Background and Objectives: The purpose of architecture education is to prepare graduates for general proficiency in this field of study. However, many graduates of architecture who are employed at the job market observe a profound gap between what they have learned in college and what is being done in professional work in architecture. This study -by examining the method of architecture education at undergraduate level and the job market situation in Iran- evaluates the relationship between the education and professional work in architecture to answer the following questions: "1. What are the problems of undergraduate architecture education in Iran that cause the inefficiency of architecture graduates in professional environment?", "2. Which features in the professional environment are necessary for a graduate of architecture?" and "3. How can we make a more effective connection between and the professional architectural environment?"
Methods: The present study is an applied one and its method is field survey. In addition, the method of data analysis is analytical-descriptive. Data collection has been done through handing questionnaires and holding interviews with senior undergraduate architecture students as the statistical population who are supposed to enter the architectural job market soon, professors of architecture schools as individuals who are teaching students in this field, and professional architects as individuals who are professionally active in the field of architecture. The students and professors who were studied in this research were selected from 3 Iranian universities at the intermediate level, and professional architects were also selected from the managers of architectural companies. Being a veteran architect was the criterion for selecting professors and architects. The criteria for professors to be a veteran architect have been the experience and years of work, and the academic degree. The criteria for selecting architects have been experience and years of work, the significant number of the projects implemented, and winning awards.
Findings: According to the common viewpoints of the three groups who were investigated in this research, the problems of the architecture educational environment that have created a gap between architecture education and architectural profession and the low efficiency of the architecture graduate in the professional environment have a wide range from the beginning of admission of architecture students up to after their graduation. The main problems are: 1. Method of student admission, 2. Admission of too many students, 3. Incompatibility of educational topics with the job market needs, 4. The separation of university from the society, 5. Lack of professional ethics training, 6. Lack of interactive skills training, 7. Lack of professional experience of professors, and 8. General problems of the society including economic issues. Therefore, the characteristics that are necessary for a graduate student of architecture in a professional environment are: 1. Familiarity with the topics required by the labor market, such as having a good command of various architectural software, familiarity with rules and regulations, and so on, 2. Having professional ethics, and 3. Having interactive skills.
Conclusion: Based on the benefits of participatory education, it is proposed to turn architecture schools into "participatory education" environments in order to reduce the gap between education and professional work and decrease the low efficiency of architecture graduates in the professional environment. In this regard, it is possible to use the simultaneous training of students of different semesters in architecture courses and the presence of professional architects as expert individuals in some of the class sessions. In this way, students can benefit from each other's participation in design, critique of works, and improvement of skills related to the field of architecture, and the presence of professional architects in order to gradually acquire the skills required by the architectural job market. It is also possible to reduce the gap between education and professional work by establishing "NGOs" that are responsible for linking the university to architecture offices, job market and employers.
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