:45 pm

I really don't understand the backlash against learning the profession through actual experience vs shelling out several thousand to be instructed by failed architects. 

My current supervisor made it to principal with no college degree. Sure he gives me crap about having my "fancy masters" but he also respects the fact that I took my own path to the profession. In the end it doesn't matter what some piece of paper says you should know.

If you are mad at the high school grad who got hired over you then you should take a long, hard look at the man/woman in the mirror. 

Oh and giving someone a hard time because of where they're working??? Really??? Most of the highest paying jobs (with the most responsibility) for architects both young and old are not located in the top 3 markets of NYC, LA, CHI...

observant
Jan 23, 13 5:00 pm

I've never had a HS grad hired over me.  I don't need to look in the mirror.  I already know what I look like.  However, earlier on, when I got the defensive "I didn't go to college" when being interviewed, I did NOT take the job.  What you see is what you get.  Defensive then.  Defensive later.  Currently, I'm batting for all these kids coming out of school who can't find a paid internship.  They can't even enter the field and, at the bottom of the trough - 2009 or 2010, it was even more dire

I don't think any of my professors failed at anything.  They either practiced architecture, or they were PEs in structures/HVAC, but they loved teaching.

The reality for California, from my analysis, is that the graduates go to the big markets and these "exceptions" are made to fill spots in the Central Valley, where most urban Californians indicate they would rather not live.

Too bad we can't include lawyers in this discussion.  I'd LOVE to see how many would like to see the no-law school entry.  Heck, I could be a lawyer without the schooling, by self-educating, but I know how the system works ... and would respect it.

Kevin W.Kevin W.
Jan 23, 13 5:12 pm

Me..the "exception" actually works in silicon valley, but I live in the central valley...by choice, in the home pictured above. I'm starting to get a few little projects in the CV, so, hopefully someday soon. You have an analysis??? Dude...you think about this way too much. But following your rant has been a hoot.

observant
Jan 23, 13 5:36 pm

I don't think about this much at all.  A light bulb went on and I tossed out a question.  Most threads on here sputter in no time ... or are resurrected at an unforeseen time.  I'm just addressing what people have to say.  If someone tells you to "go suck wind" twice, on separate days, it tells me they don't agree ... and in a big way.

jla-x
Jan 23, 13 7:06 pm

Damn Bohemians go back to Bohemia!!!

observant
Jan 23, 13 7:37 pm

No, damn bohemians, go to architecture school ... and single-handedly make the world a more SUSTAINABLE place.

Bohemia no longer exists.  It has been carved up by at least a few countries, so they have to go somewhere else.

observant
Jan 23, 13 7:45 pm

Edit:  It's wholly within the Czech Republic.

will gallowaywill galloway
Jan 23, 13 8:40 pm

i'm a bit confused now.  what was the point?  it must be the extra education clogging the grey cells or something.

from what i can tell you want to make it easier for young grads to get a job by cutting access to licensure to anyone you don't think has the right education.  and also you don't like architects from indiana thinking about their profession because the system is not aligned with their point of view.  that bout sum it up?

observant
Jan 23, 13 9:27 pm

Nope, Will.

The point is that it's way past the beginning of the New Millennium, tell HS grads to go to college, getting at least a BA in Arch, or more, and then work in an office, track a minimum of 3 years worth of chronological (not task-based) work experience, and then take the licensing exam at the end of their internship, or slightly before.

If you or the lady from Indiana want to obfuscate this simplistic concept and play the "ivory tower"/"bleeding heart" card, you are free to do so by adding more posts.

backbay
Jan 23, 13 10:27 pm

hey everyone, lets have an argument about nothing really.

observant
Jan 23, 13 10:45 pm

It is something.  Let's make it REALLY unregulated and allow the free market to operate.  Let's CLOSE all the architecture schools in North America and let people apprentice to an architect instead, that way taxpayer dollars don't pay for these superfluous, space wasting entities on college campuses. 

backbay
Jan 23, 13 10:58 pm

perfect that settles it

observant
Jan 23, 13 11:01 pm

Since when do architects agree on anything?  Fat chance.

b3tadine[sutures]
Jan 23, 13 11:01 pm

i love words.

 

simplistic [sɪmˈplɪstɪk]
adj
1. characterized by extreme simplicity; naive
2. oversimplifying complex problems; making unrealistically simple judgments or analyses
simplism  n
simplistically  adv
Usage: Since simplistic already has too as part of its meaning, it is tautologous to talk about something being too simplistic or over-simplistic

 

i have not read this thread, but your use of the above word, i think, sums up what most people think about you, and this thread.

 

thanks for coming, the door is on the right, left, no...right.

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