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Majoring in Architecture: Learn How to Build a Great Future

Architecture may not be a common degree to pursue—but it's rewarding! Here's what to know about considering a major in this field and how to get admitted.

Are you a high school or college student still trying to find your academic path? Have you ever considered pursuing a career in architecture and design? The national job outlook, salary, opportunity to showcase your creativity, and technological advances in the field may all encourage you to give it a shot. Learn about some of the major benefits of getting a degree in Architecture!

The basics of an Architecture program

To become an architect, you must earn at least a bachelor’s in Architecture or a related subject. However, many students go on to earn a master’s degree to increase their earning potential and ability to get hired. An Architecture degree typically involves courses in the following subjects:

  • Architectural design history and theory
  • Building design, including CADD (computer-aided design and drafting), structures, construction methods, and professional practices
  • Graphic design
  • Liberal arts
  • Mathematics
  • Physical sciences

After earning your degree, you can pursue a career in various areas, including residential, commercial, industrial, and landscape architecture.

Related: How Will My College Major Affect My Future Career?

The benefits of an Architecture & Design degree

The job outlook for architects in the United States seems promising for the next decade, with the field growing at a faster-than-average rate and thousands of projected new job openings every year. As an architect, you’ll also have significant earning potential; the average salary is approximately $82,840 per year. But money isn’t the only reason to consider this career. Being an architect is also fulfilling—starting from the moment you begin your education. Here are some reasons why an Architecture & Design major is worth pursuing.

Explore the intersection of creativity and technology

Many people are passionate about art and want a job that allows them to be creative—but you also want to be able to find a job relatively easily after graduation. Majoring in Architecture & Design allows you to flex your creative muscles while also gaining valuable technological skills that will help you get hired later. With access to the latest construction modeling technology to create designs for your clients, it really is the best of both worlds.

Strengthen your skills with modern design technology

Design technology is critical to modern architectural processes. Gone are the days when architects drafted with only pencils and graph paper. While analog tools are still helpful, of course, most architects utilize data collection apps, building information modeling (BIM), 3D printing, and artificial intelligence to make their design processes more efficient and precise.

Experience the world’s most unique buildings

Many architecture careers involve traveling to different parts of the country and world. If you’ve ever wanted a career that allows you to travel, this could be your ticket to seeing incredible things. When you start your career (or perhaps even before), you’ll likely get opportunities to visit various places to meet with clients, explore architectural history, learn about new design techniques, and more.

Make a difference

Pursuing a career in architecture will give you a chance to make a difference in others’ lives. Whether you design houses, commercial buildings, or landscaping projects, you’ll be playing a pivotal role in creating spaces that make a positive impact for people where they live, work, and enjoy all the world has to offer.

Related: Top Careers for Students Who Want to Make a Difference

Tips for getting into an Architecture program

If any of these advantages appeal to you, you’ll need to know what it takes to get your degree. Generally, Architecture programs are highly competitive, and as the industry continues to grow, they will likely become even more so. The following tips can help you get accepted to your university of choice.

Participate in relevant extracurriculars

You can start preparing for a major in Architecture & Design from the beginning of your college career—or even during high school—by pursuing relevant extracurriculars. For example, you can take art, graphic design, or sculpture classes to improve your spatial awareness and knowledge of various design technologies. Other extracurriculars that may not be directly related to architecture can also teach you applicable skills, such as robotics club for problem-solving or debate club for communication.

Pursue an internship

An internship at an architecture firm will give you an opportunity to see what it’s really like to work as an architect. You’ll get a glimpse into day-to-day responsibilities and life in the field, which can help you decide if it’s genuinely something you want to do. You can also refine the valuable skills you’ve started developing, which can give you an admission advantage and help you get familiar with the latest technologies.

Write a compelling admission essay

Many programs require applicants to write a compelling essay that explains why they want to become architects. In some cases, you may actually be asked to write two essays: one discussing your desire to work as an architect and a personal statement about who you are and what makes you unique. Take your time writing these essays and make sure you follow the prompt (if one is provided). Ask at least one other person to read through your essays before you submit them to check for grammatical errors and clarity issues.

Prioritize your portfolio

Your portfolio is your greatest asset to showcase your artistic and creative talents as a future architect. Include your best work and try to feature a variety of pieces that demonstrate versatility. Be sure to read the guidelines for portfolio submission so you don’t accidentally include something you’ve been asked not to or forget something important.

Prepare for your interview 

You may have to complete an interview before you can be admitted into an Architecture & Design program. During this interview, you’ll likely be asked to explain your design process and discuss your reasoning for wanting to become an architect. Practice answering these common questions in advance to ensure you make a good impression.

Related: Portfolios, Home Tests, and Other Special Art School Applications

Pursuing an architectural education is not for the faint of heart. However, it has the potential to provide a lot of personal fulfillment and career opportunities. If you want to experience all the advantages that majoring in Architecture has to offer, these guidelines and suggestions will help you increase your chances of being accepted into a program and build a more sustainable future through your education.

Start building your architectural future today by searching for schools with amazing programs using our College Search tool!

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