In our everyday life we are surrounded by architecture almost everywhere without being really aware of it. It goes without saying that we walk past buildings every day and stay in them. We live in apartments and houses, go to schools and universities, go to church and to the opera house. For us, buildings primarily have a practical function.
When we are out and about as tourists, our eyes sharpen and we admire historical and modern buildings from all over the world as architectural masterpieces . But only in the rarest of cases does an architect become an “artist” and receive a kind of “fool’s freedom” with regard to his designs.
According to Top-Engineering-Schools, architects are usually service providers . They plan residential houses, public buildings or squares primarily according to a specific order and ensure that their designs become reality. The needs of the people are always in the foreground and creativity and innovative spirit are often required.
Above all, the ecological aspect is playing an increasingly important role and it is important to use environmentally friendly building materials and install solar collectors. With all this, architects must not neglect the economic perspective and must also be familiar with the legally stipulated principles of building law . An architecture degree prepares you for all of these tasks.
The subject of architecture
The subject is currently offered at over sixty universities, technical colleges, technical universities and art colleges. The bachelor’s degree usually takes three to four years to complete, and a two-year master’s degree can be added to this.
Bachelor’s degree in architecture
Since the draft represents the heart of an architect’s work, everything revolves around conceptual design and planning in the Bachelor’s degree . For example, the students learn how to best arrange the individual rooms in a house or how to use windows and lamps to implement different lighting concepts. In further courses, the students sharpen their spatial imagination. The students also learn to draw drafts by hand as well as to work with common CAD programs .
Technical basics and knowledge of various building materials convey subjects such as building construction, structural engineering or building chemistry. Also, construction and art history , construction law and construction management are on the schedule.
Only when admitted to the Chamber of Architects is the trained student entitled to use the title “Architect”.
- A degree of at least four years
- Two years of professional activity
A three-year bachelor’s degree is therefore not sufficient to achieve the “chamber qualification” . Some universities have responded and are now offering four-year courses. All those who have completed a three-year bachelor’s degree must add a further two-year master’s degree in order to later be able to call themselves an “architect”.
Master’s degree in architecture
In addition to general master’s programs, in which the students deepen the content of their bachelor’s degree, there are specialized courses such as energy-optimized construction or monument preservation . These programs are also suitable for graduates of four-year bachelor’s degrees who want to continue their education in a specific area.
Those who take a master’s degree in order to obtain the “chamber qualification” should, however, inquire precisely with the Chamber of Architects whether they recognize the corresponding course of study.
Requirements for studying architecture
The requirements for taking up a degree in architecture vary. Sometimes the universities require portfolios or aptitude tests to ensure that there is enough creativity available.
Prospective students should not be completely averse to subjects such as mathematics and physics and should have a spatial sense. Qualities such as communication skills and organizational skills are important in later professional life.
In Germany there are relatively many graduates in the field of architecture. It has long since ceased to be a matter of course to find a job in an architecture office after graduation . Around half of the graduates currently work in architecture firms or set up their own business .
The work in architecture offices includes the conception of buildings on behalf of a client. It is essential that this corresponds to the wishes of the client. The architects also oversee the entire construction process. Advising clients on legal matters and calculating and controlling costs are also part of the work of an architect.
The other half of the graduates work for authorities , real estate agencies or associations , where they mainly build and renovate public buildings and spaces. Graduates could also work as site managers , in which they monitor the construction process on a construction site. Others, on the other hand, develop concepts for building finance.
While the labor market in Germany is relatively fierce, the options for architects abroad are relatively good. In many countries, salaries are higher than in Germany and the working conditions in architectural offices are sometimes more pleasant than in Germany .
If you intend to work abroad, you should definitely do a master’s degree. In most countries, a study period of at least five years is standard.
Advantages of studying architecture abroad
It is advisable to complete one or more semesters abroad during your studies. During a stay abroad you will acquire important intercultural skills . This includes, for example, communicating across cultural differences or the ability to work in international teams. Employers also welcome in- depth knowledge of at least one foreign language . Not least because architectural offices often serve international customers .
A stay abroad during your studies also signals organizational talent and flexibility. Further essential soft skills to survive in today’s domestic and foreign job market.