News

RIBA survey reveals growing importance of BIM to architects

5 February 2015

A report, produced by RIBA Appointments and based on a survey of 150 employers along with 600 students and recent graduates, reveals the growing importance of technical skills to architects.

Along with 2D CAD and 3D CAD, a technical knowledge of BIM was rated high as an expected skill by both employees and students with more than half of those asked describing BIM as an “essential technical skill”.

The tool was ranked as one of the “top five scoring skill and knowledge areas”, along with Building Regulations and Standards, Planning System, Design and Specification, and the RIBA Plan of Work.

Employer and student expectations of technical skills (at all levels)

Employers value graduates’ BIM abilities more than the students themselves (77% of employers rate these skills as satisfactory or good, compared to 51% of students), perhaps suggesting that the skills students are acquiring in the subject are those that employers cannot easily source elsewhere.

Employers had high expectations for graduates to be familiar with a range of software packages to draw. Of the tailored 2D and 3D CAD tools the employers tend to expect highest familiarity with Autodesk AutoCAD, whilst expectations relating to the use of Bentley and Nemetscheck products are low.

The report also revealed that architecture schools are not equipping students for the realities of life in practice, with three-quarters of students and recent graduates and 80% of employers asked believing that architectural education puts “theoretical knowledge above practical ability”. And more than 80% of respondents to the survey believe that students and graduates lack the knowledge to build what they design.

Read the complete report here.

Employer expectations of software packages the recruit should be able to use to draw