The short answer is this: yes. Yes, there will always be jobs for architects.
In times of economic crisis like this, it’s easy to panic. You might have heard horror stories of outsourcing, automation and hiring freezes. Maybe you’re reluctant to go after your dream of becoming an architect for fear that the jobs might disappear completely.
Take a few deep breaths. Architectural jobs aren’t going anywhere.
The most obvious reason for this is that we’re always going to need buildings. Turn on the news; the world population is booming, and all those new people need homes, schools, offices, hospitals and all the other sorts of buildings people occupy in their daily lives. The American population is aging? That means there are vacation homes and retirement communities to design and more jobs for architects. There’s an increase in global immigration? That means more cultural and religious buildings are needed, which means even more jobs for architects. Human life takes place in buildings, and every social shift brings with it a need for new structures designed by architects.
Even without social factors at play, old buildings are constantly being demolished to make way for new ones. Even sturdy existing buildings are being constantly renovated or expanded, and those processes mean architects must be called in. Human beings as a species aren’t about to abandon our comfortable indoor lives and return to our hunting and gathering ways, which means the need for architects will always be there. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees; between the years 2010 and 2020, architectural jobs are predicted to grow by 24%, much faster than the overall growth average of 14%. Far from disappearing, the field is actually expanding at a staggering rate.
But maybe you’re worried about automation. Won’t computers and software take over the design process entirely, making human architects obsolete? You needn’t worry. Computers are a tool for architects, and a very useful tool at that, but there’s no danger of them usurping their masters. A computer does exactly what its name says: it computes. It can calculate load bearing and pipe placement and window dimensions, but no client can type in ‘design me something with a Renaissance feel to it’ and expect to be given a design with that special flair inspired by ornate archways and domed rooftops. Architecture is as much a feat of art is it is one of science or engineering, and that artistic nature means jobs will always be placed in flesh-and-blood hands, not digital ones.
So breathe a sigh of relief and go back to your drafting. Will there always be jobs for architects? There certainly will be, and one might even be yours.