Architects are responsible for planning, drafting, designing, and executing the construction of residential, public, and industrial buildings. Their tasks also include the design of complex urban facilities at home and abroad as well as renovations. Technical-constructive matters need to be taken into consideration as well as, for instance, creative, economic, cultural-social, ecological, and legal aspects and standards. Ideally, functionality, aesthetics, and environment/target group relevance are most deeply intertwined in the work of architects.
Unfortunately, the career start for architects is not always easy, as over the past few years, a large number of architects has been trained, but the job offers and the building industry have not kept up with this supply. Meanwhile, architects are thus working in many different fields. Oftentimes, architects start their own firm as “generalists” on a self-employed basis. Apart from that, there is also the possibility to work in large firms as an employed architect while, if applicable, being specialised in one or only few areas (e.g. tenders). Other fields that architects can work in are communal and other administrative bodies (e.g. building authorities), engineering and construction firms, in the real estate sector, in expert and consulting firms (self-employed or, for example, for insurances), or in the building industry/property development companies. As “Facility managers”, architects optimise the efficiency of buildings. Some architects specialise in specific areas such as renovation and/or energy-efficient construction etc. Due to the aesthetic-creative side of the architecture programme, there are interfaces to professional fields such as photography, design, advertisement, and graphics. Finally, architects can be employed with monument conservation authorities, in museums, in journalism, in the art trade, or in humanistic or scientific research (e.g. art history).
For this reason it is important to start gaining practical work experience in architecture businesses or other relevant organisations early in the degree programme. In this way students can promote themselves as competent professionals in practice and make important professional contacts. The likelihood of finding a good position is definitely heightened if the student is flexible when it comes to commuting or even moving abroad. Good English language skills are particularly important when it comes to the international job market.
Regarding the B.Sc. Architecture it furthermore must be taken into consideration that a Bachelor’s degree (so far) does not suffice for a chamber entry or for working as a self-employed architect, as this requires a minimum of 8 semesters of studying architecture. For these reasons it is recommended that students complete a Master’s degree.