Architecture is more than simply designing buildings. The architect’s career is involved in creating the culture of his or her community. In your architecture studies you’ll learn about the history of civilizations, from the ancient to the most recent, and you’ll see how the architecture of those societies reflected and also influenced the daily life of those civilizations.
Your studies will also show you how many different careers are open to architecture students. For example, an architecture degree can lead to a career as an urban planner, helping to shape the growth of cities. Building inspectors and building contractors also benefit from studies of architecture. Of course, art historians and cultural historians must also study architecture.
The study of architecture includes a wide range of concerns. Architects need to know about the history of buildings and monuments. You’ll study the works of the world’s great architects and learn what their styles contributed to their times. Drawing and drafting techniques are important skills as well. Newcomers to the architecture field usually have to prepare their own blueprints and plans. You’ll be expected to develop a variety of graphics skills including the latest computer aided design techniques and tools.
Architects also need to have a knowledge of civil and structural engineering and to study building codes and modes of compliance. You need to know what makes buildings work, how they stand and how to make them fit the needs of all those who will use them. This is an important area. Today’s buildings must be designed not only for outward beauty, but also so that they will be accessible to people who are differently abled. It’s a tough challenge, but an extremely rewarding career.