Actually, there has always been a need for architecture intern jobs. Without reliable interns, most companies in and out of the world of architecture would have a difficult time functioning. Interns provide a great deal of support to the firm. Additionally, the firm provides a great deal of benefit to the intern seeking a career in the architecture profession. Experience is not easy to attain. Insight into how a career path can be undertaken cannot be attained without direct experience. Yet, some might be apprehensive about an architectural internship job. Why is this? Basically, there may be concerns about the unpaid nature of such a position. While such concerns are understandable, they can be overstated. And besides, some of these internships do offer compensation.
Benefits of an Internship
Yes, one common myths about architecture internship jobs is that they are exclusively "free work". While it is true that a large amount of internship positions are volunteer based and do not issue payments for work performed, there are also paid internships available. Most will only pay minimum wage and some may pay even less than that in the form of a weekly expense stipend. (Well paying architecture internship employment is available but such positions are frequently rare and it is highly competitive to apply for these positions) While not well paying, these positions do deliver what they primarily are intended to serve: gaining experience, and developing a professional network. These two components are not easy to attain which is why the value of an architecture internship can never be overstated.
It can also never be overstated that paid or not, internships can certainly open doors that would not be previously opened. Again, this returns us to the point about experience and networking.
Never lose sight of the fact that the profession of architecture revolves around specific skills. You cannot "wing it" when it comes to the profession of architecture. You need to be extremely precise in the terms of the work you perform. Inaccuracies in the design of an architectural project can prove disastrous. That is why there is no substitute for experience and an internship position in architecture is the perfect conduit to the development of such experience.
Experience also comes in a great many forms. There is the obvious experience of actually performing the duties and tasks of architecture professionals. This is probably the area of experience most people are familiar with and clearly understand. However, there are other facets to experience some may not completely be aware of. What would this entail? Basically, when you are involved in an internship, you will gain a great deal of peripheral insight into what the profession truly consists of. Applied knowledge on the aesthetic of an internship is one thing. Learning the basics of architecture in a classroom setting lays the foundation for the knowledge required for the performance of such tasks. Yet, none of this educational experience will have any value, impact, or benefit in regards to the actual day to day performance of the actual job. Nor does it set the stage for maintaining a clear understanding of what such a job is to entail.
This is where first hand exposure proves to be so helpful. When you take part in a strong internship, you open the doors to learning a great deal about how to actual function in an office. This type of experience is far removed from what you learn in the classroom and it provides the hands on, in person experience needed to truly and effectively thrive in your career.
Of course, the potential to develop a strong network of professionals that can help you with your career goals is another great positive. It is extremely difficult to maneuver or get ahead in any profession when you are an outsider looking in. However, when you take the proper steps to network with other professionals in the industry, you greatly enhance your odds of success. And certainly, that is what most people would want to attain more than anything else. So, consider the ability to network to be among the greatest benefits of signing on to an architecture internship job.