How to navigate the 2020 job market

May 18, 2020 | 4 minute read

The COVID-19 crisis is disrupting lives globally, but it is also making it a particularly stressful time to be an architecture student or prospective graduate. Is it possible to do an internship remotely? What will the job market look like, not only for the class of 2020, but for anyone hoping to get hired over the next 12 to 18 months? While we’re already seeing the effects of an economic downturn in the architecture, engineering and construction industries, now is the time to start planning for how to be ready when things pick back up again.

While most students set to graduate this year probably haven’t experienced a recession in their working lives, architecture firms were particularly hard hit during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. A recession is a business cycle contraction that is declared when the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is in decline for two or more quarters – six months or more. It is signaled by an increase in unemployment, a drop in the stock market, and a dip in the housing market.

“We estimate close to 32 percent of all architectural positions in the country disappeared temporarily during that recession,” said Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, chief economist at the American Institute of Architects, at a student webinar hosted by Yale School of Architecture’s Career Services. While it took architecture firms several years to get back to the status quo, the last United States recession was followed by the longest period of economic expansion in United States history.

So, what do you need to know to be prepared heading into this period of uncertainty?

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