Career Prospects In Building Information Modelling
"What are you going to be when you grow up?"
This is a question we've all been asked or have asked ourselves as kids. The answer to that has always evolved or even changed as we kept growing older and started developing new ideas or aspirations
More than one can imagine? Well, then you have a long way to go and your journey begins today!ur mind can be a fickle thing, can't it? Well, so is technology. Almost a million years ago, the definition of 'cutting edge technology' was a sharpened rock mounted on a branch to make a hunting tool and the purpose that it would serve was to help provide a source of food for humans. Ofcourse, you would have to consult a paleontologist to confirm what I just said as my knowledge on ancient stone age weapons is limited. But my point is, technology, or more specifically science has come a long way since then. It has proven to serve almost any and every purpose a human could dream of. Even now as I'm writing this, I'm sure there are a bunch of researchers working towards something, some piece of technology which will soon render something else grossly outdated. As everyday, new technology is being invented, it fulfills the demand of some specific demographic. This demand needs to be supplied or more conveniently put, implemented by the very people who are well versed in it. Them and only them hold monopoly in it's implementation and the better the invention, the higher their importance. Are you getting where I am going with this? What I just explained my dear friend, is the most simple reason behind why new careers are created, and will be created for ages to come.
Let me relate the mumbo jumbo I began my post with to my agenda for the day. What is the new technology I was talking about which is in demand? BIM. Who are the people that are well versed in it and have the responsibility to implement it? BIM professionals. Voila, I have connected the dots, so now let's talk about a career in BIM. Obviously, if you are reading this, I assume you haven't jumped the gun and have a slight idea of what BIM is and why it exists. Then let's talk about why you should get well versed in it and why you should do it SOON!
Be it Architecture, Engineering or the Construction vertical, BIM has taken the industry by storm because of the plethora of ideals and principles it encompasses and the amount of benefits it provides. The reason why most people's idea of BIM remains limited to a few possibilities one of them being better visualisation is because of the lack of an International governing body that establishes, monitors and controls BIM standards all over the world. It's almost an irony that a business model which itself is about efficiency and control does not have a properly defined authority. That in itself is one of the few remaining stepping stones after which BIM could potentially transform into an industry of it's own.
A quick google search reveals that there are 13 Masters Programs in UK alone which have the words 'BIM' in their title. What this means is that BIM is slowly and steadily becoming an integral part of various disciplines as people are starting to acknowledge it's benefits in their fields. Think if you could have gone back in time and bought a bunch of penny stocks on Microsoft during it's initial phase. Would have been amazing, wouldn't it? So what if you had the opportunity to invest your time, knowledge and effort into learning a technology which is still not fully understood by the larger audience but wanted by all? Wouldn't that be amazing too? Well, these are the so called conduits, or better termed as job profiles that you shall be associated with as you make your journey from the grassroots to the top storeys of Building information modelling.
BIM Technician -
This profile usually belongs to the beginner who has just initiated his career in BIM. It is usually occupied by fresh graduates(or undergrads) with a degree in Architecture, civil, mechanical or electrical with zero to little experience in handling BIM projects and it's many tools and processes. Their work usually remains limited to CAD drafting or 3D modelling in softwares such as AllPlan or Revit in the portions of Architecture, structure and MEP.
BIM coordinator -
This profile belongs to a graduate or a post graduate who is now well versed with the intricacies of BIM projects. They have a minimum of 1 year of work experience in projects and have a good working knowledge in Architecture, structure and MEP and can now perform 4D, 5D manipulations and clash detection. They usually have a team of BIM technicians aka modellers or interns working under their tutelage. They are now not only involved with managing the technical portion of the project, but also have the responsibilty of meeting with clients, stakeholders and other consultants. They are the links in the neverending chain of collaboration that is BIM.
BIM project Manager -
This profile belongs to experts in BIM starting from 3D upto 7D implementation. They usually have post graduate level certifications as well as diplomas in BIM related courses. They have atleast 3 to 5 years of experience in the project handling and are experts in Project management. They handle complex, time consuming and high stake projects from their inception upto their completion. It is their responsibilty to establish project credibility inorder to bring in investors and clients at the beginning of the project and also to maintain the same level of credibility and marketablity to ensure smooth functioning of the project mechanism. It is their responsibility to assemble the team of professionals and to lay out the exact work breakdown structure for them along with the duration and the relationships of the various activities whose collective completion will lead to the end of the project. They have to clearly define the goals and monitor, assist and control the project intensively so that the same goals can be achieved. At the end it is their responsibility to ensure the environmental and operational efficiency of the project and lay down the guidelines for it's use until the eventual demolition of the building itself. All in all, they are the alpha and the omega of the project and hence it is of paramount importance that the skillsets and knowledge they bring to the table matches the level of requirement.
As you can see, these 3 profiles are simply a broad layout to understand the basic parts of BIM management and each of these profiles contain an abundance of different technologies and hence different professionals to implement them. With the insurgence of new verticals such as visual programming, 3DP, IOT and even Virtual Reality are opening new realms in the world of BIM as we speak and hence widening the range of possibilities. So do you want to be a pioneer? Do you wish to be a leader that can chaperone the changing industry towards a new age? Do you have what it takes to use your creative and technical abilities to continue expanding this ever evolving mechanism and turn it into so much m