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Tips for Searching for a Job in Architecture and Design

Tips for Searching for a Job in Architecture and Design

Finding a job in architecture, interior, product, or graphic design-related fields can be a challenging process. The market is highly competitive, with thousands of skilled professionals vying for the same opportunities. However, with the right approach, resources, and mindset, you can establish your career as a professional designer and pursue your passion. This blog post will offer job search tips for architects and designers to help you stand out amongst the competition.  

Architecture and Design Job Market Trends  

The job market for architecture and design-related professions is vast, with numerous subsectors and related niches. Career paths are diverse, offering aspiring designers limitless opportunities to achieve their professional goals.  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 3% growth in employment for architects from 2021 to 2031, with 3,300 new jobs expected. Related disciplines such as Interior Architecture Design, Parametric Architecture, and Hyper-Formative Architecture offer tremendous potential based on your area of interest and specialization. The same 3% growth is predicted for Industrial Designers, with 900 new jobs, while digital design has growth estimated at 23%, with 45,500 new jobs. 

How to Find a Job in Architecture & Design 

Whether you’ve just graduated from design school or are a seasoned professional, these tips can help make the search for an exciting career in the complex world of design simpler.  

Start with a Self-Assessment  

The first step in finding a job in architecture and design is to understand your goals, skills, and interests thoroughly. What type of work do you enjoy doing? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Defining your goals and what you envision for your future will give you a clear idea of what you’re looking for, and you’ll be better equipped to focus your search on the opportunities that are the best fit.   

Create an Impressive Portfolio  

Professional designers agree that the portfolio is one of the most important documents you will need in your job search. This portfolio should be creative and reveal your talent and skills both related to software and design thinking.  

Your portfolio must be able to visually represent how you think through a design problem, while revealing your process. Be bold but keep it simple! Use typography and carefully think about the balance and layout of your documents. Create a digital portfolio in spread format that you can email the employer, but also have a page version you can print and add to a prefabricated portfolio. Use negative space wisely which can allow for visual breathers in-between projects. Utilize contrast when there is a specific concept you are wanting your reader to focus on but do not overdo it.  

For your resume, have a strong profile as firm owners typically look at resumes for only 20 seconds. Incorporate action verbs throughout your experience and show measurable results and achievements. Do not forget to add Honor, Awards, Recognitions or Volunteer Work. If you have a project that was displayed at school say something like… “Hospitality Project recognized for excellence.” If you have a high GPA or received a scholarship, list it!   

Your resume and portfolio should be full of vitality and experience. Depending on your respective discipline, whether furniture design, digital product design, zero net carbon architecture, or interior architecture, tailor your projects and case studies relevant to your specific industry or potential employer.  

Check out our blog, Mastering the Art of Design Portfolios, to learn more!  

Take Advantage of Career Services  

If you’re approaching graduation or are a recent alumnus, utilize the resources available at your university. They’re designed to help you succeed during your formal education and beyond, including successful job placement.  

Build a relationship with your school’s Career Services Office to learn about networking opportunities, interview prep, career-building strategies, and advice on how to market yourself effectively in the eyes of prospective architecture and design firms.   

Gain Internships  

A crucial step in your professional journey is gaining experience and exposure so you can add these projects to your portfolio. During your formal education, you’ve acquired the foundational skills for your future career, but internships are a supplication that deepens the practical knowledge of an aspiring designer.  

While a degree in architecture and design studies gives you the tools and skills to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, demonstrating your creative-thinking abilities and applying what you’ve learned in the real world is paramount.  

Networking for Architecture and Design Jobs  

Networking is essential in any job search, but particularly so in the architectural and design professions. Attend industry events, workshops, conferences, and professional organizations, or leverage your university’s connections to meet people in your field, learn about new developments, and make connections that can lead to new opportunities throughout your career.  

Interview Prep  

Once you’re invited for an interview, make sure that you’re well prepared. Research the firm and the position and practice answering interview questions specific to your focus area. It’s important to remember that your portfolio and resume can secure an interview, but how well you can communicate your skills, abilities, and value is the key to successful job placement.   

One of the best job interview tips for recent graduates is to be confident and honest. Let the firm know you’re ready to take the first step in your career as a design professional, and explain that you are looking to grow, learn, and contribute to the company as its next innovator.  

Negotiate Salary and Benefits  

When you receive a job offer, don’t be afraid to negotiate compensation and benefits. Understand the appropriate salary levels for your specific industry and job function based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, industry organization reports, and the Career Services Department at your university. Promoting a quality and fair salary from entry-level and above ensures you have a healthy fiscal future.  

Stay Positive and Persistent  

Finally, remember that the job search process takes time, and there may be setbacks along the way. The design industry is highly competitive, and rejection can feel devastating after all the work you’ve put in at university, internships, and your portfolio.  

Be patient, persistent, and positive, and take every rejection as a chance to learn and grow. The right opportunity will come along if you keep at it! Remember to apply to multiple firms and do not just rely on one company to work for. 

Secure Your Future at NewSchool of Architecture and Design  

Our mission at NewSchool is to nurture and inspire design-minded learners to become citizen architects and designers, confirming our commitment to the principle that “higher education represents both a public good and a private benefit.”   

Strong industry connections, collaborations, and cutting-edge design education are part of our daily curriculum, as well as real-world, skills-based instruction that prepares students for employment and successful careers post-graduation.  

NewSchool’s historic job placement results have been in the 90% plus range and many grads are working with 6 months post-graduation. This success is a testament to our accredited architecture programs, global university network connections, and holistic approach to career development that nurtures our students from the start of their education to the advancement of their architectural and design careers.   

Find your place at NewSchool and apply today!  

Perks of Joining NewSchool of Architecture & Design

Are you an aspiring architect or designer who dreams of making a positive impact on the world through your work? Choosing the right university is the crucial first step in turning your passion into a successful career. Luckily, NewSchool of Architecture & Design is one of the top architecture and design schools in the world, offering a truly global educational experience that will help you realize your creative potential.  

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the unique benefits of attending NewSchool, including our innovative curriculum, world-class faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. Join our collaborative community of like-minded designers, builders, and makers, and discover how NewSchool can help you unleash your potential and achieve your career goals.  

Innovative Curriculum  

NewSchool offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in architecture, design, and construction management. Our career-focused curriculum goes beyond getting a degree; it’s rooted in hands-on experiences, process-based design, ethical behavior, and professional practice enabling you to gain real-world exposure to your future profession.   

We strive to meet the ever-changing demands of the architectural and design professions, ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the public, with courses that provide students with a holistic view of the world through multiple lenses: culture, people, landscape, and environment.  

NewSchool’s architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) prerequisite for licensure. Our Master of Architecture program is ranked as one of the Top 30 in the World by Frame magazine.  

Getting your degree here sets you up for a fulfilling and successful career in architecture and design-related fields, giving you the potential to follow the career path of your choice without limits.  

World-Class Faculty  

One of the perks of studying at NewSchool is our innovative, forward-thinking professors. Programs are taught by experienced architects, designers, and practicing professionals who develop creative mentorships with students. By learning from active members of the professional community, you’ll have the advantage of a realistic view of the modern design landscape.  

Professional Experience and Internships  

Located in the design district of Downtown San Diego, our urban campus is the hub of all three industries. While earning your degree, you’ll get to work with some of the most influential brands, gain cross-collaboration opportunities, and make connections to propel your career forward.   

We encourage all students to intern as soon as their abilities and circumstances allow and provide the resources and support to help them land those internships to further enhance their academic and professional development journey.  

Design Studios and Facilities  

As a student of NewSchool of Architecture and Design, you’ll have access to our state-of-the-art facilities, including:   

The Materials Lab: A 3,000-square-foot facility housing industry-standard equipment like 3D printing, CNC routing, woodworking, and metalworking that allows you to fabricate your designs and experience the production process firsthand.  

The Technology Core – NewSchool’s centralized support center and in-house print services, including large format printing, binding, oversized scans, and more.  

Studio Spaces – As part of our cultural and biotic diversity, we’re proud to champion a strong studio learning culture that advocates life-long learning. Studios are where you’ll work on designs, collaborate with classmates, and receive one-on-one feedback from faculty.   

Community Engagement  

NewSchool students are dedicated to achieving great things in their education, local communities, and careers. Our student-led clubs and organizations host annual events and are empowered to drive change by serving our communities. Not only does this help fulfill our institutional mission, but it allows you to network, give back, build connections, and join a community of passionate change-makers and innovators. 

Career Opportunities & Success Stories  

We know investing in higher education has to pay off for your future. That’s why we offer a comprehensive design education that empowers the next generation of designers to pursue their passion and future success.   

Regardless of your discipline, our global university network, Career Services Office, and staff are dedicated to helping you throughout your formal education and afterwards. This includes study abroad programs, internships, networking, interview prep, and more.  

Diversity and Inclusion  

Our staff and student body are rich in diversity and creativity. With international faculty prominent in their field and students spanning over 20 countries, we offer a truly global experience that allows us to understand unique perspectives in all aspects of personal and professional development. Pursuing excellence knows no boundaries, and we’re proud to be the champions of global change.  

Financial Aid  

At NewSchool, people from all walks of life can get a valuable education. We’re proud to award over $1 million annually in scholarships. Our Financial Aid department will work with you to help find sustainable ways to pay for your degree, from work-study programs, grants, and more.  

Campus Life  

Not only will you earn an industry-accredited degree, but you’ll also have the opportunity to soak up everything San Diego offers. From the perfect weather to the vibrant community and stunning beaches, you’ll be inspired every day. Plus, with museums, libraries, and other cultural hotspots just a short walk away, there’s always something new to explore.  

Campus Events and Activities  

Apart from being close to museums and other cultural hotspots, NewSchool also hosts various on-campus events and activities throughout the year. This provides students numerous opportunities to engage with their peers and make new friends while gaining valuable experience and exposure in their chosen field.  

Alumni Network 

NewSchool has a vast and active alum network, providing students access to valuable resources and networking opportunities after graduation. Being part of this community can help you stay connected with the school, receive career advice and support, and even find job opportunities.  

Personalized Attention 

One of the key benefits of attending a smaller school like NewSchool is the personalized attention students receive from their professors and staff. With smaller class sizes and a more intimate learning environment, students can expect to receive individualized support and guidance throughout their academic journey.  

Sustainability Focus 

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on sustainability and environmental consciousness in the architecture and design fields. NewSchool is at the forefront of this trend, with a strong emphasis on sustainable design principles and ethical practices. If you’re passionate about making a positive impact on the world through your work, join our innovative and driven community!  

Join NewSchool of Architecture & Design   

The points outlined above are just some of the benefits of attending one of the best architecture and design schools in the US. If you’re considering getting a degree in construction management, architecture, or design, you’ll get all that and more at NewSchool of A&D. Contact our Enrollment Team to discuss your personal degree program today! 

Tips for Securing an Internship in Architecture & Design

While receiving a college education and degree in design was enough to start your career in the creative industry, today’s most demanding professions expect you to have experience so you can hit the ground running after graduation.  

Finding an internship can be challenging, and choosing which is right for you can be even more difficult. 

Why Are Internships Important?  

Internships offer design and architecture students the chance to gain practical, hands-on experience while exploring what it’s like to work in the industry, which is invaluable for building a successful career.  

You’ll be able to apply your formal education and talents to practice while working alongside experienced professionals, learning from their expertise and gaining insight into how organizations function as a whole. This may also give you the skills you need to launch your own business in the future. 

Internships also provide the opportunity to network and create connections with architects and designers, which can be a tremendous asset when securing a job in the future. So, let’s jump into the tips on securing an internship within the field of architecture and design.  

How to Land an Internship  

Consider Your Qualifications, Discipline, and Interests  

An internship is designed to enhance your experience and professional development journey. Before applying to as many firms as possible, take a moment to evaluate the skills you’ve gained during your schooling, accomplishments, and previous work experience.  

You’ll also want to consider what type of specialty firm you would like to gain experience in, as design firms usually have a specific focus within their office, whether it’s hospitality, residential, or even product design, among many other areas of focus. 

By understanding your goals, aspirations, and abilities, you can make the most of your search process and determine which firms align with what you’re looking for.  

Build a Strong Resume and Portfolio  

In architecture and design, your portfolio is a crucial element in securing success. It should be thoughtfully designed to showcase your best work, clearly communicate your potential, and demonstrate your unique design perspectives and talents.  

Tailoring your portfolio and resume to each firm is essential, including relevant experience and projects related to their practice. Hiring managers are busy, so it’s crucial to communicate your skills and abilities efficiently while including a minimum of three projects within the portfolio.  

Finding an Internship  

After determining what types of internships are available for your degree, discipline, and interests, it’s time to start looking. 

Apart from browsing LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other job sites, utilize the resources available to you through your university network. Career Services are invaluable when it comes to job and internship placement. Firms will often post internship openings interested in hiring students, and your advisor can even provide recommendations.  

Utilize your university’s network to gain connections and potential internship opportunities. Building a relationship with your Career Advisor will help you stay up to date on upcoming workshops, career fairs, networking events, and more.  

Network, Network, Network 

Networking is a critical aspect of securing an internship in architecture and design. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with professionals on LinkedIn. Building relationships with architects and designers can lead to job offers, recommendations, and referrals. Networking can also help you gain insight into the industry and provide you with new ideas and perspectives. So, be proactive and put yourself out there! 

Apply Early  

Once you’ve determined which firms you’re interested in, apply as soon as possible. Highly competitive fields like architecture and design often have hundreds of prospects vying for limited positions, so be the early bird to increase your chances of success.   

 Interview Well 

The key to a successful interview is effectively communicating your skills, experience, and showing what you can offer the firm. Interviewers want to know that you are confident and capable, while being open-minded and ready to learn. Research the organization’s values, culture, and mission, practice interview questions, and be ready to articulate your design philosophy and creative process.   

Asking informed questions about the position and company helps to show your passion, initiative, and eagerness – these are qualities that are highly valued in the industry. 

Internship Success Tips  

After you’ve secured your internship, your work is just beginning. Here’s how to get the most out of your experience.   

  • Network: Talking to colleagues, industry professionals, friends, family and others in your network can lead to job offers, recommendations, and referrals in the future.  
  • Ask questions: Internships are an opportunity to learn from professionals in the field. Asking questions and being open to feedback will help you learn how organizations work, along with improving and building on your foundational knowledge.  
  • Explore: An internship is your chance to put your skills to work and see the day-to-day work. Try to take on new responsibilities and projects to broaden your horizons and determine what facet of the industry you envision for your long-term career.   
  • Be a sponge! Soak up as much knowledge about your field as possible. Take the time to observe your colleagues’ communication styles, work processes, and design methodology. In the process, you’ll get a better idea of whether it’s something you want to pursue. 

NewSchool of Architecture and Design  

At NewSchool, our learning-by-doing methodology means we encourage students to intern as soon as their abilities and circumstances allow. Some internships earn credit or pay, but all expose you to industry best practices and enhance your professional experience and network.  

Whether pursuing a Bachelor of Interior Architecture and Design or one of our graduate architecture programs, internships will help you gain industry-ready skills to fuel your future success. With the help of our Career Services office, you can secure positions tailored to your educational goals and aimed at future employment.  

And because San Diego is in the hub of the design and architecture industries, you can choose from a variety of companies and firms representing the full spectrum of creative employment.   

Get in touch with our Enrollment Team and discover how our award-winning architecture & design school can turn your passion into professional excellence!