Internships – a quintessential part of an architectural education – are increasingly becoming an unmitigated ordeal for many within the community, affecting both students and practicing architects. Two major reasons can be attributed to this discontentment:
- The demand and supply imbalance, with a large number of students competing over very few vacancies – especially factoring in the stark rise in the number of architectural institutes (almost four times as many as those operating even ten years ago) and the guidelines issued for admissible – read, gradable – training experience for the students by their respective schools further limiting the pool of ‘eligible’ firms.
- Under-qualification of the student pool, with many architects and firms reporting that most interns lacked even basic know-how and CAD/digital skills and contributed very little to their respective workplaces.
The direct and obvious consequence of these conditions has been unemployment and underemployment among interns and fresher architects. Not only does this limit opportunities for the students, but has also resulted in exploitation in many offices. Schools, largely, seem to be unwilling to take any responsibility for these circumstances.
Stuck in this rut, students have taken to social media to create resource groups, often used for sharing important information and opportunities for growth, but also being used to voice their concerns and vent their frustration. With several posts cropping up recently reporting harrowing details of unfair – and even unethical – treatment at the hands of their employers, online groups have become a hotbed of ‘signal boosting’ posts about exploitative practices, with several eminent architects being embroiled in the controversy.
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