Architects are principally concerned with the functional design and visual impact of new buildings and structures, or the modification of existing ones. They imaginatively propose three-dimensional design solutions to the problems of using space, whilst taking into account issues of form, texture, function, surrounding environment and cost.
In addition to your degree, employers will be looking for:
A wide range of employers make use of architects, directly and indirectly. Typically these would include:
The WSA will have access to a wide variety of placement opportunities in the UK and abroad, particularly after completion of your part 1 exams (when you are awarded your first degree) so make sure that you keep up to date with current opportunities by consulting your Departmental notice board and talking to lecturers. RIBA also highlights part 1 and part 2 vacancies and vacancies are occasionally posted to the Careers & Employability Jobs Board app in the intranet.
There are a number of specialist agencies who deal specifically with architectural vacancies. Whilst it is not recommended that you depend solely on these in your job search, they can be extremely useful sources of market intelligence. A selection of the major agencies are listed below. Also check the Architecture Library’s architectural journals/magazines for vacancies and agency ads.
Networking can be an extremely effective tool in helping you to get a good job. Build up a list of contacts from guest lectures, professional institution meetings such as SAWSA, Royal Society of Architects in Wales, returning students or Alumni, employer presentations organised by Careers & Employability and lecturers.
Prepare a portfolio of your best work, which can demonstrate your originality and also your technical ability. Make sure it is well documented, and has a coherent story to tell about your ideas. Keep it up to date and be on the lookout for ways to improve its impact.
You should have a well-presented CV to accompany your portfolio. Talk to your tutors and to your Career Advisor about how to tackle this, so that this essential document works as effectively as possible for you.