Last night, I had the pleasure of serving on a panel entitled “The License Dilemma” sponsored the by the Emerging Architects Committee of AIA DC. Joining me was Adam Schwartz, AIA, a recently licensed architect and Associate at HGA Architects and Engineers and the Washington DC Licensing Advisor and Harry Falconer, Jr., AIA, Director of Experience + Education at NCARB. Moderating the panel was Elizabeth Kinkel, Associate AIA of View Dynamic Glass. …
However, the thrust of the discussion both from us as panelists and the audience, mostly emerging professionals, was on the value of licensure and how WE (the profession) could do more to ensure architectural graduates would pursue licensure. Harry relayed statistics from NCARB by the Numbers that stated that the average age of an architect becoming licensed was 32 years of age. With recent changes in IDP (soon to be AXP), the timeframe from graduation to licensure is decreasing.
Some of the discussion was on what architecture programs (schools) could do; as will be the case with IPAL, schools might provide or encourage students to gain experience during their formal education making them more valuable to firms upon graduation. But also, many in the audience thought schools could provide more direct knowledge on practice. However, I pointed out that our system of becoming an architect includes knowledge from education and knowledge from experience.
Unfortunately, some firms are not equipped to “teach” their employees like a hospital might do with aspiring doctors. For firms, it is a business proposition – my answer to firms is the “your people” are your most important asset. One member of the audience specifically asked – what could WE do to help firms more value their staff as they work towards licensure; no one had an immediate answer.
Mr. Falconer furthered the conversation with the notion that an architectural should pursue licensure not for their current position, but for their next one. Adam relayed the sense of accomplishment when he had achieved the title of architect.
Additional discussion centered on those architectural graduates that pursue an alternate path and not licensure. We know that these individuals are NOT architects (in the legal sense), but are they are part of the profession.
Overall, the event was a success in terms of attendance, but more importantly in terms of conversation; attendees left with much to consider as each pursues licensure. I am pleased to have been a part of the panel; I am sure this is not an exact summary, but it is a start.