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Education and career opportunities in architecture

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architects

Architects design and plan buildings and other structures, creating spaces that we all use and need. In India, there appears to be a large scale shortage of architects. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors estimates that India needed 3,66,000 architects in 2010 but had only 45,000. Architects and related professionals are essential to the proper establishment and functioning of a variety of civic essentials, including urban spaces, transportation, landscaping, and building conservation.

Education in architecture

The Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.), typically taking five years to complete, and may include courses such as architectural design, architectural drawing, materials and construction, mechanics of structures, site planning and history of architecture. The prerequisite for the B.Arch. is 10+2 or equivalent. This entails a minimum of 50% marks in 10+2 science courses such as chemistry, physics and maths.

Additionally, to gain admission to first-year B.Arch. courses, you must take the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA). The test is made up of two papers, one on aesthetic sensitivity and the other on drawing. The first part judges a candidate's visualisation abilities and analytical reasoning, the second measures drawing aptitude, perspective and use of proportions. Both sections of the test are weighted equally. Another exam required for architecture programmes is the All India Engineering/ Architecture Entrance Examination (AIEEE), administered by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The COA has a list of recognised schools; an education in architecture from these schools can lead to recognised qualification as an architect.

Other degrees in architecture include the Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) in Architecture Engineering, Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) in Architecture Engineering, and Master of Architecture (M.Arch.). The B.E. in Architecture Engingeering and B.Tech. in Architecture Engineering have a different emphasis than the B.Arch. To qualify for the M.Arch., you should have a B.Arch. from a recognised university in addition to at least 50% in your entrance exams. To see what schools suit you, consult programme and degree listings.

Read: NATA

Architecture careers

A degree in architecture may allow you to go into a variety of fields, including research. Within architecture, you may be able to specialise in sub-fields including the following:

  • Urban/rural planning
  • Transport planning
  • Urban or building conservation
  • Urban design
  • Landscape design
  • Interior design
  • Preservation
  • Community design

An architect's responsibilities include working within a budget, drawing and sketching, although digital platforms are becoming increasingly popular. Before becoming an independent architect, young professionals may work or intern with an architectural firm to gain experience in the field.

Read: List of top 10 architecture colleges in India

Various careers may be available to graduates of B.Arch. or M.Arch. programmes, including positions such as:

  • Urban planner
  • Landscape architect
  • Architectural engineer
  • Surveyor
  • Construction manager
  • Building surveyor
  • Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer

    To become a recognised architect, you must register with the COA, which regulates professional ethics, appropriate fees, and professional conduct. If you are interested in an important career as an architect, the B.Arch. may be the right next step for you.

    Read: NATA 2017 important dates