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So You Majored in Architecture?

So, this is the final installment of So You Majored In… and this post seems almost more appropriate than last week’s English major article.

The idea behind this series is that every college graduate has a set of marketable skills directly tied to their majors. Those marketable skills might not be immediately apparent— either to job seekers or employers—but they certainly exist. College is awesome, and you are more employable for it. Even if you think your emphasis in school was in British Romanticism, in terms of marketable skills you focused on logical argument, written and oral communication, time management and peer review. As a job seeker, it is important to identify these marketable skills, and to let employers know about them. Don’t leave them to guess, because they probably won’t.

So, why architecture? Architecture is a very specific degree, with which many graduates only consider becoming an architect. Additionally, it appears that architecture is the new English when it comes to college majors to rag on. However, the technical, project management and engineering skills you acquire would actually lend themselves well to a whole host of other occupations. So without further ado, with the help of the University of Minnesota, here are six jobs you can get with a degree in architecture, and where to apply for them:

Graphic Designer
Although most of your design work has likely gone into buildings, your software proficiency and aesthetic principles are still a cut above the rest. Create a separate portfolio of materials for any graphic design applications, and be sure to list your software skills on your resume.
Apply at: Design firms, or private companies with large web components

Surveyor
Instead of putting your skills to work creating new things, consider taking stock of what is already standing. You will use all of your software skills, planning knowledge and data analysis experience in this job.
Apply at: State and local government, and private and nonprofit companies

City Planner
Different planning positions will request different backgrounds. However, the core of this position is project management and the ability to understand both regulations and design principles.
Apply at: City governments

Building Inspector
This job often requires a high school diploma, plus an equivalent amount of education or experience in construction/building, etc. That’s you! You may have to become certified, depending on what state you want to work in, but your structural knowledge will make you a natural fit for this job.
Apply at: City governments

Data Management Analyst
This suggestion is less a job title, and more a suggested avenue to explore. You are good at project management, keeping a budget, and applying raw measurements and data to real life situations. These are skills necessary for a career in data management, and you should explore all variations of this job title that seem interesting to you.
Apply at: Basically everywhere has data that needs analysis!

Project Manager
This is another broad, but excellent job title. As an architecture student, project management is at the core of your education. Look for jobs managing construction projects, city development projects, or even some off-the-wall nonprofit fundraising event. Your abilities to draft a plan, keep a budget, and work on a team will make you an invaluable employee.
Apply at: A company that has a mission that you admire.

You will find work, and you will find a way to make it relate to what you thought you wanted to do. As for a final installment of dream jobs, check this out. And these.

Enjoy. And always, always, best of luck with your job search!

Many people end up in careers they didn’t foresee—what are your thoughts and experiences? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb #lovemymajor

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Webb Zahn

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.