Want to learn how the Greeks still influence our understanding of the build environment? Want to learn design buildings such as the Burj Khalifa? Want to know what Art Deco is? Architecture would be a great area of study for you. Although this area of study has been the butt of many unemployment jokes (Forbes suggests that maybe you should not purse a master’s degree in architecture), no one will argue that the subject area itself is useless. In this article, we will explore a bit more about what architecture is, the career paths you can take with the skills gained from the major, as well as several higher education institutions you can look at. Let’s begin!
What is Architecture?
While you would think there is a simple definition such as “any man-made structure”, it is actually not that simple. Architecture can be defined and be synonymous to design as well. Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous architect, would say that architecture is “that great living creative spirit which from generation to generation, from age to age, proceeds, persists, creates, according to the nature of man, and his circumstances as they change.” To simplify this concept to understanding what you will be learning as an architecture major at universities, you will gain skills on understanding the build environment, how its design interacts with its inhabitants, the history behind spaces, as well as the technical design aspects of structures. That, in itself, is only the tip of the iceberg as well.
Historical architecture is often not as well known to the general public as well. This specific subfield of architecture looks are the built environments themselves and understand what circumstances, influences, and purpose led to their creation. The historical aspects studies the history of the building, but more importantly the people and social influences that thought of, created, or destroyed the structure. The skills and subjects studied can be closely related to Art History and Urban Studies/Planning.
What kind of careers can an Architecture major pursue?
If you study architecture, you can only be an architect, right? Not quite. There are many professional careers architecture majors can explore and below are just a few career paths you can choose that most directly relate to your major:
- Architectural Engineer
- Architectural Historian
- Academia (Teacher, Professor, Researcher)
- Interior Designer
- Landscape Architect
- Naval Architect
- Real Estate Appraiser
- Urban Planner
Where should I go to study Architecture?
While like most majors where there is not a specific college or university that you should attend to study architecture, there are some colleges or universities that are specifically known to provide excellent departments in the area that you would otherwise not find in more general higher education environment. Below are some programs and suggestions we advise to help start your list:
- Cornell University – Architecture
- Cooper Union – The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture
- Rice University – Architecture
- Syracuse University – Architecture
- Southern California Institute of Architecture
- Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) – Architecture
- UT Austin – Architecture