Talking to practitioners about their graduate hiring practices: How highly are technical skills valued?
Authors: Shannon, Susan J.
ABSTRACT: This paper reports on a study, which engages with important questions around whether
the current educational focus within architecture schools is leading to a productive interface with
More than 20 architectural practices around Australia, private and public, large, medium and small,
who hired architectural graduates, were asked what they prioritised in the evaluation of graduates for
employment. The study used the Commonwealth of Australia’s employability skills list as a starting
point, and a simplified summary of the published Graduate Attributes derived from the seventeen
Schools of Architecture in Australia. A set of questions was compiled designed to elicit standard
responses from potential employers of graduates during semi-structured interviews.
The study is nested within larger studies, such as that funded by the ALTC, who examined the
transition of Built Environment and Design graduates from University to the Workplace from the
perspective of graduates, employers and academics. This study has narrowed its scope and
conclusions to elicit a clearer understanding of how highly architecture graduates’ employers rate (from
completely unimportant to critically important) various skills in hiring graduates. The paper reports on
just one aspect of that research – the degree to which employers value graduates’ technical skills.