Architects deal with the planning, visualisation, design and construction of residences, public buildings and industrial buildings. Other activities include the design of complex urban facilities both within Germany and abroad, plus building renovations. They are involved with technical design issues, as well as visual, economic, socio-cultural, ecological and legal aspects and standards. They work closely with the aspects of functionality, aesthetics, environmental suitability and target group.
Getting started as an architect is unfortunately not always easy. A large number of architects have been graduating recently and the job market has not been able to keep pace. For this reason architects are finding positions in various fields. Many architects market themselves as generalists and start their own firm. It is also possible to work with other architects in a large firm, which may specialise in one or more areas, such as submitting bids. Other options for architects include working for municipal and other agencies (e.g. building authorities), engineering and construction offices, real estate agencies, advisory and building inspection firms (either independently or for insurance companies), construction companies and property developers. Working as facility developers, architects deal with the economic effectiveness and viability of buildings. Some architects specialise in specific areas such as renovation and/or energy efficient buildings. The aesthetic, artistic side of architecture also leads graduates to career fields such as photography, design, advertising and graphic design. Finally, architects may also find themselves working for the preservation of historic sites, for museums, in journalism, the art trade or in humanities research (e.g. art history).
It is therefore important for students to start early in the degree programme to gain practical work experience in architectural offices or other relevant organisations. 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.
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