Architectural Ellipsis

... Intern Architect ...

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    Entry Level ... with Experience

    Everyday Intern
    Jul 12, '13 12:05 PM EST

    I've been looking at job opportunities lately. I don't know if anything will come of it, but either way, I've been looking around. I seem to be noticing more and more postings that are advertising for "entry-level" positions, but have a list of requirements that makes me wonder if employers and applicants are really on the same page. 

    Some of the requirements don't really say that the applicant needs to have prior experience. Things like a list of computer programs that are requirements can go either way. Some people expect to pick those things up on the job with just a basic prior knowlege of how they work before beginning. Many programs can be learned during the normal course of one's architectural studies. Of course you start to wonder when they start to say things like the applicant must be "proficient" in ________. 

    The requirements that bother me more as they are listed for an entry-level position are the ones that reference that the applicant must have prior experience. I can understand that some words and terms (like "proficient" or "work independently") may have different meanings to different people, but when a posting states "entry-level" it sort of excludes the requirement to have prior experience ... right? 

    I'm ok with saying in the posting that prior work experience is a preference. Obviously some will take inexperience but would prefer someone who knows their way around a set of CDs. But when a firm lists a set of requirements, I understand that to mean that if an applicant does not meet all of the requirements listed, then his or her application is likely to be rejected. Requirements are a must, preferences are a plus.

    I could be off base here. I would welcome any comments from people on the other side of the job searching table. Are we even close to being on the same page? When you say "entry-level," what do you really mean? 

    You keep using that word ...
    Jefe, what is a plethora?


    • Urbananite

      Previous experience = already completed modern slavery a.k.a. Internships

      Jul 12, 13 12:24 pm  · 

      Unless you are independently wealthy STAY AWAY from internshits! 

      Jul 12, 13 4:20 pm  · 

      entry level is a new term that means 3-5 years of experience for low pay. 

      Jul 12, 13 5:40 pm  · 

      for us it means you know enough to use the software but dont know what to do with it.

      it also means we will spend most of our time trying to explain what it means to design in the real world and is an investment on our part.  If all we have to do is sit you in a chair and you can do the job without any help then it ain't entry level.

      Jul 12, 13 8:38 pm  · 

      ^^^ Ding Ding Ding ^^^

      Jul 14, 13 9:41 am  · 

      Will, I agree with your definition. I just don't think that many of the people writing these job ads think the same way.

      I get the feeling that for some employers, entry level means someone with 3-5 years of experience and will become the office's Revit guru in less than 2 weeks, minimum.

      Jul 16, 13 1:07 pm  · 

      I get the feeling that for some employers, entry level means someone with 3-5 years of experience and will become the office's Revit guru in less than 2 weeks, minimum.


      I have been doing the above for 5 years - architect is nowhere in sight 

      Jul 16, 13 3:03 pm  · 

      Look at what just came up on the job boards today. Entry level position with a required minimum 2 years professional experience.

      I guess the HR people over at NBBJ don't read my blog ... [sad face]

      Jul 16, 13 4:04 pm  · 

      The other day I saw a Craig's List posting titled "Junior Architect".  The description included a disclaimer "This is an entry level position" and among the myriad of requirements was "MB in Architecture".  Architecture as a profession trying to increase it's value and gravitas through increased levels of education is a losing game for all concerned, especially for the "junior" architects.

      Jul 17, 13 11:35 am  · 

      I was in the same boat, Graduated last year, I thought it was ridiculous for employers to require few years of experience for entry level position. Though having some experience I was able to get some interviews. One company wanted me to intern, the other pay $15/hr and sign a contract for minimum employment of 6 months. Is this what they thought I was worth? As a result I started freelancing a contractor which later landed me a job for a developer. I save him ton of cash and still freelance on the side, in many ways I even started competing with actual architects. Sure I work long hours but the harder I work the more money I make. Hopefully in future I will have enough to start my own projects. 

      Jul 18, 13 12:04 pm  · 
      vado retro

      here's how it works. you have been in school and have not only learned all these new programs but you probably have the software. many firms have no interest in paying for this software. the principles don't need to know it. they can give you a sketch on trace or on toilet paper if they had a moment of inspiration while doing a number 2. they need you to make a 3d model in sketch up or whatever modelling software you've got on your personal laptop. they want your skills to make pretty presentations that they can show the clients. you'll get some perks of course. you'll be able to listen to your music on your headphones and not have to dress that well. you'll enjoy the bonding experience of the company's annual summer picnic! where  you'll get to see all your bosses' nice cars. eventually, you may get yourself in this position and you will be able to hire an entry level intern or two for yourself. by then your cutting edge computer  skills will be obsolete since you will have been drawing reflected ceiling plans on autocad for seven years. but you will have paid your dues, broheem, and you will by then actually know something about the business of architecture and all its companion pieces. good luck.

      Jul 18, 13 1:09 pm  · 

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About this Blog

An ellipsis [...] is used to signal an omission, an unfinished thought, aposiopesis, or brief awkward silence. Architectural ellipses are those aspects of the profession we (perhaps intentionally) omit, gloss over, or let dwindle in silence. Generally applied this blog should encompass many aspects of the profession. Yet, as an intern architect (now architect) I'll focus primarily on the architectural ellipses that occur in the internship process (and beyond).

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