Is Architecture the Profession for You?

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Uns Baban  writes for

Uns Baban writes for


Are you a young high school student dreaming of a career in architecture and wondering if it is the profession for you or not?

Architecture is a really interesting job. It’s rare that you do the exact same thing week after week, especially as you get more experience. It’s constantly evolving and your life evolves with it. In fact, it’s a lifestyle, not a job.

As an architect who never had a boring day in her profession of 40 years, I may be able to help you get a clear idea about architecture. My first advice is, if you feel that you have the passion for architecture, go for it. If you don’t, just forget about it all together. Trust me: I know what I’m talking about.

Let’s discuss what you need to have as built-in assets in your character to help make you a successful architect. Needless to say, a good command of the English language is a very good asset for any profession you intend to study for – and architecture is no exception! In fact, English today is a global language that is extremely helpful for communication in general.

To help you prepare for a career in architecture, I have listed a few universities that offer good architectural programmes in the region:

The University of Jordan UJ
The American University in Beirut AUB
The American University in Cairo AUC
The American University in Sharja AUS
Jordan University of Science & Technology – JUST
University of Sulaimani UOS
University of Baghdad – UB
University Of Technology/ Iraq – UOT

The most important characteristic you need to have in order to become a good architect is to be hard-working. Duringvyour academic years, as well as yourvprofessional life, you will need to work very hard. You also need to be ambitious. You will need to live your life in a constant cycle of ‘search, discover and learn’. A passion for travelling is also a good asset, because seeing is learning. The more you learn, the better you design.
Next, you need to be responsible. When you sign an agreement for designing and supervising a project, that is a huge responsibility to accept, and you should be able to take it and carry it onto completion in spite of all difficulties that may occur. You need to be calm and contained allthe time; you need to be good at working under stressful conditions; and you need an excellent ability to deal with people.Artistic tendencies are important, but knowing how to draw is not absolutely essential. I know a number of architects who knew nothing about drawing before studying architecture, but became successful architects and excelled in design.
You will need academic qualifications:if you have a government high school degree, you need it to be in basic science, but will probably also need a preparatory year before starting your architectural studies at a foreign university, whether abroad or at home.If you’re doing an IB or any other qualification, then you will need to have: Mathematics, including geometry, trigonometry, algebra and pre-calculus; and physics. Elective courses in computers and business will be extremely helpful in preparing for a career in architecture. Art  courses may be
useful in developing your ability to visualize and conceptualize,  which are important skills to an architect. Any art class will be useful: drawing, painting, sculpture, etc.
I can’t emphasize enough the most important thing for becoming a successful architect: to have a passion for design and architecture. As I mentioned before, if you don’t have the passion,  don’t waste your time.

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