After finishing college, most people who want to be architects start out in production, developing construction documents. Eventually, they might become project managers, managing other architectural professionals and oversee projects. This is when the architect or designer’s skills are honed, skills that can transfer to many different roles and careers. Many architects work in project management at some point in their career. But what is next? Where do you go after project management? Many end up looking for new avenues to explore. There are a number of different routes you can take. Some will take a technical route, while others will take more creative paths. Here are some of the avenues available to transition to after project management.
The Technical Route
In very broad terms, design architects focus on the overall look of a building and the technical architectural professionals focus on how the buildings are constructed. Technical architects use their skills and education to make the building stand, or the space solid and safe. This route is detail oriented. It is a thoughtful and patient path for people who like detail and enjoy creating space to exact standards.
Another path is the design route. While broad, think of this as more conceptual and solutions-focused. This is what most people think about when they picture the work of an architect. These professionals focus on the creative side of things. They come up with the concept and design the overall look of a project. They take what the client wants and develop solutions through ideation and concept that will bring the client’s vision to life. This route is for people who want to embrace their artistic side and for people who like to focus on the big picture.
Some people end up taking on consulting roles. Larger projects require workplace consultants who work closely with interior designers to help create more effective work environments. Increasingly, many firms also hire sustainability consultants. Sustainability consultants advise on how to reduce the carbon footprint of building designs. Consulting roles are for professionals who enjoy research and problem solving and working on a wide verity of projects.
The great thing about a degree in architecture is there are many different career paths you can take. You can take on a leadership or executive role, become a design architect, perform research, or start your own firm. Some will become project managers and stay in their position throughout their career. It is ultimately about finding a career that fits your personality and brings you satisfaction.
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