Choosing a career path in 2014

As I am going to finish college next year, I will need to make a decision whether to follow a career in architecture or in healthcare. I am very interested in both topics, which means my decision will ultimately have to be based on professional prospects when I graduate.

Both architecture and healthcare offer a very hands-on approach to studies, and in both cases it is necessary to commit to ongoing development. Throughout the professional career both architecture and health care require continued studies.

It takes at least seven years before it is possible to qualify as an architect. The study course comprises academic teaching as well as professional experience in an established practice. Even after graduation it will be necessary to work within a practice for some time before setting up one’s own business.
Architecture is a profession which requires sound knowledge. Success depends very much on feedback from peers and ultimately the public.

There is a considerable variation in salary depending on the location and experience of the architect. However, architects can start earning serious money even after their first degree qualification. In the UK, this will start at £15,000 to £20,000. Salaries rise with each degree or diploma taken. Following registration as an architect, salaries range from £26,000 to £35,000. At a senior or partner level, an architect can earn up to £80,000.

While architects usually work in offices, there is the added boon of regular visits to clients and building sites. This allows for a varied working day which, however, tends to be outside the usual 9 to 5 bracket. Many architects work more than 50-hour-weeks.
A successful architect will need to be able to communicate with builders and ‘sell’ his or her ideas to clients. As even the best thought-through project is likely to encounter problems, an architect has to be able to come up with solutions.

Architecture is a creative career which requires professionals to visualise buildings, create designs, incorporating economic and ecological factors, and communicate these concepts.

Healthcare, on the other hand, is based to a large degree on science. Depending on whether one chooses a career as a healthcare scientist or as doctor, people skills might not play such a significant part.
Healthcare is a large field which will require a decision where to specialise. One of the great benefits of working in healthcare is the ability to help other people. No matter whether it is becoming, for example, a specialist in genetics or investigating the functioning of organ and body systems, it is with the aim to improve people’s life. This is, of course, also true for general practitioners and surgeons.

Salaries in healthcare vary, but, according to the site, the better the education and training, the more likely is it to have a higher income. It also depends on where healthcare is practiced, and what sort of career is being pursued.

For qualified healthcare professionals it should not be a problem to find suitable employment. A range of professions within the healthcare system, such as those practicing acupuncture, chiropody or osteopathy, will choose to become self-employed to run their own clinics in the community. Highly qualified and specialised healthcare professionals, for example in the field of body enhancing surgery, are very sought after and accordingly paid extremely well.

Like architecture, healthcare professions require dedication and commitment. Long working hours are normal, and further education is a must. Both careers are challenging, but ultimately very rewarding.

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