Your career options with an architecture degree

What else can I do with an architecture degree?

Architecture students have problem solving, technical and project management skills that will enable them to succeed in property, construction and a range of other careers.

Architecture graduates go on to a range of professions, including town planning, quantity surveying and chartered surveying, and there are other options too for those who decide not to pursue a career as an architect. This guide should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

Skills for your CV

The following is a list of key skills that architects develop while studying for their degrees. It also applies to architecture technologists, who are particularly concerned with the technical performance of buildings:

  • time and self-management
  • design skills
  • concise and accurate writing/communication skills
  • organisational skills
  • identify and predict trends and patterns
  • interpret and evaluate events, information, and ideas
  • computer literacy
  • project management
  • problem solving
  • up-to-date knowledge of the latest legal developments in their field.

Job roles and career areas you could work in

Architecture graduates tend to be perfectionists, as it is crucial for original plans to be faultless in order for a project to succeed. This means that they would do very well in careers that require mathematical precision, such as finance, accounting and computer programming.

They are also used to having to think laterally. If something doesn’t work on the build, they will have to think of ways of getting round the problem. This would make them ideal for roles in the armed forces, Civil Service, or education.

Other possible careers include:

What do architecture and building graduates go on to do?

Here’s what architecture and building graduates who finished their degrees in 2016 were doing six months after graduating, according to the What do graduates do? report published in 2017.

Destination Percentage
Full-time employment in the UK 70.8
Part-time employment in the UK 6.3
Working overseas 1.9
Working and studying 4.7
Further study 7.5
Unemployed 5.3
Other 3.6

Source: What do graduates do? 2017

Key areas of employment for fresh architecture and building graduates

These are the top five areas of work taken up by 2016 architecture and building graduates six months after graduation, according to the 2017 What do graduates do? report.

Areas of employment Percentage
Engineering and building professionals 46.8
Other professionals, associate professionals and technicians 25.8
Managers 7.2
Retail, catering, waiting and bar staff 4.7
Other occupations 3.8

Source: What do graduates do? 2017

Which careers attract architecture and building students?

Construction, civil engineering and surveying was by far the most popular career choice for architecture, building and planning students identified by a 2018 survey of more than 60,000 undergraduates carried out by trendence UK, a partner of TARGETjobs’ parent company GTI. Just under a fifth (18.6%) of the architecture, building and planning students who participated in the survey said they were interested in this area. The most popular careers for this group of students were as follows:

Career Percentage
Construction, civil engineering and surveying 18.6% expressed an interest
Engineering, design and manufacture 2.6
Energy and utilities 1.6
Consulting 1.2
Logistics, transport and supply chain 1.1

Source: trendence UK Graduate Survey 2018

Famous people with architecture degrees

Don’t worry if these career paths don’t immediately grab you, as there are plenty of other things to do after studying architecture. Take these famous people as examples:

  • Tom Ford – studied interior architecture before going into fashion design and film.
  • George Takei – the Star Trek actor studied at the University of California.
  • Samuel L. Jackson – initially studied architecture before turning to acting, including roles in Star Wars, the Marvel films and Snakes on a Plane.
  • Courteney Cox – before playing the role of Monica in Friends, she studied architecture and interior design.
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