After Architecture School
After School, What? By the end of the education process, it can feel as though you’ve been wrung out to dry and you may feel as though that should have marked the end of your hardships. After all, the education system is rough going; you are entitled to feel as though your trials should be at an end. Unfortunately, they are not. Graduated students often feel adrift after their education as few people tell them what to expect afterward. This article will give you some idea of what to expect.
Most graduate students go on to complete an internship with a firm. This is still considered part of the learning process as students are using their education for hands on work and learning about the business from a first hand perspective. Interns are overworked and underpaid; they have to fiercely compete for their positions, and firms take advantage of their enthusiasm. However, many simply tell themselves that a) it won’t last and b) they’re still thought of as students, only they are being paid while being students instead of paying. The internship process is extremely important as it gives student the foundation they need to pass their licensing exams to become full architects, as well as job experience.
During the process of internship, students look towards becoming a registered architect and this is another milestone that is fraught with a certain amount of stress. This is where your degree and your internship pairs up with passing a licensing exam. The exam delves into the state’s legal requirements for an architect since buildings have to be held up to the standards of health and safety that citizen abides by.
The exam is completely standardized and comes in different divisions that are offered several times over the course of a year so architects can take as much or as little as they want. It is the fairest and most efficient test the exam board could devise. It covers nine broad topics; all related to design, structure, and materials and thoroughly tests the exam taker’s knowledge of his field, both from school and the internship.
Once the exam is behind the architect, then he or she can begin offering services to the public, either as an architect or as a teacher. However, the school-intern-exam route isn’t the only one that can be taken in order for someone to succeed. Some architects go back to school, either to further their education in architecture or to pursue a whole new line of education. Still others choose to travel for a while and see the alternative architecture styles for themselves rather than simply read about them. This way, they can be inspired and influenced by completely different styles of architecture and bring it home to create more unique designs than the competition. Still others may choose to teach. Usually, one needs a PhD in order to be hired and then the architect has a five year period before being tenured. The professor is looked at in terms of teaching ability, community work, and research. This is the same process that any professor goes through.
Other architects work in fields that are related to their education; landscape design, engineering, construction contracting, historic preservation, and urban planning are but a few related jobs. Others choose to go into government work which is more secure, but far less creative and free than those who work for themselves or an architectural firm. Still others drop out altogether; perhaps the demands were too much, or the graduate decided that perhaps architecture wasn’t for them after all. This may seem like a waste of time, but those who drop out often see it as a good education, regardless of whether they actually use it or not.
Whatever you decide to do after school: licensing, teaching, working in a side field, working for the government, or just leaving it all behind; they are all viable options and students all go their own routes based on personal preferences.