The answer to the question “What can I do with an architecture degree” might not be as obvious as you think. Yes, you can indeed go on to pursue a career designing houses and buildings, but there’s some surprising ways that the skills developed during architecture education can be employed.
Architects, upon completing an advanced course of study – whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, typically possess a number of unique skills with multi-dimensional applicability.
In graduating from an architecture degree program, students demonstrate a keen aptitude for achieving the intersection between function and form. This sensibility can be applied to a wide variety of design-oriented fields, not solely those that work with buildings and structures. Some have even found creative ways to apply this to 3D animation, sometimes coming back to architecture with these new skills and using them for their practice.
The applied mathematics and engineering knowledge inherent to architecture demands a well-honed eye for detail and precision. Learning skills in these critical disciplines can help graduating architects become masters of diligent assessment, finding flaws in submitted designs and providing solutions. Additionally, some programs focus more deliberately on leadership and project skills, which can offer significant training in architectural project management, and in other fields.
In the modern era, the archetypal drafting board isn’t near as prevalent as software that performs the same function, but with greater speed, efficiency, and potential for collaboration. Building a practiced understanding for these types of software can prepare an individual well to learn other types of similar programs – not to mention the new tools they might potentially bring to an existing practice.
These skills allow those with strong architectural acumen to move into some fairly unique fields. Product or industrial design is certainly a possibility, demanding the same high level of focus and sense for utility and aesthetic quality as construction, but applied to the creation of consumer products. Some firms even do both, designing furniture or domestic accessories as well as completing original building projects.
For all the flexibility these skills offer the prospective architectural expert, there is one tried-and-true, established career path that they can certainly follow: that of the building architect.
This is, arguably, the primary path available to architects. The image of someone hunched over a drafting board sketching out a set of foundational blueprints for a home, office, or other building comes from this particular field. Building architects work tirelessly to understand a client’s needs, create a working design that meets their specifications, and then set the necessary components of the construction plan into motion. Additionally, they typically act as project managers at every stage of the project, particularly when representing their own firm. They estimate costs, determine the necessary completion time, and supervise all worksites that they may be involved with.
The field, however, is constantly evolving to keep up with the trends of the day, and skilled professionals who can keep up with the times are often in demand. One of the most significant trends is “Green Architecture”.
What is green architecture? Put simply, with the growing public focus on environmental sustainability, buildings that suit the highest standards of energy efficiency – especially those that innovate on existing waste disposal and clean energy paradigms to create a wholly new approach – are catching quite a bit of attention. Through this space, a graduate of an architecture program can elaborate on their existing skills and create something truly original, including concepts that save the planet without discouraging economic growth.
Whether you decide to pursue a traditional path, create a path all your own, or find a new way to think about a long-standing practice, the skills developed through architecture degree programs can help you discover new horizons in your career.
To study with professional experts in architecture while honing your practical and leadership skills, pursue graduate education at Lawrence Technological University through the online Master of Architecture program.