What to do after graduating architecture school…
Congratulations! You’ve graduated!
But now what? If you find yourself asking this question, you’ve landed in the right place.
Hopefully our article will encourage you to consider some options to advance your career.
Intuitively you may consider applying for jobs. So, check out our wealth of resources that will help you best prepare!
Be a pro-active job seeker.
Check out this guest post from Nylda at The Architectural Experiment:
Tailor your CV to the firms you aspire to work for
Explore out CV toolkit to guide you:
Update your portfolio to showcase your most relevant work
Be sure to refer to our top portfolio tips:
Prepare for your interview
Read our job interview posts:
Check out this useful infographic:
Now, finding a job straight after graduating from architecture school can prove to be a struggle, especially during adverse times. However, there is always hope!
You can take this time to consider the following tips as you navigate job uncertainty:
Be Patient, Trust the Process!
It is easy to get bogged down and de-motivated when you haven’t been having much success in your job hunt. So, remind yourself that everyone’s journey is different and try to be kind to yourself. Continue applying to firms as you work on your patience and learn to trust the process.
Expand Your Knowledge
You can truly benefit from continuing to learn more on architecture and perhaps even something that isn’t architecture related at all. As Peter Drucker once wrote:
“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change.’’
So here are some options, you can consider to expand your learning:
Pursue further education
If you are a part 1 graduate, consider doing a masters. And if you are a part 2 graduate, consider specialising or even doing a PhD.
You can either decide to study at the same university you graduated from or apply to a new one altogether. If you choose to switch universities, be sure to research the course structure, talk to current students and go on open days.
Courses on your favourite architectural topics:
Try and take courses on architectural topics that interest you the most. This could be anything from architectural history to building materials and much more.
Let’s say you are interested in conservation, seek out lectures and courses that may help you broaden your architectural knowledge. Doing this may even help you determine whether you would want to work for a firm that specialises in conservation.
You can find lots of free CPDs, events, university lectures and webinars online, held by the likes of RIBA, CIAT, and manufacturers etc.
Here are some links to set you off in the right direction:
Courses on other industries that interest you:
Courses on other industries not only help you gain valuable insights into how these industries work, but also act as great sources of inspiration. Since architecture is interdisciplinary, you can apply the knowledge you have gained from these industries to come up with well-informed concepts and articulate design responses.
For example, a course on textiles may help you better understand the craft and the needs of a client who is a textile artist. Thus, facilitating a better design proposal for the client.
Of course, the courses you take up do not have to be strictly architecture related. They can be used to explore any topic that you are interested in or are passionate about.
These courses could also be tasters into industries that you may wish to pursue. If this is something you are considering, be sure to check out our blog posts on alternate routes and jobs you can take up after graduating with an architecture degree:
Whether you wish to get certified for knowing your favourite software or wish to learn something entirely new, it’s definitely worth a try!
Explore the links to these sites that offer a wide variety of courses:
Enter Architecture Competitions
On the note of practising your skills, you could take part in architectural competitions. There are a diverse range of competitions from all around the world to choose from. These will introduce you to unique and challenging briefs which will help you exercise your creativity. Your concept development, teamwork and visual representation skills will be tested.
In addition to this, you will learn how competitions work, which can be useful if you work at a firm with a special competition team in the future.
Check out these websites to find some competitions you can take part in:
Volunteer for your community
Local projects are a great way to engage with your community. They help you become aware of the socio-economic issues facing your geographical location.
If you are in the UK, you can try and see if your local council is hosting any events that may interest you.
Whether you wish to get some feedback on your CV or seek career advice, it may be worth connecting with industry professionals who can provide you some invaluable guidance. Do remember to be respectful of their time, though!
Networking can start with your university tutors or college professors. You can also attend events held by the RIBA, CIAT, ARB etc to help you build some industry connections.
Be open to unique experiences
On the note of networking, reconnect with your architecture school and seek out job opportunities in your faculty.
Explore the international architecture job market and consider working abroad. This will help you broaden your horizons. Not only will you be exposed to designing in different contexts but you will also be able to experience and appreciate diverse cultures.
You can even try getting a job that is not architecture related. There are numerous transferable skills you can gain from working other jobs.
Take time for personal development
You can really use this time to focus on your personal as well as professional development. Doing this will help you make intentional choices that yield positive results.
Reflect on why you chose to study architecture. Do you still have the same reason? Has it changed and evolved?
Never give up, patience is key!
You have probably heard this a million times – but you truly do not have to follow a certain timeline of events to be successful or to have a meaningful career.
Everyone’s journeys are different. So, despite the future looking daunting, keep doing your best!
We hope to have provided some beneficial tips to help you with your career.
Thank you for reading!
Have you got any tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Also, feel free to share your graduate journeys, we would love to hear about your progress and experiences after graduating
Thank you and good luck!
Written by Emma Walshaw, Architectural Technologist and founder of First In Architecture and Detail Library. Emma has written a number of books about construction and architectural detailing.