Architecture is an innovative amalgamation of art and technology. Architects employ their imagination to build monuments that are aesthetically in tune with the principles of design while also being functional and usable to those inhabiting them. With the concept of environment-friendly and green buildings fast catching up today, the focus is on building spaces that are ecologically sound. This, together with the booming real estate and construction industry, has fueled the demand for architects.

As land values are appreciating, services of architects catering to functional, aesthetic and technical part of design are being increasingly sought. Even the common perception that the services of architects are an added expenditure, is slowing changing. As the disposable income of average Indian is on rise, the expectations and aspirations of consumer have become high and they are willing to shed large amounts of money.

Qualities that an Architect should possess

An architect essentially should be a visionary. They rarely work in isolation. It is a profession in which one has to work in tandem with contractors, engineers and decorators and hence, team spirit and coordination are of utmost importance. An understanding of latest trends and parameters of planning are also essential. With the profession increasingly becoming technology driven, a technical bent of mind is always helpful.

Future Prospects

The future in architecture is very promising. Establishment of MNCs and SEZs, foreign investment and retail boom spell good time for architects. At least for the next 20-25 years, growth prospects are very bright. Although the return on educational investment starts coming late, the shelf life of an architect is much more as compared to any other professional. Per capita income is increasing, design sensibilities are improving and aspirations are also touching the roof. All these factors will fuel the demand for competent architects in the future.

Where to Study?

  • School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi
  • IIT Kharagpur
  • IIT Roorkee
  • Sir JJ School of Architecture, University of Mumbai
  • Centre for Environment Planning, CEPT University, Ahmedabad
  • Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Gurgaon
  • Chandigarh College of Architecture, Panjab University
  • Rizvi College of Architecture

Eligibility and admission

The COA conducts an aptitude test on an all-India basis called National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) for admission to the first year BArch degree at institutes and colleges of architecture under its purview. The test measures the candidates’ drawing and observation skills, sense of proportion, aesthetic sensitivity and critical thinking ability, which are the building blocks to the study of the course. The minimum eligibility to apply for the course is 10+2 or equivalent from a recognised Board/University with Mathematics as a subject of examination (at least 50% aggregate). A minimum of 40 percent marks in NATA is required for admission. A merit list is then prepared on the basis of marks obtained in Class 12 and NATA (giving equal weightage to both) and admission granted to colleges across India.</p>\r\n<p>Those with a science background can take the AIEEE, which is accepted by all National Institutes of Technology (NIT), Deemed Universities and central government universities and SPA. IIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee take in students through IIT-JEE. It’s advisable for students to give the NATA besides state-level exams. For instance, admission at Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) is made on the basis of the Common Entrance Test (CET) and Architecture Aptitude Test conducted by the Punjab University. JJ School of Arts and Architecture, Mumbai takes in students through a Common Entrance Test (CET) conducted by the Directorate of Technical Education. It is mandatory for every architectural institution imparting the five-year BArch degree course in the country to join the NATA and to admit students on the basis of a valid NATA score. Candidates, who are not admitted on the basis of valid NATA marks, will not be considered for registration as architects later on.

Job or Specialization?

After passing out from graduation, one can practice on his/her own after getting registered with the COA, which grants license for practice. They might also start working with an architectural firm or under the guidance of a well-established architect. Real estate firms such as Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, L&amp;T, Jindals and IMAXE constructions also employ architects on their payrolls as does Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. A fresher could start as a Junior Architect or Assistant and earn Rs. 12,000 to 15,000 a month. Later one could opt for the role at various levels of design, documentation and construction, says Pritpal Singh, a Delhi-based architect. The salary might increase with experience. Talking about the work, Bhaskar Rattan, associate architect with a firm based in Delhi says, “While 30 percent of the job focuses on designing what the client wants, it is not about design alone.” Be prepared for long hours. To convert design from paper to land needs a lot of coordination between engineers, construction workers, plumbers and contractors etc.

Higher Studies

While some choose to work, more than 70 percent of students opt for Master’ or further studies after completing their Bachelor’s programme. They specialise in streams such as Landscape Architecture, Architectural Conservation, Urban Design, Building Engineering &amp; Management, Environmental Planning, Housing, Transport Planning, Regional Planning, Town and Country Planning, Industrial Design etc. The SPA and CEPT Ahmedabad are considered to be some of the best colleges for a Master’s degree. Students also opt for an MBA (real estate) offered by the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University’s School of Management Studies in collaboration with SPA. Besides these, opportunities also exist in government organisations such as Town and Country Planning Organisation, National Institute of Urban Affairs, Housing and Urban Development Corporation, National Building Construction Corporation Ltd. etc .