Architecture is often considered a field full of possibility and creativity. Students interested in pursuing architecture as a major have many options. The Reddit community is a great platform for aspiring architectural majors to get advice and answers about their questions about pursuing a degree in this field. In this article, we will explore why architecture may be a good major, based on the advice from experienced Redditors from across the world.
Reasons To Pursue Architecture as a Major
1. Enter Into a Lucrative Career Field
One major reason why architecture may be a good major to pursue is that it can lead to a lucrative career path. Architects make an average annual salary of $79,380, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, a career in architecture can give you the opportunity to find a job in many different parts of the world. The demand for architects is high due to housing and commercial developments, as well as the need for new structures, such as hospitals and schools.
2. Exercise Creative Freedom
When creating plans for a structure, architects can have a great degree of creative freedom. This is because architectural plans are not simply about form but about functionality as well. Architects will have to consider how the structure is used and where it is placed. According to Redditor Anuj9, “In architecture you can explore various creative ways for your project to come together, unlike most subjects you don’t have one single answer.”
3. Gain Professional Respect
When it comes to professional respect, architecture ranks high. Architects are highly sought after and hold a higher degree of respect in the workplace. According to Redditor MadamMonroe, “I find the profession of architecture definitely has its own set of respect and your opinion is taken more seriously when discussing topics of size, materials, and scale.”
4. Flexible Work Hours
When it comes to work-life balance, architects can enjoy some flexibility. Architects typically have the ability to work from home, allowing them to take on new projects while managing their family and other commitments. Additionally, architects often have the opportunity to set hours that are convenient for them.
Finding the Right Schools for Architecture Majors
1. Research Your Options
When selecting a school for architecture, it is important to carefully research available options. Begin by researching schools that offer programs in architecture and find programs that suit your academic goals. Additionally, make sure to consider factors such as student services, faculty, and cost.
2. Speak to Professionals
Another important step when selecting an architecture school is to talk to professionals in the field. Make sure to speak to those who are currently enrolled in the program and who may have graduated from the school. Ask questions such as the quality of classes, internship and job opportunities, and quality of the school.
3. Consider Your Academic Level
When selecting a school for architecture, it is critical to consider your academic level. If you are just starting out, you may want to consider a beginner’s program such as a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, if you have experience in the field, you may want to pursue a masters or doctoral degree.
4. Access to Opportunities
When selecting an architecture school, students should consider the access to opportunities the school provides. Are there student clubs or internship and job opportunities available? Is there a strong alumni network? Are there field trips or conferences that can help enhance students’ academic knowledge?
Understanding Academic Standards
1. Applying Theory to Practice
At architecture schools, academic standards are typically focused on applying theory to practice. Aspiring architects will learn about design principles, construction techniques, and all the regulations that go into building structures, as well as the history of architecture.
2. Evaluating Project Critiques
Students in architecture programs will also learn to evaluate and critique projects. This means understanding how projects are built, critiquing them for flaws, and understanding how these flaws can be corrected. According to Redditor MadamMonroe, “Critiques are key, learning how to accept constructive criticism is essential – make sure to always consider the advice given in critiques before going on to the next project.”
3. Utilize Technology
Students in architecture programs must also become proficient in technology. In the modern architecture world, a majority of the work is completed using technology. From design to drafting, every aspect of architecture involves using technology, so aspiring architects must become proficient in using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
4. Learn Construction Techniques
No architecture program is complete without learning construction techniques. Students will be taught how to build a structure, evaluate costs, and complete the project safely. Aspiring architects must understand the ins and outs of construction to ensure that their project is both structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing.
Gaining Experience in Architecture
1. Volunteering Opportunities
When it comes to gaining experience in architecture, volunteering is a great way to start. There are many organizations that are in need of volunteer architects, such as Habitat for Humanity, which provides affordable housing for people in need. Additionally, there are many online platforms that allow volunteers to sign up for projects.
2. Internship Programs
Another way to gain experience in architecture is to take part in internship programs. Internships provide a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field, while also networking and building relationships with professionals in the business. Additionally, many internships offer the possibility of getting hired on after the program ends.
3. Professional Associations
Joining professional associations is also a great way to gain experience in architecture. Associations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) offer members access to resources and networking opportunities, such as conferences and meetings. Additionally, being part of a professional association can give aspiring architects more credibility and recognition.
4. Research Institutes
Research institutes are another great way to gain experience in architecture. These institutes provide access to resources, such as databases of past architectural projects, which can help aspiring architects understand the process. Additionally, many research institutes offer grants and fellowships to those interested in completing research projects.
The process of getting certified in architecture varies from state-to-state. However, the general requirements include completing an accredited architecture program, passing the Architect Registration Exam, and getting a minimum amount of professional experience. It is important to check the requirements in your state before beginning the certification process.
2. Understanding State Laws
In addition to the general requirements, aspiring architects must also understand state laws regarding licensure. These laws can include the number of hours of continuing education that must be completed each year and the specific qualifications that must be met in order to become licensed. It is important to familiarize yourself with these laws before beginning the certification process.
3. Taking the Exam
The most important step in the certification process is taking and passing the Architect Registration Exam (ARE). This exam is a comprehensive assessment of the knowledge and skills needed to practice as a licensed architect. The exam is comprised of 7 divisions, which cover topics such as building design and technology and construction documents.
4. Continuing Education
Once certified, architects must complete a certain number of hours of continuing education each year. This helps ensure that architects stay up-to-date with the most current practices and regulations in the field. Additionally, continuing education helps to prevent the stagnation that can come with experience.
Staying Up-To-Date with Professional Knowledge
1. Read Professional Magazines
The architecture world is constantly changing, so staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is key. One way to do this is to read professional magazines, such as Architectural Digest, Dwell, and A+U. Additionally, subscribing to industry-specific publications can help you stay informed about the latest developments in the field.
2. Join Professional Organizations
Another great way to stay up-to-date with professional knowledge is by joining professional organizations. These organizations typically host meetings and conferences, allowing members to network with industry professionals and gain insight into the latest developments in the field. Additionally, professional organizations can provide access to valuable resources, such as job postings and industry news.
3. Attend Trade Shows
Attending trade shows is also a great way to stay up-to-date with professional knowledge. Trade shows typically showcase the latest technology, materials, and designs in the architecture world. Additionally, trade shows can provide a great opportunity to network with other professionals and get advice from industry experts.
4. Participate in Continuing Education
Participating in continuing education is essential for architects who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. Continuing education can include webinars, conferences, seminars, and courses. These courses provide valuable information and help ensure that architects maintain their professional knowledge.