Should I Choose Architecture as My Major?
Architects design residential and commercial buildings. To major in and pursue a career in architecture, you will need a unique mix of creative, technical and business skills and interests. Take this self-assessment quiz to see how well-suited you are for this major:
|Do you have drawing skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you interested in technical subject matter?||Yes or No|
|Do you have an interest in design?||Yes or No|
|Do you consider yourself imaginative?||Yes or No|
|Do you have strong communication skills?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy collaborating with others?||Yes or No|
|Are you interested in business?||Yes or No|
|Do you have leadership skills?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy working with computers?||Yes or No|
|Are environmental concerns important to you?||Yes or No|
What Is the Relevance of These Questions?
Do you have drawing skills?
Architects must be able to produce both freehand and computer-generated drawings for the buildings they design. Drawing courses, therefore, are typically an important part of an architecture major's curriculum.
Are you interested in technical subject matter?
When designing buildings, architects must ensure that their ideas are structurally sound and take necessary infrastructure into consideration. As an architecture major, your studies will include technical topics, such as structural engineering concepts and electrical systems.
Do you have an interest in design?
Because architecture is a design-based career, coursework for this major will emphasize design concepts, principles and the history of architectural design.
Do you consider yourself imaginative?
Successful architects design buildings that creatively interpret necessary structural principles. To major in this field you should be imaginative and be able to visualize designs as completed structures.
Do you have strong communication skills?
As an architecture student and, later, as a professional architect, you will need the ability to listen to instructions and requests, be able to explain the reasoning behind your designs, and be comfortable presenting your work to others.
Do you enjoy collaborating with others?
While architects initially design buildings, many others play roles in bringing those designs to life. In this career, you will regularly collaborate with both clients and a mix of contractors, engineers and interior designers.
Are you interested in business?
Professional architects oversee many business-related responsibilities, including project budgets and contracts. Coursework for an architecture major typically includes business-related classes.
Do you have leadership skills?
In the professional world, the completion of a building project on time and within budget relies heavily on an architect's leadership skills, including the ability to supervise, make decisions and negotiate with others involved in the project.
Do you enjoy working with computers?
Because most architectural projects today are designed on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) software, architects need to have strong computer skills.
Are environmental concerns important to you?
A building's interaction with its natural setting is an important consideration for architects designing structures. Architecture majors should have an appreciation for nature and an interest in ecology, sustainability and landscaping design.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
If you answered 'yes' to most of these questions, majoring in architecture could be a wise choice. Keep in mind that a professional bachelor's degree in architecture usually takes about five years to complete. To practice as an architect after graduation, you will need to earn state licensure. Licensing requirements vary by state but typically include a three-year paid internship with an architectural firm.