The path to becoming an architect is both enticing and intimidating. With all of its allure comes very hard work. Is it right for you? Let’s weigh the pros and cons:
Pro: You’re making a difference.
Architecture is about creating a community where people can thrive with as much ease as possible. You aren’t saving the whales or fighting world hunger, but architects are making the world a better place. It’s up to you to make sure that buildings function and keep others safe.
Con: You will go through a lot of training.
Between four years in an undergraduate program and a few more in an internship, you’re looking at around eight years before you will be able to jump into a full-time position as an architect. Becoming an architect requires a lot of time and money.
Pro: You won’t get bored.
Trends are always changing. This isn’t just true for fashion; it’s very much alive in the world of architecture. In order to keep up, you will have to overcome a different set of obstacles with each new assignment - so don’t expect to be able to phone it in after a few years.
Con: You will work long hours.
This is not a job that ends at 5 o’clock every day on the dot. You’re going to have to get used to long hours, even while you’re still getting your degree. Projects will often take many tries to produce the intended result. This means long nights at the office with Chinese takeout.
Pro: Architecture is a passion.
If you were surprised to read this one, you might want to think about changing your major. Architecture is about creativity and contributing work that will live on long after you have gone to that great drafting table in the sky. In order to excel in this field, you have to love what you do.
Con: You’ll probably never be rich.
Sure, you’ll have a comfortable living, but some of your friends who partied their way through a finance program will be making almost double what you make. With all the time and energy that you put into earning your degree, you might feel that you deserve more compensation for your efforts.
Pro: You will be respected.
Even people who don’t think that architects have the coolest job in the world still admire the work that they do. The general public views architects with a great deal of respect. You can use this to your advantage.
Con: You’re not guaranteed a job when you graduate.
Just like with anything else, it can sometimes be difficult to find employment after college. If companies aren’t doing well, then they can’t afford to hire architects to create buildings for them. It all depends of the financial stability of the community you choose to live in.
Pro: You will learn a lot about design.
A basic sense of aesthetic appeal comes with the territory. After learning about architecture, you will be able to transfer this knowledge of design to other areas of your life. Just think of what your living room will look like.
Con: The responsibility can cause anxiety.
There can be a lot of pressure put on architects to build beautiful buildings that do everything they are designed to do. This can sometimes bring added stress to the job. However, all things worthwhile come with their own level of urgent responsibility.