Architecture Student/School Frequently Asked Questions Answered | SAS Podcast 9: Q&A 1

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Hey! My name’s Kyle.

From a sample of 25,000 students that applied to enter architecture school:
15.30% of them were accepted.
8.50% of them made it through to the second half of their education.
2.04% of them were awarded a degree in Architecture (post-graduate)
0.78% of them ended up working a job in architecture.

Successful Archi Student is a platform for architecture students to learn off one another to become the LESS THAN 1% of students who end up being successful in the profession.

On the podcast, you’ll hear from practicing architects, other successful students and myself, Kyle, a third year architecture student from South Australia.

Doing so, you’ll learn the tips and tricks to excel past the rest of your cohort and build the skills needed to take your work to another level.

On today’s episode of the Podcast I host the first Q&A. You ask me questions, and I answer them.

Here are the 10 questions I answer today:

0:46 What should I do in highschool to be able to become an architect?

2:23 Are all architecture programs the same?

2:48 What college/university should I enrol in to study Architecture?

4:21 Tips for learning AutoCAD / any architectural program/software efficiently

5:08 Is architecture a good profession to choose?

6:21 How can I get a job in Architecture with my bachelors degree?

7:36 Which architectural software currently has the topmost demand in big architectural firms?

9:07 What are architecture universities/colleges looking for in the art portfolio? How to have a good art portfolio

10:10 Is it really that hard to study architecture?

11:40 What does the future for architecture/architects look like? My thoughts on the future of the architecture profession and technology.


If you have a question you would like answered about architecture school or architecture in general, feel free to ask it on the forums or send me a message on the various social platforms I’m on 😊

I hope you enjoy the show! Feel free to discuss anything in the comments below. I try to respond to every comment 🙂

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G’day, everyone. Welcome to the episode today.

Last night I asked you guys on Instagram if you had any questions about architecture or architecture school or what it’s like being an architect, or architecture student, I’m not an architect. And so, in today’s episode, I wanted to create an answer video to the frequently asked questions in the world of architecture and architecture school.

But, first of all, I just wanted to thank everyone for posting the questions. I got heaps of good responses to that. And hopefully I can provide a lot of value in this video, especially to those who are just starting architecture in their first year or they’re looking at starting architecture. Hopefully this video is really valuable to you guys. So without further ado, let’s get straight into the first question, which is, what should I do in high school to be able to be an architect?

This was sent in by Luiss, his Instagram will be on the screen. Thank you for asking this question, Luis. The way I usually answer this question is to say that you know, you’ve obviously got your science and maths and your communication skills. And I actually recently did a video on this of what skills should you learn to be how to do well at architecture. I think that was two episodes ago on the podcast. So I won’t reiterate what I said there.

That was talking about how having the traditional skills of maths and science, you know, physics, engineering, and all that they’re going to help you. But, not having those skills are not going to make you less of an architect when starting out because you’ll learn those things over time with experience and practice. And so, to answer your question, what you should do in high school to be able to be an architect. It’s not so much what you should do at school, but more what you do outside of school.

During high school, you should work on building up your motivation to study architecture, and if it is something that you’re completely decided on doing, then you should devote all of your free time to doing that and learning about it and studying it and learning new programs. And just completely immersing yourself in the world of architecture. Everybody else is going to have those traditional skills of Physics and Chemistry and mathematics throughout high school. But if you’re already beginning learning the skills that you need to actually do well at architecture, which is you know, your communication skills, your software and technology skills . . . That’s going to take you a whole lot further. And I think that will be really helpful. So, it’s more so what you do outside of high school.

Luis asked three questions in this one comment. His next question was “are all architecture programs the same? Such as Cornell University, Virginia Tech, architectural association of architecture in London.”

I’m not going to pretend like I know the answer to this. I haven’t been to more than one university as I’ve always studied in South Australia. I don’t think they are all the same. They’ve definitely got their own different niches about them and different qualities that make them what they are. And obviously, that’s why you have some higher-ranking universities over different ones.

Luis then asked, which I recommend for you guys to go to but because I’ve only been at the one university it’s hard to answer this but then it just goes down to like, what do you actually want out of architecture? You might need do a bit of research into these universities to see what they’re offering, and which suits your needs the most. I know that places like Cornell University, they’ve got a day in the life of an architecture student videos, you can actually watch what it’s like to study there. And I’m sure other universities do this as well. Actually look into the different programs and find which one suits you the best and which one will help you the most when it comes to graduating and getting your degree and actually moving into the field of architecture. But then again, most universities follow the same kind of curriculum and course outline, I guess, where you do your design studios, you’ve got construction courses, and theory work as well. And so, it’s also the same as the answer to the first question where it’s not so much of what you’re learning at university, but more what you’re doing on the side. What you’re doing apart from everybody else that makes you stand out. In the end, I wouldn’t be too focused on what university you’re going to because most of the time they offer the same courses. It’s just a matter of how motivated you are to do well and then and how far you push yourself, because it’s great if you got teachers that push you and that are able to mentor you. But most of the time, you don’t know who your teachers are going to be. It’s not like you know them personally. When it comes down to teachers, it’s just a bit of guesswork. And so, you really have to focus on yourself, and what you’re doing to make yourself stand out from the rest of your cohort.

The next question was from Santi and Santi wanted tips for how to learn AutoCAD efficiently. And whereas I’m not actually going to give you some AutoCAD tips in this video, I think the most important thing to take away from this is that you will only get better at it through practice and experience and by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone with the work that you’re doing.

If you want to get better at AutoCAD, you need to spend the time to practice it and learn it. And obviously, if you want some tips to get better at it, you’re probably going to have to take a course for it or there’s plenty of YouTube videos to learn. But yeah, the main idea is just to keep practicing, keep going because along the way you learn new tips and tricks and new shortcuts and commands that will help make you more efficient at it and make you better at it, which will save you time when doing your AutoCAD work. Yeah, just keep going and keep practicing.

And the next question was from Hashita. I think I’m saying that correctly. If not, I’m sorry. She asked if it’s good to choose architecture as a profession. And this is the tough one, because you guys would know that it’s a tough industry to get into. There’s not a whole lot of jobs for the number of students that are graduating their degrees, but saying that, it’s going to be subjective here. I love architecture, as you might be able to tell. I think architecture it’s a bloody good profession to be in. But, for how demanding it is and how much work and effort it requires. It’s definitely not an easy course. That’s good, because if you’re putting in the hard work, you’re going to stand out from the rest of the people studying it. And myself, I’ve only done two weeks of an internship inside a firm so I don’t really know what it’s like, exactly in the profession as I’m obviously still studying. But hopefully as I keep going with these videos, and in 5- or 10-years’ time, I can show you an in depth look into what it’s like inside the profession.

I’m doing another internship, probably mid 2020. This year. And, I’ll document the whole thing, and I’ll film it and I’ll show you guys what it’s like inside the profession as well. So hopefully that’s helpful. So yes, I think it’s a great profession to get into it obviously requires a lot of work.

Hashita then asked “Can we get a job with studying a Bachelor of Architecture?”, she said B arch, which I assume is the Bachelor of Architecture. And again, it’s just a very demanding course, it’s going to require that you put in a lot of time and effort. And if you do that, and you’re completely focused on it, and enjoy enjoying what you’re doing along the way . . . That’s, again, something else . . . You must be passionate about it. If you’re not passionate about it, it’s not going to pull you; you’re going to be pushing it, which is obviously a lot harder.

Once you graduate from architecture. If you don’t have a job straight away, your job is to get a job. It really comes down to how motivated you are and how passionate you are about actually getting a job because as much as people say that there are no jobs out there. There are jobs out there. Sometimes you just have to find them yourself or create them yourself. Go to architecture firms and hand in your resumes and offer yourself for free, offer free services or make a video for them or something.

Your ability to find a job will come from how persistent you are in networking and going to events and meeting new people and creating the opportunities for yourself rather than waiting on someone to hand you the opportunity on a silver platter because that’s not going to happen.

The next question was from Lackshay, who asked “Which software has currently the top most demand among big architectural firms?” And again, this is a hard one. The software is always always always progressing forward. It’s always changing. Its evergreen, I guess I’d say. So the lesson here is to be adaptive to the software that’s out there. Always have an open mind to learning new things and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone because that way you’ll try new things and you’ll learn new things. If it doesn’t work, that’s okay, you can leave it and then try something else. I was talking to one of my lecturers about this who has done a lot of work in the field. And he’s worked in several countries across the world in a lot of big firms and small firms, medium sized firms. And to give you an answer here, he said to be efficient at BIM. Building Information Modelling. Being sufficient at programs such as Revit is really going to be helpful because if you learn that efficiently, you’ll learn to have the skills that are fluent across a lot of different programs and software and you’ll easily be able to pick up other new software that’s out there. But again, new software is coming out every single day, and you just have to stay on top of it because the industry is always going to be changing and getting better. And if it’s getting better, you don’t to be stuck using AutoCAD when they’ve got new virtual reality and AR and who knows what’s coming in the future. You just got to stay on top of it and keep yourself open minded and try new things. But for the moment, I would say really get knowledgeable at software such as Revit, as those skills that you learned with that program will carry on to what’s coming out in the future.

The next question was from Sarah. She asked “What architecture universities look for in the art portfolio?” I didn’t have to hand in a portfolio to apply at my university. However, from my general knowledge, I would assume that you would just put in your best work really, they just want to see that you’re creative and motivated to do well. And so, if you show your best work, and you show that you love drawing, or you love creating renders or something like that, then they’ll notice that and they’ll accept you. However, it might also be helpful to try some architecture drawings out first, as well. To put them in your art portfolio. Things like floor plans, perspectives, sections or any kind of architectural drawings. If you put them into your portfolio, then it shows that you’re willing to learn and you’re ready to study architecture. Just remember less is more. You don’t want to just fill it up with all the work you’ve done. You just want to pick out the best things you’ve done and collate them and present them as neatly as you can to be fluent and show your actual style of drawing or artwork.

The next question was from Vico. Vico asked “Is it really that hard to study architecture?”. My answer personally is yes, it is hard. But anything that you’re going full out on is definitely going to be hard. If you want to be good at something, you just want to dedicate all of your time into that. And that may mean making sacrifices, watching Netflix less, using social media less and maybe cutting out a few negative friends. But if you’re weighing your life with architecture higher than procrastinating and wasting time, then it’s definitely worth it. And guess what, if you’re passionate about architecture, it doesn’t seem like work. It may be hard and it may be stressful, but that’s just using the most potential of your brain. It means you’re pushing yourself and you’re trying really hard to do something and be good at something. That’s really, really good. I would be worried if architecture wasn’t hard. And to say that, pretty much any university course or anything that you want to be good at in life is going to be hard. It’s going to require hard work, late nights and a lot of time and effort.

And so, then you must weigh out the balance of is all that hard work worth it? Do you really, really want to do architecture? Do you want to be an architect? If the answer is yes. Then keep fuelling your motivation. Your passion will grow and grow. So yes, I think it’s hard, but I think it’s worth it. And if you’re passionate about it, it doesn’t seem like work. It’s going to be enjoyable, and it’s going to be fun. And it’s definitely going to be worth it.

This is a bit of a fun question from Thomas. Thomas asked, “What do I think the future of architecture looks like?” And I sometimes think about this, you know, we’ve got virtual reality and augmented reality now in the world of technology. The industry of architecture is changing so rapidly, it’s crazy and where I don’t really know where it’s heading, I know that it’s going to be a lot more imaginative and creative through the advancement of technology. But I think as technology advances, so does our ability to create great work, as technology advances, our communication skills are going to get a lot better. And our methods of communication are going to get a lot better. Looking at the industry of architecture . . . we’re always going to need buildings until we’re no longer biological forms, and we’re living out of space. But until that point, for our lifetimes, at least, I believe that buildings are going to be around.

There’s definitely a future for architecture. It’s definitely just a growing industry. It’s not going anywhere. And when there’s no more room left on earth for buildings, we’re going to knock them down and build new ones. But yeah, I really can’t wait to see the future of technology, especially of architecture. I already think that what’s happening now with AR and VR is insane. And the fact that you can walk through a house that hasn’t been built yet, is just mind blowing. So that’s really cool.

So I’d actually like to ask that question to you guys as well. What do you see, and what are you looking forward to the most about the future of architecture and technology of architecture?

Let me know in the comments below, I’d really like to hear from you.

There are still tons and tons of questions on here. But I don’t want to run it too long. So, I’m going to make a couple more parts of this video. I’m thinking about doing a q&a actually quite often, and creating a series out of that as well from the podcast. Whereas the podcast will still be going, maybe every couple of episodes, I’ll create a q&a episode, which I’ll then split into different segments to answer everybody’s questions about architecture. And so, saying that if you ever do have any questions, just feel free to hit me up on Instagram, or YouTube or wherever you’re watching this and just comment; or send me an email at I’ll be more than happy to talk to you and answer your questions. And we’ll just discuss anything about architecture really.

If you like this kind of style of the q&a video, be sure to leave it a Like on YouTube or wherever you’re watching this, subscribe to us and get notified by clicking the bell. Be sure to check out some of the other videos we’ve got. There’s plenty more to come and there’s plenty more here already. So yeah, I hope you found that helpful. And I’ll see you guys in the next episode of the Successful Archi Student’s podcast.



If you have a project you want to delve in to and discuss, or you have some useful tips for other students you think would be helpful, please, send me an email to and get in touch about it!
Otherwise, direct message me on Instagram @successfularchistudent and I’ll be keen to set up a skype call.

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