At an initial glance, job and career options for architecture graduates in Singapore can seem limited – even the available job openings are highly selective. Individuals with a highly credible bio (i.e. competitions, prior projects, years of experience)have an advantage when competing for the limited job openings at architecture firms.
However, I would argue that if you are willing to broaden your perspective, you will find that the skills that you have built in the process of working towards your Diploma / Degree / Masters in Architecture are in great demand by the industry.
You just need to know how and where to look.
First, Consider your strengths
Some points to consider include:
- Are you passionate in design?
- Are you a competent writer?
- Is your strength in working on engineering / technical problems in design?
- Do you like working with others?
Your answer to the above questions would influence your final decision in terms of whether you want to work in a architecture / non-architecture firm, big / small projects, or take on a variety of job positions within a company.
what are popular jobs for architecture graduates?
You can begin your job search on job portals (i.e. JobStreet, JobsDB, Glassdoor) with the more conventional architecture-related roles such as:
- Junior Architect
- Landscape Architect
- Principal Architect
- Interior Architect
- Architectural Project Manager
- Civil Architect
- Resident Architect
are there alternative job & career options for architecture graduates?
The problem with aspiring towards the role of an architect is that there simply are not that many opportunities for design projects in Singapore. The reality is that buildings are expensive, and there is not much money chasing unique designs.
With this in mind, a key strategy would be to “chase the money” – find out sectors that are growing rapidly, and seek job positions within those sectors that can utilise the skills that you offer. One such tactic is to lean into global trends toward digitization and sustainable design, and explore sectors that are disproportionately affected by such trends.
Job Option 1: Building information modelling (BIM)
BIM models are digital renders of buildings that comprise the Architectural, Structural, MEP (mechanical, electrical, & piping), and service components of the building. The huge demand for such openings in Singapore is a direct result of regulatory requirements that require contractors and consultants to submit documents in BIM. (see BCA’s e-submission guidelines).
Architecture graduates can leverage their software skills in Revit & Autocad to gain a leg-up to other job applicants. However, do note that BIM software tools are not limited to just products from Autodesk. There are plenty more tools to learn from providers such as Bentley (typically used in Civil & Instrastructure projects) and Graphisoft.
In addition, job seekers with an architectural background need to learn aboutother aspects of building design while on the job. This job position is well suited for individuals who would enjoy managing teams of engineers, want to be exposed to new technology tools, and gain insight into how construction projects are completed in the real world.
related (BIM) job postings :
- BIM Manager
- BIM Coordinator
- Architectural Coordinator
- Architectural Designer
job option 2: Game design
- GameMaker Studio 2
- Maya 3D
- Unreal Engine 4
Do take note that some game developer roles may require programming skills (i.e. C# or C++), so candidates with a programming background would have an added advantage.
While there are Global Game companies based in Singapore (i.e. Blizzard, Ubisoft, SEA, Tencent), not all of them have their game development operations conducted locally. Some of these larger firms may have their HQ stationed in Singapore for the purpose of conducting sales, marketing and distribution, and not game development.
related (game design) job postings :
- Dynamite Games (Senior Game Engineer)
- Ifun Singapore (Game Art Lead)
- Noble Steed Games (Game Design Lead)
- DG Ventures (Senior Frontend Game Engineer)
job option 3: Project manager
related (project manager) job postings :
- CPG Facilities Management (Project Manger, Office Building)
- Megabuilders & Development (Project Manager)
- China Railway Enginering (Assitant Project Manager)
- Chubb (Project Manager)
It is impossible to cover all the available job openings for Architecture graduates. There are plenty more that have been left out such as opportunities in industrial design, furniture design, and even publishing.
The key takeaway is that if you are willing to broaden your perspective (i.e. assessing your personality, skill-sets, and adjusting the scope of your design ambitions), you will be able to start with a job that pays reasonably well and is well-suited to your nature.
We wish you all the best in your job-seeking journey!