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Lifelong learning

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Education doesn’t have to stop once you embark on a career. The flexibility of the courses and financial support available is surprising

You could liken trainee architects to Trofimov, the perpetual student in Chekhov’s 1904 play The Cherry Orchard. Nevertheless, many embark on additional study after they qualify.

Practices can improve their business success by having a more qualified and highly skilled workforce. The big thrust at the moment is for architects to develop skills in urban design, sustainability and CAD. The courses on offer include master’s degrees and sustainable-design certificates, but project management is another popular subject.

Initially you will probably want to explore the subjects available and the range of approaches, including part-time study and distance learning. It’s important to establish that you will have sufficient time to keep up with your studies and this involves assessing other commitments; to employers, for example. You will also need to make a realistic assessment of all costs and check that they are affordable. Although many employers express a commitment to education, this does not always go as far as financing education for its staff.

Finally, you will need to decide whether the course will be beneficial, and perhaps consider alternative ways to achieve your goals. There is still widespread distrust of theory in architectural practice, which attaches great importance to practical experience.

On the following pages, we look at some of the options available to you to further develop your workplace skills.

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