Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Need for Professional Training

This week's post is by guest-blogger Connie Rivera, AIA, Executive Director of the Corpus Christi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects:

Remember the days when we thought that once we had our diploma or degree, our days of education would be over? I bet you’re laughing as we all know that is so not true.

Just about every professional career today requires a certain amount of training. And I’m not just talking about that learning curve when we start a new position. We all need continual training or education just to stay in the game. That is true for doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers and architects.

Architects especially need training throughout their careers. Building technology is changing dramatically at an ever-increasing pace. The systems used within a building to heat, cool, light and serve a space have become incredibly complex. Buildings such as hospitals, laboratories, auditoriums are examples of spaces that require many systems to adequately function. Even the classroom is no longer a simple space with lighting and desks. Information technology has changed all that. And with the advent of concerns for sustainability, it makes the need for training all that more pressing.

But not only has building technology changed, how architects produce designs has also dramatically changed. We no longer sit at drafting tables drawing with either ink or graphite. Many of us use the computer using software to produce virtual models for buildings with input from all members of the design team – from the engineers to the contractors to the clients. The demand for instant information, real-time revisions and shorter production times has compelled us to train in new formats all the time.

To ignore the need for training is a decision to become obsolete.

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