Architecture deals with design, planning and construction of buildings and other physical structures. Usually buildings and physical structures are said to be the product of architectural work. Sometimes, other than buildings, even construction of non-building structures becomes a part of architecture.
We have comfortable homes where we live. We go to schools and colleges to study. We go for shopping to the nearest shopping mall. We go to hospital to avail treatment. These different types of buildings are creations of architects. Each type of building has its own design and distinctive style. It is the task of an architect to create such designs and bring those plans to reality!
In short, architecture plays a huge role in the design and construction of humble homes and buildings to imposing dams, bridges and tunnels! An architect is a professional, who through his/her skills, is able to perform the tasks of planning, designing and constructing buildings, physical structures and non building structures.
To thrive in this field, one must possess certain skills and qualities. They are-
- Technical know-how
- Management skills
- Finance & Cost estimation skills
- Drawing, Plan drawing prowess
- Plant interpretation and understanding
- Sound geometry and mathematics knowledge
- Eye for detail
- Analytic and Problem solving skills
- Good client interaction (communication) skills
An architect’s main tasks includes-
- Interacting with the clients, understanding their needs and budget
- Budget planning and cost estimation
- Planning, Design and Drawing (paper and pencil or CAD method)
- Securing raw material and man power
- Taking care of contracts and legal matters (plan approval, approval from municipal corporation etc)
- Project Management
- Project Supervision
- Project handover to the client
Client could be a common man who wants to get his home built, MNCs, Schools, Colleges, Government agencies or even NGOs! Other than ‘creating’ structures, architects are also useful, when it comes to solving issues arising in physical structures and man-made environment.
Bachelor of Architecture is a 5 years long undergraduate level Degree program. B.Arch. academic program consists of a holistic mixture of classroom lectures, studio practical sessions and practical training.
The 5 years’ duration is divided into 10 semesters. The academic program is divided into two stages.
The first stage (semesters 1 to 6) is a full time study stage. After 6th semester, there will be practical training period (6 months long). Students have to gain practical experience during these 6 months.
The second phase starts after the completion of practical training session mentioned above. After 9th semester, thesis work is involved in B.Arch. course.
Students, who have passed 10+2 standard from a recognized board, with mathematics subject, are eligible to pursue this course. Minimum aggregate marks required is 50%.This means that students from any stream- Science, Commerce or Arts- who have had mathematics subject in 12th are eligible to pursue this course.
To secure admission in reputed institutes, one must appear for relevant entrance examinations and score valid marks in them. Relevant entrance tests have been mentioned ahead.
Popular and relevant entrance tests in India includes- NATA (National Aptitude Test in Architecture), JEE and Architecture Aptitude Test. Apart from the above mentioned entrance tests, institute-wise tests also do exist.
PG COURSES AND FURTHER STUDIES
B.Arch. graduates have a handful of Master’s courses to choose from. Some of the notable relevant Master Degree courses include- Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), Master of Design (M.Des.), Master of Planning and Master of Building Engineering. Other than Master Degree courses, graduates may also go for PG Diploma courses!
Above mentioned PG courses can be pursued to specialize in areas like-
- Landscape Architecture
- Architectural Conservation
- Housing Architecture
- Urban Planning
- Regional Planning
- Transport Planning
- Building Science
- Building Material Engineering
MBA is another popular choice among B.Arch. graduates. MBA specializations such as Real Estate management, Project management and Construction management will certainly add more value to the CV of Architects.
Diverse job opportunities exist in front of Architects. They may venture into sectors like Real estate, Infrastructure, Interior designing and teaching.
If you are interested in the core design job, the best way to get started is by working under established architects. By doing so, one will get valuable work experience and also get to learn tricks of the trade from the seasoned players!
After gaining enough experience, one may branch out and start one’s own design studio or consultancy firm. Having entrepreneurship skills and access to good financial resources will come handy during this phase.
Government and private job opportunities exist in front of B.Arch. graduates. Talking about government sector, PWD, Municipal corporations, Government run housing schemes, Town and Urban planning boards, Archaeology department etc are the well known recruiters.
Talking about private sector, some of the notable recruiters include- small architecture services firms, Builders and Property developers, Architectural consultancy firms and even NGOs.
Real estate and infrastructure sectors are not looking like slowing down. Thanks to this trend, it is safe to assume that architects too won’t have to worry about lack of jobs!
Some of the common job profiles available in front of architects include –
- Building Surveyor
- Landscape Architect
- Project Manager
- Project Supervisor
- Design Architect
- Building Inspector
- Restoration Specialist
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