All these windows of opportunity

All these windows of opportunity

Every year, with a new batch of students stepping into the world of higher education, one of the biggest questions looming over their heads is, what next? This is a dilemma that both parents and students face as early as choosing a stream in class XI.

Chalking out a career map at the earlier stages of one’s life is vital as it provides the time and energy to explore various opportunities. In the heat of art versus science debate, one of the often forgotten thumb rules is to select a course that is of interest and helps build a skill set.

The word architecture, brings to mind a melange of images filled with buildings, construction and blue prints. A creative profession that deals with design of spaces, architecture is one of the most in-demand courses in India. In a developing country like ours, where greater emphasis is placed on developing and reshaping infrastructure, there is an ever-increasing demand for architects and urban planners.  A great opportunity for students to develop both technical skills and creative thinking, architecture can also be applied to many industries including interior design, urban planning and construction management. 

Current scenario

The evolution of society and changing needs of people have helped shape Indian architecture to fit into a modern context that focuses on utility. This helps us understand that architecture is not just visuals but a vision to build an ecosystem that is thriving and nurturing. One such vision that is marching towards becoming reality is the Smart Cities project, which has opened a plethora of job opportunities in this industry.

Architecture, unlike other undergraduate degrees, is spread across a term of five years giving students an opportunity to explore the various facets and scope of the field. Today, architecture graduates have taken responsibility of numerous roles ranging from design to project management and as sustainable development consultants for urban and city planning. Due to the increase in housing and infrastructure needs, the business of financial institutions of lending money to probable buyers has improved too, and this has created a need for valuation of immovable property. Architects can practise as property valuers after gaining some experience in the field of property valuation.  

Many prospects

There is also a growing need for energy efficiency and sustainable practices in India due to the shortage of natural resources. Architects can practice as accredited professionals in the field where certification for energy efficiency and sustainability is required. Need of urban planners across various levels is on the rise in the country because of urbanisation and development in cities. With the advent of technology and digital disruption, the field of architecture has undergone tremendous changes, opening up a slew of opportunities and requirements of new-age skill sets among students. Since India is dotted with monuments, which are in need of protection and at times renovation, there is a demand for conservation architects too. That apart, industrial design and architecture have many close creative ties. The striking difference really is the scale in which the designs are produced. Industrial designs focus on small scale objects of mass production, as opposed to large-scale buildings designed for a specific context.

And, the increasing impact of globalisation has paved way for architecture to play a vital role in webbing together urban and rural spaces. This surfaces the need for landscape architects to design the outdoors, including infrastructure, public areas, agriculture and forestry, water management, environmental restoration, and recreational areas, among other things.

In a nutshell, the time is ripe for students to pursue a rewarding career in architecture that offers maximum exposure and a diverse set of opportunities.

(The author is with MIDAS, Chennai)


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