jobs in architecture uk

jobs in architecture
new build housing
Few jobs in architecture - the reality is a debt that can never be cleared

I read a heart-breaking story (in the London Evening Standard online Sept 2012) about a young man named Debo who put all his faith in the architecture education system and how it has let him down; he has been left with shattered dreams and a mountain of debt (£18,000 after three years). His father, a security guard, doesn't understand why with a degree (from Birmingham University) he can't get a job. The RIBA rules stipulate that a student requires some work experience before continuing with Part 2.

Debo says, "I’ve made more than 250 applications for an entry-level position as a designer, architect’s assistant, surveyor or something in the housing construction sector but all I’ve managed is three unsuccessful interviews,” he said.

“It’s demoralising. After your 10th rejection you redouble your efforts, after your 50th you doubt yourself, after your 150th you feel worthless."

My heart bleeds for Debo and he is very brave to speak out. It can be a psychologically damaging course even if you pass and worse if you fail, which sadly is also a likely outcome. Only a tiny fraction of students who enter first year of architecture become fully qualified architects.


Optimistic people believe they will defy the odds and be in the minority who succeed and find happiness in this profession. However, I've know many optimistic students and it didn't help them get through the course or to secure a job. State of mind has little to do with the probability of passing the subjective five year course or the state of the economy. And only a mad person thinks they can dream up a well-paid job.

The fact is that only around 3% of new build housing is designed by architects. The same unimaginative little boxes (see photo above) are repeated hundreds of time. Unfortunately the government has done nothing to help the plight of architects. They are happy though to keep students in education for one reason only - to keep the unemployment figures down. Sadly, it would take a miracle to get a return for the money you might invest in this course, especially if that course is in England where the fees are higher than any other country in the world.

If you are considering a career in architecture but are not already committed then I urge you to read my book, BRICK WALL, for sale on the Amazon kindle store. It gives a real, if somewhat depressing insight, into what it's like studying architecture and what it might be like for you. Included in an appendix is all my correspondence to and from the university which proves what happened did happen and nothing is made up or exaggerated.


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