What can I do with a degree in Architecture?

So you’ve got a degree in Architecture.  Now what?  Obviously you can find an architecture internship and work towards getting a license, but maybe you don’t think architecture is for you or you can’t seem to find a job in this economy.  Do you have to become an architect if your diploma says “architecture?”

So, what skills did you pick up in architecture school, and how will they help you find an alternative job?

Creative, Non-linear Thinking

Your ability to analyze complex problems will help you no matter what field you end up in.  You’re good at quickly finding multiple solutions to problems, most of which are creative and out-of-the-box.  You can also switch between scales easily.  You can analyze how a building fits within the larger city and then figure out how to waterproof a window detail.  Even if you aren’t looking at buildings, you still know the relationships between micro and macro.

Various Computer Programs

You learned a lot of computer programs in architecture school–drafting programs, 3D modeling programs, graphic design programs, and maybe even some energy modeling programs.  Make a list of the ones you learned and brainstorm professions where they’d be useful.  Don’t forget that you also picked up the ability to learn new programs quickly!

Drafting

Animation

Video game design

Art and Graphic Design

You picked up a lot of artistic ability in architecture school.  You learned about composition, lighting, and color theory.  You got experience sketching, building models, and photographing your work.

Graphic Design

Photography

Set Design

Building Things

You built a lot of models in design studio, maybe even some full scale mock-ups.  There’s also a good chance you ended up with a little construction experience.

Carpentry

Model building

Building Contractor

Understanding of Buildings and Construction

Buildings are complex objects.  There are a lot of people required to make and run them, and they all have different specialties.  You might be able to cross over into one of these fields fairly easily.

Project Management

Facility Management

Lighting Design

Acoustics Design

Surveying

Building Inspection

Understanding of the Greater Built Environment

You also learned the bigger picture in architecture school.  Buildings affect much more than their individual sites.  Consider fields that will use your knowledge of cities and the environment.

Real Estate

Development

City Planning

Environmental Engineering

 

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