What to do with a degree in architecture
W hether we live in them, work in them or simply stroll around them for pleasure, buildings are arguably the most public of art forms, a fusion of design and functionality that can be influenced by politics, economics, fashions and social trends, not to mention the villages, towns and cities in which they are built.
Seven long years of combined study and internships are required to achieve qualified status, so, as our data shows, it's hardly surprising that most graduates go on to work as architects or in architectural services. For some though, such as former Elastica singer turned abstract painter Justine Frischmann (pictured), an artistic streak coupled with unique controlling instincts can open doors to some unusual lifestyles and careers.
What skills have I gained?
Over the course of the five years of study (and two years of work placements) it takes to qualify, you'll have covered a wide range of subjects, including history, law, IT, technology and management, as well as a substantial design element. Combine that with numeracy, drawing, computer-aided design and project management skills, which you will pick up on all architecture degree courses.
What jobs can I do?
"Beyond the obvious careers of architect and architectural technologist, architecture graduates can also aim for roles where
their visual awareness and technical abilities, as well as their understanding of buildings and how they work, will be valuable and relevant," says Margaret Holbrough, careers advisor at Graduate Prospects .
"Some jobs will require further qualifications but interior and spatial design or landscape architecture, as well as website design, would each utilise the creative and visual skills of the architecture graduate. On the construction side, building surveying or development and planning surveying might appeal, or perhaps other roles within the community and local environment, like town planning."
There are some specialised areas that could also be of interest to those with a passion for the environment and history – such as historic building inspectors and conservation officers.
"Within the broadcasting industry, production designers in the film and TV industry need people who can visualise and produce sets and realistic locations," adds Holbrough. "Architecture graduates could fulfil that brief too."
Apart from further qualifications in architecture, enabling you to become registered with bodies such as the Royal Institute of British Architects or the Architects Registration Board, some graduates choose postgraduate study in other technical subjects such as engineering, design or computer science.
Data supplied by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit and Graduate Prospects