Architecture courses of 5 years can become grueling and tiresome. However, most would agree with it to be worth your time and knowledge because knowingly and unknowingly, it teaches students many non-architectural life lessons. These skills are transferable skills developed over time, intentionally or unintentionally, making the student mentally and physically fit to accept challenges coming their way in real life. Architecture is less literary and more practical. Hence, the soft skills of any individual play an important role in carrying and conducting themselves moving toward professionalism.

1. Communication skills

Brilliant designs and ideas may be forgotten and vanish in thin air if not effectively communicated. Every student’s pin-up for the first time to the last time shows the progress and learnings in visually communicating their ideas, thoughts, research, and opinions. The ideas come alive on paper with very few words. Endless juries, discussions, readings, and exploring various mediums and opportunities enhance our verbal and non-verbal communication skills as well.

15 related skills architectural students can acquire during their academic course - Sheet1
Communication skills Illustration by Catherine Song. ©The Balance, 2018

2. Team-building skills

Group assignments and tasks are the growing up lessons to great teamwork bring best results, physically and mentally making one realize that the art of building is never a one man’s show. Sometimes the process is full of frustration, with learning valuable lessons about how to deal with other people and how not to. But it is the hard work and the brain work put together, which brings the best results.

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Teamwork ©

3. Design thinking/ Problem solving

Each design idea is an inspiration from concern, problems, or needs. Always designing for users makes architects think and question from all angles with data, facts, statistics, and researches with analyzing the tiniest detail, making the brain agile and curious even in everyday life.

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4. Working under pressure

All-nighters of blood, sweat, and tears have toughened our skin. Time and deadlines have always been the two devils from the very beginning; work not completed on time brings mental pressure and physical strain. With continuous grueling for 5 years, the body and mind adapt to meeting deadlines even undermost pressures.

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5. Observe and experience spaces

Architecture makes us understand and learn to value our surroundings. Analyzing the tangibility and intangibility of each space becomes like a rush of emotions. Hence, over the years it makes us question the relevance of everything, making us re-think and adapt.

6. Presentation skills

The shy kid inside a person becomes a confident one, after years of innumerable peer speaking and presenting sessions. Architecture is all about presenting your thoughts and ideas to group project members, professionals during internships, local people, and to yourself. The butterflies in the stomach presenting with or without preparations are the practices.

7. Researching and learning

We are surrounded by information but the art of extracting relevant data and learning from them is a skill attained after practice. The run towards the library when a new project topic is announced makes us learn how to learn. The habit of researching and effectively accumulating new knowledge is never forgotten since then.

8. Time management (hopefully)

Rightly said ‘Time is money’, having a good time management routine while you’re an architecture student will help during professional life as well so whenever life throws a curveball you’ll not panic. Good time management helps in work management, client/ faculty coordination, smooth work completions, and less havoc in life.

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9. Money management

How much does your architectural model cost? Or you’re actual design cost because clients in reel and real life are different. In college, after every time you go out with friends for parties or getaways, keep good habits of accounting and managing money which will help to continue the routine during adulting.

10. Have opinions and stand for your work

Architecture is a creative yet technical profession. Creativity involves original ideas and thoughts. Hence, always stand for the ideologies with which you wanted to or want to deliver your work.

11. Adaptability

When life throws a curveball, architecture students learn how to catch it, facing countless redoes and modifications during each process with college, clients, and acquaintances teach adaptability. Situations will make your work with unknown and annoying people, harsh situations, and bad times but one learns to adapt to grow professionally.

12. Patience and hard work

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” -Tim Notke (high school basketball coach). Every line you make as a student in architecture has a meaning which may or may not is understood to all. Hence, in this slow process, working hard to meet goals with patience is the key.

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13. Entrepreneurship

Architecture schools teach us how to work autonomously; without someone telling what to do or when to do. By instinct and by training, we are the real self-starters. With no fixed exams and portions to study, students are in a continued work environment. The passion for our work means getting things done on our own and our ways. The entrepreneurial self translates into an ability to see projects through from imaginary to reality.

14. Surviving on less food and sleep

Juggling between assignments, sheets, and college with site visits and surveys, an architecture student’s life is always physically and mentally working. Long travel and working hours, discussions, meetings, and other curricular activities and the zeal for the course make them prioritize food and sleep. The body then adapts to these changes in nutritional and resting intakes. However, it’s advisable to be not harsh on themselves over anything and believe in maintaining the harmony of body, mind, and soul.

15. Opening new doors after graduation

Architecture course as compared to other graduation courses is long but helps in widening one’s perspective. Life never happens as planned. Hence, any hard circumstances or obstacles do not mean it’s an end. The curiosity and passion with hard work and dedication towards any element related to this field can yield results and open new doors. Hence, students should not be harsh on themselves for being out of the box and not being in the mainstream.


RuchiKumbhani is currently a final year B. Arch student at PVP College of Architecture, Pune. She is a curious mind & travel enthusiast. With few days of intense binge indoors to days of cycling outdoor, she loves to observeinterrelationship of different settings/spaces and penning her thoughts over it.