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Architecture graduate unemployment reaches new high

Less than half of all architecture graduates are in employment six months after graduation

The figures from the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) found that just 47.9 per cent of a total 1,975 students had found work in half a year, with almost 10 per cent assumed to be unemployed.

Mike Hill, chief executive of HECSU, said: ‘We’re now starting to see the extent of the impact the recession has had on graduate employment.

‘Any signs of economic recovery may not be reflected in the destinations of new graduates until the 2010 graduating cohort. In fact it’s likely that unemployment for 2009 graduates may be even higher than that reported here.’

The most popular field of employment for architecture graduates was in the draughtsperson and building inspectors field, accounting for 41.7 per cent of those employed, while 31 per cent opted for architecture, town planning and surveying.

According to the survey 15.1 per cent of architecture graduates are undertaking work and further study, while 13 per cent opted for further study alone.

Readers' comments (6)

  • With any luck they'll see sense, go get a worthwhile job instead and look back in 15 years and thank god for a narrow escape.

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  • I think values of Architects in UK has drastically reduced. Most firms prefers engineers, even any engineering related courses to Architects or Architectural draftmans. Thus, I will like the Institute to delebrate on how Architects and Architectural related subjects will be given more priority in the construction industries.

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  • A good alternative would be to go into the Quality Management side of any industry- engineering, manufacturing etc. The stuff you'll learn can easily be fed back into architecture should you return to the profession. Companies take Quality Management very seriously nowadays.

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  • I graduated in the summer of 2008 just at the start of the downturn and struggled to find a part 1 placement. After a stressful summer I contacted the RIBA for support and guidance, this is when I was told to apply and go straight onto my part 2. I was unaware and i believe a lot of other students are also unaware that this was an option.
    I had a strong portfolio and a high 2:1. I was successful in being accepted onto the Barch part 2. however i would just like to say that 6 of my closest fellow students also struggled to find placements, with 2 of them going abroad the other 4 managed to secure placements only to be laid off months later.
    I believe that the RIBA is not doing enough to help students gain the experience they so crucially need to complete their (RIBA certified) course.
    I complete my part 2 in june 2010 and just hope that I do not get a repeat of being let down and the feeling that 5 years and £30,000 of debt has been a complete waste.

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  • I have recently contacted many resources to try and gain work experience. VERY FEW have replied and RIBA have just verified my angst! thanks! I have just started year 2 in my part 1 and i'm really concerned and considering a change in direction.
    I fear the profesion will not be worth the 7 long years of hard graft and ridiculous debt!
    To add to the stress I study in North Wales and trying to find something, anything in the industry is just laughable. Help is needed for the next generation of architects.

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  • If you haven't got the connections, forget it. Do something else.

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