Build a Landmark Career in Architecture and Construction
Architecture and construction are highly valuable professions that help to shape our national landscapes, cityscapes, and infrastructure. While architects help design structures that are efficient, innovative, or aesthetically sublime, construction professionals help see those plans to fruition. As existing buildings begin to age and new projects are approved, professionals in architecture and construction will continually be needed to maintain and grow the physical framework of society.
Architecture and construction are general academic majors that offer the elements necessary for a wide variety of professions. However, there are a few subcategories focused on more specific careers. Students of color can find a particularly lucrative career path in these and other areas:
- Construction Management: Professionals in this field are specialists in ensuring that a construction project is done well. They manage the labor, costs, and materials necessary to get a job done on time and within budget constraints.
- Urban Planning: Urban planners work with civic leaders to efficiently plan and design city projects. Instead of focusing on one specific building, urban planners consider how buildings fit into the larger makeup of a city.
Whatever their interest, students who plan to pursue careers in architecture and construction will need to enroll in a degree program in this field. Some schools offer dual majors in architecture and construction specifically. Others offer closely-related majors, including architecture, architectural design, architectural engineering, architectural studies, architectural technology, building science, city and regional planning, civil engineering, and construction engineering. Relevant programs include a wide range of course subjects, such as:
- Material science
- Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD)
- Construction methods
- Fluid dynamics
- Architectural theory
Careers in Architecture and Construction
A major in architecture and construction can lead to a few intuitive careers, such as architect or high-level construction worker. However, it’s helpful to keep in mind that there are many different kinds of architects and builders, and they may work in diverse environments. Graduates with any architecture or construction-related degree will find themselves equipped with numerous skills that may help them achieve success in a wide variety of careers. Some of these include:
- Civil engineer
- Residential or commercial carpenter
- Architectural project coordinator
- Systems configuration manager
- Electrical design engineer
- Construction Manager
- Urban Planner
- Landscape Architect
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How to Prepare for Success
Prospective majors should have a good grasp of math, science, and basic engineering. Construction and design experience will naturally be a major asset as well. This major and career also requires solid design skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, collaboration and team-building abilities, and good communication.
UNCF Schools to Consider
One UNCF-member school offers a specific architecture and construction degree: Tuskegee University. In addition, these UNCF-member schools offer bachelor’s programs in engineering:
- Tuskegee University
- Spelman College
- Claflin University
- Johnson C. Smith University
- Bethune Cookman University
- Morehouse College
- Benedict College
- Wilberforce University
There are various professional architecture and construction organizations that offer more insight into working in those fields. A sample list includes:
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
- American Institute of Constructors (AIC)
- Construction Management Association of America (CMAA)
- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
- Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
- Society of American Registered Architects (SARA)
- National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
- American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
There’s no better way to start on your path toward a successful career in architecture and construction than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF, including some specifically for architecture and construction majors. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements.
Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study architecture and construction.
As you explore your options, be sure to use our guide to applying for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in architecture and construction. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!