Should I Become An Architect Or A Civil Engineer?
Architects and civil engineers are two of the careers that are projected to be in great demand in the next few years. Due to the similar nature of the responsibilities of these professions, students are often confused as to whether they should study architecture or go the path of civil engineering. Both of these careers delve on the planning, design and construction of buildings and other structures. However, they also have their own set of differences. Your interests and professional goals will ultimately determine which of these two career paths you will choose.
You can consider becoming an architect if:
- You are more inclined to showcase your creativity and flair for the aesthetic in your designs.
- You are more interested in making indoor and outdoor spaces functional and livable.
- You want to make practical and cost-effective designs.
- You want to be at the forefront of the project by coming up with the project’s initial design.
- You intend to establish your own architectural firm someday and be self-employed.
You can consider becoming a civil engineer if:
- You are more interested in the safety of the project’s designs more than the creative or aesthetic aspect.
- You want to make sure that the structure has a strong foundation and can withstand the environmental forces and normal wear and tear. This entails complex mathematical calculations and advanced technical knowledge.
- You aren’t only interested in the design and construction of buildings but also of water supply systems, sewage treatment systems and transportation systems.
- You are interested in the actual construction process and are keen on finding solutions to problems encountered.
The things mentioned above are only general considerations to help you decide which of these two careers you should choose. Actually, there are overlaps in what both professionals can do. For example, it would be erroneous to assume that only architects are creative. Civil engineers, too, have to rely on their creativity to solve the unique challenges that come with the projects they are handling. Meanwhile, it would also be erroneous to assume that architects aren’t concerned with the safety and durability of their designs. Their designs must also adhere to local and state building codes and regulations on fire safety.
Both professionals are also concerned with the environmental impact of their designs as well as give clients estimates of project costs. In many cases, architects and civil engineers collaborate on many projects, pooling together their creativity and skills in ensuring that these are completed on time and to the satisfaction of the client.
If you are still in a quandary as to whether you should go to architecture school or civil engineering school, you can ask for the curriculum of both, study them closely and decide whether your inclinations will make you happier in one or the other. You may also want to talk with the faculty advisor for both majors so you can have your questions and concerns answered more thoroughly.