Architecture as a career stands tall on the pillars of creativity, innovation and vision. If you gape at the buildings that you encounter and wonder about the kind of thought that was put in its design, architecture is your calling. If you are of the opinion that the right design can breathe a little magic into the building, architecture is the way to go. If you feel that there is a void in your life that only sketching and designing can fill, architecture, undoubtedly is the place for you to be at!
Seen as a job for the creative heads, the landscape for architecture is dynamic and ever evolving. Demanding creativity and vigor, architecture is an unconventional 9-5 job, far from the monotonous rut of ‘the same old’.
The skills that are demanded of an architecture student are multitudinous. One must possess a myriad of contrasting skills to carve a niche for himself/herself in this field. Architecture requires a person to handle a mélange of activities, ranging from the exhausting exercise of the gray cells in the office to the use of physical strength at the construction site. An architect is expected to don the hat of an engineer, a manager, a leader, a designer and a communicator. He must be deft in designing and sketching and must also be ambidextrous. He should be well versed with the safety and precautionary laws for building and construction since the onus of the sturdiness of his building lies on him in events of natural disasters. It is imperative for one to have a natural inclination and mental orientation towards the subject, since the other requisite skills are honed in the course of pursuing the degree and on the field training.
HOW TO GO ABOUT IT
The National Council for Architecture conducts a standardized aptitude test called National Aptitude Test for Architecture (NATA), the scores of which are taken into consideration by most colleges, in addition to considering optional riders such as All India Joint Entrance Exams score. Pursuing the Bachelors in Architecture degree is a 5 year long program of intensive training, constitutive of rigorous theory as well as practical work. It is mandatory for an applicant to have studied mathematics in the senior secondary level to be eligible for the course. While the requirement restriction of having studied Physics and Chemistry in the senior secondary level existed earlier; it has been scrapped off now. It is advisable to gain some on the field experience with a practicing architecture or an architectural firm after the completion of the program to enhance your job prospects.
An architect can either affiliate himself/herself with an architectural firm or practice individually. Architecture is a game of experience and expertise, and the consultancy fee that is charged is inherently dependent on the same. The Government sector too generates job opportunities for architects in Public Works Department, the Archaeological Department, Ministry of Defense, National Building Organization, Town and Country Planning Organization, National Institute of Urban Affairs, Departments of Railways, Post and Telegraphs, Public Sector Undertakings, Housing and Urban Development Corporation, National Building Construction Corporation Ltd., etc. While some other organizations or bodies like State Departments, Housing Boards, Local Bodies for construction works, Builders, Architecture Firms, Consultants, etc. also hire architects. It is essential for an architect to understand his/her clients needs and create the building that is expected of them while striking a balance between aesthetic beauty and pragmatism.
There are around 200 colleges in India that offer a degree in architecture. Despite that, the demand and supply ratio of architects in the nation is skewed. The field of architecture is booming, as the demand for luxury houses rises steadily. In such a scenario, private firms are willing to pay fat salaries to worthy employees.