This title may seem a little contradictory and frankly rather heavy for your mid-week reading but It’s a topic I’ve been needing to get off my chest.
Recently I’ve been thinking about the knowledge gap between tertiary study and the professional industries, and after completing my BAS last year I became even more aware of this ongoing problem (which has plagued many of my classmates and friends over the past months). The fact being BIM is a constantly growing and developing endless sphere of possibility, yet many of our current tertiary students aren’t being taught the basics behind modeling and 3d model generation; in fact they’re being sent into your firms with no idea how to use Revit, ArchiCAD, Sketchup, Vectorworks, Rhino, Bentley, (insert your preferred modeling platform here). Furthermore I know personally, many (now professional) graduates that can produce a technically correct set of drawings on Adobe Illustrator, that many would find hard to distinguish from their Revit counterpart. As we all know this is not because they get pleasure from creating drawings to replicate the look that Revit produces- It’s because they are expected to use, yet never taught the aforementioned program.This is not really something to be proud of, but is understandable considering the pressure placed on Architectural students to produce excellence at any cost (sanity, sleep, visual manipulation). How many of us have managed to get through our degree without learning at least one 3d modeling program is beyond me? In fact I’m going to retract what I stated earlier when I mentioned Sketchup in the list of possible modeling programs- sketch up doesn’t count, most who graduate probably do know how to use Sketchup (well I hope for their sake).
The problem is Our Tertiary Institutions expect students to teach themselves. I hear many of you saying, “Well I had to, it’s just what happens”. That attitude annoys me. This mentality of ‘battling through’, I agree was fine for the Baby boomer generation; when modeling meant going down to the workshop to in fact make a physical model. This however is simply no longer the case. With the shift towards computer generated drawings and 3d modeling, potential employers are now using a selection of different modeling platforms depending on firm size, geographical location and in-house knowledge; graduates can no longer teach themselves the ropes- It’s near on impossible. Of course I’m not saying that traditional methods are obsolete, quite the opposite. I’m saying that traditional methods are still so prominent (and for good reason), that not enough attention is being given to new methods, which in combination with the traditional can balance and inform the future of the AEC industry.
My point being our students now need more help to succeed and become valuable members of the Architectural graduate community. So It’s time that our local Tertiary Institutions step up to the plate and take responsibility for equipping the future of our AEC industry with the skills they need to become valuable and valued industry members.
What does everyone else think of this? Is it just me that has found this a problem? Are some Students more educated in BIM than others or is this a Nation wide issue? I would love to hear from Architects, Designers and Engineers. I guess the next step is how we combat this problem. I feel as though there needs to be more communication and collaboration between Industry groups and tertiary institutions to form courses that will give students the best possible chance of employment, while at the same time saving their employer time and money in the potentially necessary T&D that would have followed. What do you think is needed in order to combat this issue?