Why Architecture Graduates Do Not Register as Architects: A Quantitative and Qualitative South Australian Study 1999-2011


Australia is not making the most of its architecture skills base because gender-based issues appear to be deterring female graduates from completing their registration as architects; gaining suitable employment is also a factor in non-registration for men and women. Architectural registration is required in all Australian states, and by Australia’s major trading partners, to safeguard the public and regulate the profession. Tracking 13 cohorts of graduates from two adjacent Australian architecture schools (in one state, South Australia) revealed that more than three-quarters of female graduates over the period 1999-2011 had not registered as architects prior to 2014. Although, nationally, 21% of registered architects in Australia are women, there would be an expectation that this number is closing in male registration (79%) due largely to historically low female enrolments in architecture schools. This must be discounted as an ongoing explanatory factor as women have formed 40% of Australian graduating classes since 1999 and 37% in South Australia during the period 1999-2011. From 1999 to 2013, 29% of those who registered in South Australia were women. Because graduates can register in any state or territory in Australia, or overseas, the registration status of all architecture graduates from 1999 to 2011 was tracked using Australian and State registration rolls and social media. The findings were that 22% of female and 27% of male South Australian graduates (1999-2011) had registered as architects. Gender-based and other factors were investigated using qualitative research with female and male cohorts who had and had not registered. Gender, which along with confidence was seen as a factor in non-registration for women, was not an issue for men, who most frequently cited securing suitable employment to fulfil the mandatory hours for the registration Logbook as a factor in their non-registration.

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Shannon, S. , Webb, N. , Zeng, Y. and Holder, J. (2014) Why Architecture Graduates Do Not Register as Architects: A Quantitative and Qualitative South Australian Study 1999-2011. Creative Education, 5, 1540-1558. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.516171.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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