Earning an architecture degree is an accomplishment that is usually impressive. Those who are pursuing the degree might have been discouraged from this career path if they heeded the warning of a study released in January 2012. This study, conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, revealed that architecture holds the highest rate of unemployment for recent college graduates. The rate of unemployment for those majors was 13.9 percent at the time of the report.
Those who have disputed the findings of this report have pointed out that those with graduate degrees in architecture have more success than those with undergraduate degrees. The unemployment rate for this group is only 7.7 percent. Additionally, the pay rate for those recent architecture graduates who are fortunate enough to land a job is higher than many other fields at $36,000 annually.
No matter which side of the argument an architecture student may find himself on, the architecture degree is still a solid path for learning how to design large buildings. This degree trains professionals to develop and conceptualize buildings in both the public and private sectors. Through a series of classroom courses, studio courses and internships, students learn the history of architecture, design, planning theories, building systems, computer aided design (CAD), building surveying, drafting, cost benefit analysis and research.
They also get hands-on experience with talking to consultants, estimating costs, making strong presentations, visiting construction sites and developing lasting relationships with clients. Architecture graduates can choose from a wide variety of professions, too. They can become project managers, landmark preservation specialists, 3D CAD renderers, urban planners or interior architects, who design the interior space of buildings and plan for the human interaction that will take place in those spaces.
Civil Engineering Degrees
Many of the structures that people take for granted during their everyday commutes were designed by civil engineers. These professionals design airports, dams, tunnels, roads, bridges and sewage systems that contain the water supply. It is considered one the oldest specialties in the engineering field. Although some people who major in sciences or mathematics go on to do civil engineering as a profession, most civil engineers earn degrees in their field. Then they must have four years of active work experience in order to apply for a state license as a civil engineer.
Many end up working for major cities and may specialize in the environment, transportation, construction or structural fields. In order to get the work experience they need, some new civil engineers choose to work for a few years under a more seasoned licensed engineer. As apprentices, civil engineers get to gain many opportunities to pay attention to details and be as creative as possible to come up with solutions to many design problems they encounter. Excellent interpersonal skills also help them interface with the countless contractors, city officials, other engineers and their counterparts in other cities.
Some typical courses for a civil engineering student might include: fluid mechanics, statistics, deformable bodies, chemical, geotechnical, environmental and hydraulics engineering, thermodynamics, structural analysis, and transportation planning and design. Recent graduates who are engineers earn more than most other majors directly out of college. Their average salary is $55,000.
Although it may seem a far reach for learning to design large buildings, some students choose to pursue degrees in business administration. It is a far more versatile degree and makes graduates a little more attractive to employers. Students who study business are required to learn accounting, marketing, economics, legal principles, management principles, leadership, banking and investments and risk management. Some expertise in all of these areas is required for understanding how to manage large building projects. Considering the fact that business graduates suffer only about a 7 percent unemployment rate after school, business administration is a solid alternative for those who want to be involved in some aspect of building.
Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he describes degree choices for careers in design and construction of buildings and aims to encourage further study with a civil engineering master degree.