People can be put off the course because it is renowned for being seven years long. The traditional route is:
- Three years of study
- One year of work in practice
- Two years of study
- One year of work and study combined
In total, that’s five years of study and two in work. Personally, I didn’t consider this a problem. It is no different to time spent working upwards in any career, as very few people start at the level they intend to remain at for their whole career. Many of my friends who studied other subjects also do further study, either to get a promotion at work or go into a more specialised area.
If it’s the full time study that seems off putting, there are other routes into architecture worth considering. Some require as little as two years full time study and more time in work, earning money as you learn. This includes PlanBEE, a campaign initiated by Ryder for change in Built Environment Education, and part time postgraduate apprenticeship courses. These options tend to come with less, if any, student loans and could be considered the future of architectural education.
Architecture, art and design
Some of my friends who dropped out of the course realised that architecture wasn’t what they thought and transferred to engineering or surveying. They had expected it to contain more maths and science - a reasonable assumption as maths and science are often considered core subjects that lead into architecture. It is important to understand that the reason mathematical ability can be useful to an architect is because architecture is complex problem solving. A successful floor plan is a complex solution and balance of many competing priorities, including views out, privacy, sun path, heat loss, convenience, acoustics, area requirements, budget, and structure. Finding a solution requires the same kind of thinking required to solve a mathematical problem. However, it tends not to take the form of an algebraic equation. Architecture is artistic and design based. If art and design don’t interest you, then you could be more suited to other careers in construction, such as engineering, surveying or project management.
I graduated from undergraduate architecture at Northumbria University in July 2018. Shortly afterwards, I started work at Ryder. Ryder was my first choice of companies to work for due to its pioneering and people oriented design ethos and company culture. I have loved working with excellent designers on a variety of exciting projects, collaborating with industry experts, meeting clients, mentoring, giving back to the community and seeing one of my designs get built - Life Kitchen in Sunderland. I hadn’t expected to experience so much in a year and would like to say thank you to everyone across Ryder for the support I have received and the many friendships I have made. In September, I will be starting the degree apprenticeship, described in Ryan’s article of this series, to complete my architectural training whilst continuing to work at Ryder.
This is the final blog in the Career in Construction series, written by Ryder students at different points of their studies. For more information on a career at Ryder, visit our Join Us page.