Tuesday, 23 October 2012

What To Do With An Architecture Degree

By PLACE Volunteer Emma Campbell 

Those who have completed a degree in architecture owe it to themselves to reassess their career decisions.

Image: Taken from ‘Working out of Box’ segment on Igor Siddiqui
an Architect turned Product Designer. ‘Ripstop nylon prototype’. Link.
Traditionally, Architecture is considered a vocational degree leading to a determined job description as an ‘Architect’. While this is still the case, architecture graduates can and do consider many other career paths. Alas; it is possible! Try not to feel that innate pressure to continue your studies without the knowledge that you are doing it for the right reasons. 

It is good to stop; reflect and acknowledge the distance you have come since starting your degree. Make a calculated decision about your future endeavours. The clichéd roller-coaster like qualities of most architecture degrees induces, in many, the ability to think in the present. Now, many of you have graduated, its time to think to the future.

Of course, some graduates know they want to become architects; they may even have found suitable work placements and intend to continue with their studies. Others, like me, may not have this luxury. Be thankful either way. You have an excellent degree and exciting prospects if you want them.

Image: Taken from ‘Working out of Box’ segment on Igor Siddiqui an Architect
turned Product Designer. ‘3d printed prototype of rubber floor matting’. Link.

 Many architects have changed careers becoming illustrators, makers, journalists and web designers to name but a few. Archinect, a global architecture website, demonstrates the flexibility of Architects in their feature ‘Working Out of the Box’. This feature reveals the many skills acquired through an architectural education that apply to a lot of other design-related careers:
  • to think analytically and diagrammatically 
  • to develop an idea and build upon it 
  • to draw by hand and using computer software 
  • to make things 
  • to understand graphics and presentations 
  • to communicate well in all mediums 
  • to understand the site and work within a context 
  • to apply design logic in an empathetic manner 
  • to think and design spatially 
  • to manage a project and stick to deadlines 
  • to work in and lead a team 
  • to be consider legal responsibilities 

If you are unsure that you want to continue your Architectural education, consider other skills you may have. Consider other career paths you may find of interest. Try to think ‘outside the box’. These added interests may be key factors to your future career.

1 comment:

Dr. Architecture said...

Thanks for one of the few articles that gets it. Below is another I authored last spring.