Student Info & Guide

Courses & careers in architecture & construction

by StudyMalaysia on October 28, 2016 | Top Stories, Career Guide

Careers in architecture and construction are not just about architects or builders – there’s much more! Historians, interior designers and even software developers fall under this career cluster. If you like the idea of a job that lets you design, plan, build or manage buildings and structures, a career in architecture and construction could be a good match for you.

Careers in architecture and construction

Careers in architecture and construction are all about designing, planning, managing, building and maintaining the built environment. Take a moment to think about your home, school, or neighbourhood mall. Before they existed, a team of people made up mainly of architecture and construction workers were responsible for the details of designing, constructing, and equipping these buildings. There would have been architects who designed the look of the building, civil engineers to help ensure the building was feasible, cost estimators to ensure the project stayed economically viable, and construction workers to build it. Then, a team of carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, and equipment installers to finish the job and make the building suitable for work, rest and play!

Do any of these careers interest you? Not sure? Here’s an overview of 10 careers in architecture and construction to help you get to know this field better.

1. Architect

What they do Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures properties in accordance with environmental, safety, or other regulations. They prepare scale drawings or architectural designs, using computer-aided design or other tools.
Holland code AI (artistic, investigative)
Similar job titles Architectural project manager, Design architect, Principal architect, Project architect, Senior architect, Senior architectural designer
Courses you can take Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Architecture Studies


2. Civil engineer

What they do Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain construction projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. Many civil engineers work in design, construction, research, and education.
Holland code RIC (realistic, investigative, conventional)
Similar job titles City engineer, Civil engineering manager, County engineer, Design engineer, Project engineer, Structural engineer, Traffic engineer
Courses you can take BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Civil Engineering Hons)


3. Quantity surveyor

What they do A quantity surveyor manages all costs relating to building and civil engineering projects, from the initial calculations to the final figures. They seek to minimise the costs of a project and enhance value for money, while still achieving the required standards and quality. This includes ensuring statutory building regulations are met.
Holland code CE (conventional, enterprising)
Similar job titles Construction estimator, Cost analyst, Cost consultant, Cost engineer, Cost estimator
Courses you can take Bachelor of Science (Hons) Quantity Surveying


4. Interior designer

What they do Interior designers make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colours, lighting, and materials. They read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards.
Holland code AE (artistic, enterprising)
Similar job titles Commercial interior designer, Decorating consultant, Interior design consultant, Interior design coordinator
Courses you can take Bachelor of Interior Design (Hons), BA(Hons) Interior Architecture & Design,
BSc (Hons) Housing, Building & Planning (Interior Design), Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Interior Architecture


5. Construction manager

What they do Construction managers coordinate and supervise a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of public, residential, commercial, and industrial structures, as well as roads, memorials, and bridges. They schedule and coordinate all construction processes so that projects meet design specifications and are completed on time and within budget.
Holland code ERC (enterprising, realistic, conventional)
Similar job titles Construction area manager, Construction foreman, Construction superintendent, Project manager
Courses you can take BSc (Hons) Housing, Building & Planning (Construction Management), Bachelor of Construction Management and Economics (Honours), Bachelor of Science (Hons) Construction Management, Bachelor of Construction Management (Hons), Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Construction Management


Courses & careers in architecture & construction

6. Landscape architect

What they do Landscape architects design attractive and functional public parks, gardens, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, and public spaces. They also plan the locations of buildings, roads, walkways, flowers, shrubs, and trees within these environments. Landscape architects design these areas so that they are not only easy to use but also harmonious with the natural environment.
Holland code AIR (artistic, investigative, realistic)
Similar job titles Director of landscape architecture and planning, Land planner, Landscape designer, Senior landscape architect
Courses you can take Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Landscape Architecture, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture,


7. Electrician

What they do Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories. They read blueprints or technical diagrams, inspect electrical components, such as transformers and circuit breakers, and identify electrical problems using a variety of testing devices.
Holland code RIC (realistic, investigative, conventional)
Similar job titles Chief electrician, Control electrician, Industrial electrician, Maintenance electrician
Courses you can take Diploma in Electrical Engineering, Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Hons)


8. Architectural drafter

What they do Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings. Most workers specialise in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.
Holland code ARI (artistic, realistic, investigative)
Similar job titles Architectural designer, Architectural draftsman, CAD Technician (Computer-Aided Design Technician), Drafter, Draftsman
Courses you can take Certificate in Architectural Drafting, Diploma in Architecture, Diploma in Architectural Technology


9. Land surveyor

What they do Land surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries. They collect and interpret data about areas of land, including information about boundaries, buildings and both natural and man-made features for engineering, mapmaking, mining, land evaluation, construction, and other purposes.
Holland code RCI (realistic, conventional, investigative)
Similar job titles Engineering technician, Geomatics, Professional land surveyor, Surveyor
Courses you can take Diploma in Geomatics, Diploma in Geomatical Science, Bachelor in Geomatical Science, BSc (Hons) Housing, Building & Planning (Building Surveying)


10. Urban and regional planner

What they do Urban and regional planners develop plans and programmes that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalise physical facilities in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas. They design, promote, or administer government plans or policies affecting land use, zoning, public utilities, community facilities, housing, or transportation.
Holland code IEA (investigative, enterprising, artistic)
Similar job titles City planner, Community development planner, Housing development specialist, Regional planner, Urban design consultant
Courses you can take BSc (Hons) Housing, Building & Planning (Urban & Regional Planning), Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Urban Planning & Design, Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning
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Alfa International College Logo

ALFA College

Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor

ALFA College provides a unique, close-knit learning environment for its students. The quality of its lecturers and a teaching philosophy which places a premium on practice-based training are two big reasons why families choose ALFA. Lecturers here are experienced, industry professionals concerned with the welfare of the individuals under their tutelage. The academic curriculum consists of industry-relevant courses with a focus on professional readiness. 70% of these courses involve practical, hands-on content. Course work is designed to teach industry best practices which provides ALFA graduates with a considerable advantage as they enter the job market.

The College encourages students to explore new approaches and independent thinking while fostering a mind-set geared towards problem solving and practical solutions. ALFA students are empowered to clearly articulate unique viewpoints while working in a team-based context as preparation for life in the professional arena. As a result, ALFA graduates are able to produce industry-relevant solutions while performing at optimal levels either independently or in team-based settings. In 2012 ALFA College was presented the NAPEI Award for Education Excellence and ‘Tier 5 Excellent’ rating by MyQuest for 2012/2013.


City University College of Science and Technology

City University College of Science and Technology

Campus: Petaling Jaya, Selangor

City University College of Science & Technology (City UC) is one of the oldest private institutions of higher learning in Malaysia. It was first established in 1984 as PJ Community College (PJCC) in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Even as a small college in the early 1980s, City UC has always been committed to its mission to produce quality graduates with strong employability attributes, good communication skills, great intellectual curiosity for innovation and a keen interest in life-long learning. One unique feature of City UC is that it also offers "credit transfers" arrangement with its overseas university partners so that it is possible for students in selected programmes to receive double degrees; one from City UC and the other from an overseas university.


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Erican College

Erican College endeavours to offer tertiary education that is inspiring, practical and results-driven. Its mission is to churn out graduates who are sought-after, capable, creative and ambitious. To accomplish this, Erican collaborates with reputable universities form around the world to offer its students solid international pathways. Erican works with employers, both locally and overseas, to ensure that their students have access to solid, quality employment opportunities upon graduation.

The Erican Success Programme is a compulsory two-year programme for all students. The programme ensures that students are equipped with a winning formula to become career-minded graduates: sound technical knowledge and insights within an industry coupled with sound success strategies and wisdom.


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Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

Campus: Putrajaya

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s purpose-built campus opened to students in Putrajaya in September 2014 and the formal launch took place on 12 February 2015. The £35m campus sits on 4.8 acres in a stunning lakeside location providing exceptional educational facilities in an excellent environment. The campus is a state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment. Architect-designed in conjunction with educational design specialists, the campus has been developed with the current generation of students in mind, to create a dynamic, exciting place which maximises the potential of its setting for study and student life.

The degree programmes at Heriot-Watt are career-focused and relevant to the needs of business and industry, leading employers to actively seek out our graduates. The university works in partnership with the professions to develop and accredit its degrees, ensuring career-relevant education and an environment that helps to foster the leaders of tomorrow. The aim of the university is to equip its graduates with the skills to achieve their ambitions and perform at a high level in their careers.


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Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL)

Campuses: Kajang, Selangor

Enhanced with up-to-date academic facilities, IUKL strives to always provide high quality education relevant to the industry while encouraging innovative thinking. As a full-fledged university that aims to be a research intensive institution, the Research Management Centre (RMC) has been set up and tasked to spearhead the university's high-impact academic research.

IUKL offers programmes that meet industry expectations and cover undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in a wide range of disciplines. The curriculum of these programmes are carefully designed to not only meet the requirements of MQA and MOHE, and professional bodies, but also to equip students with the right skills, attitude and knowledge for the industry. IUKL prides itself in providing students with practical hands-on experience that inculcates confidence and enables them to be ready for the workplace upon graduating. About 90% of IUKL students are employed within 6 months after graduation. 


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Limkokwing University of Creative Technology

Established in 1991, the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology currently has 12 campuses in nine countries across three continents. This network includes Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Lesotho, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Botswana and the UK.

Limkokwing has around 30,000 students from over 150 different countries. Its parent campus in Cyberjaya has an international student population of about 75%. Over the last four years, Limkokwing has received more than 200 awards for creativity and innovation in education from the US, the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa. At Limkokwing, creative expression is embraced where students are encouraged to participate in various competitions, events, fashion shows, performing arts, sport, music and fund raising campaigns to bring out the best in them.

Limkokwing is renowned for its revolutionary concept – of INDUSITY – a word coined from an amalgamation of the words industry and university – that enables students to work on real world projects with global corporate brands who are its industry partners.


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Nilai University

Campus: Nilai, Negeri Sembilan

Nilai University was established as Nilai College in 1997 and was upgraded to a full-fledged university in 2012. Nilai University was rated Excellent (Setara 5) in 2011 and this was reaffirmed in the last rating exercise undertaken in 2013.

Nilai University’s promise is to take school leavers and mould them into mature young adults who are academically proficient and socially confident. This is achieved through a holistic approach to education, with emphasis on character building courses and industry internship to supplement the academic endeavours.

Students enrolling in Nilai U will need to complete a number of credits in university courses outside of their core subjects. These include courses on ethics, anthropology, public speaking and an introduction to theatre and acting.


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University of Reading Malaysia

Campus: EduCity@Iskandar, Johor

The University of Reading Malaysia (UoRM) offers students the best of both worlds. You can study for a UK degree from a brand new campus in EduCity@Iskandar Malaysia. UoRM is the first overseas campus of the University of Reading in the UK, which is ranked in the top 1% globally and has a long-established reputation for the quality of its teaching and research.

UoRM offers a wide range of professional programmes at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level. Home to the internationally renowned, triple-accredited Henley Business School, UoRM’s programmes include the prestigious Henley MBA.

Students will be taught by international academic staff – the best in their field – and have the same high-quality learning experience as in the UK. 93 per cent of the University of Reading’s students are employed or in further study within six months of graduation. UoRM offers an up-to-date and innovative approach to teaching, designed to ensure that students are well prepared to excel in their chosen careers.

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SEGi University & Colleges

Main campus: Kota Damansara, Selangor
Other campuses: Subang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Sarawak

If you aspire to redefine the benchmarks of excellence in your field, we’d like to embrace that passion with you. Together, we can build mutual trust – what we hold dearly for every SEGian. We enable promising minds with a holistic learning experience and constantly rediscover new ways to make a difference in your lives. Our unique attributes of quality, passion, vibrancy and care are the key and guiding principles that pave the way for your growth and ours alike.

We are proud to host some of the best graduates from diverse backgrounds with concrete foundations for nearly 40 years. The by-products of our coaching have since become leaders of industries. Today, the Group boasts an impressive number of young learners; as many as 27,500, in five major campuses located in the Klang Valley, Penang and Sarawak.


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Taylor’s University

Main campus: Lakeside campus, Subang Jaya, Selangor
Other campuses: Subang Jaya and Sri Hartamas

Taylor’s prides itself in the delivery of a holistic education that results not just in excellent academic accomplishments but also in graduates with qualities that are highly sought after in the global marketplace. Industry-relevant learning activities and curriculum are widely incorporated into all tertiary courses in close partnership with the relevant industries. Taylor’s insistence on preparing its graduates to be professionally competent and job ready has proven to have given its graduates an added edge. This is evident in the high employability rate of its graduates, with many securing jobs even before they have completed their final examinations. Currently, Taylor’s has a 70,000-strong alumnus which continues to grow annually, and many of them are now leaders in their respective fields.


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Tunku Abdul Rahman University College

Main campus: Setapak, Kuala Lumpur
Other campuses: Penang, Perak, Johor, Pahang and Sabah

Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR University College) is a premier educational institution with more than four decades of excellence in providing quality and affordable education. Today, TAR University College has a thriving student population of 25,000 pursuing approximately 100 programmes of studies in a wide spectrum of disciplines at four purpose-built campuses in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor and Perak as well as two faculty branches in Pahang and Sabah. TAR University College has produced more than 170,000 graduates, many of whom are high achievers and leaders in various professions and industries.

To ensure that graduates are employment-ready and adaptable to changes, the University College embraces a holistic education approach through the integration of scholastic studies, experiential learning and soft skills development. The programmes offered are industry-driven and meet professional standards. To enhance the quality of its programmes, TAR University College has forged strong linkages with many industry leaders to facilitate the latest knowledge and technology transfer to the classroom.

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UCSI University

Main campus: Kuala Lumpur
Other campuses: Kuala Terengganu and Kuching

Founded in 1986, UCSI University is the flagship institution of the UCSI Group conglomerate. With campuses in Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu and Sarawak, the University comprises seven faculties, a Centre for Pre-U Studies, De Institute of Creative Arts and Design, and an Institute of Music, with more than 85 programmes in disciplines like medicine, pharmacy, architecture, engineering, computer science, liberal arts and music. Its student body encompasses thousands of students from more than 80 different countries and the University stands out as a melting pot of diversity. As one of Malaysia’s first private universities, UCSI University has long impacted the national higher education landscape and the University continues to do so with its wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.   


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University College of Technology Sarawak

Campuses: Sibu, Sarawak

UCTS is the culmination of the State of Sarawak’s vision and commitment in establishing a world-class institution of higher learning to spearhead the development and production of technical human resource for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

UCTS is committed to facilitating students’ access to an affordable world-class university education that nurtures creative and entrepreneurial leaders through a broad education in science and technology while combining the career benefits of an applied approach for SCORE-related research and career opportunities. Through its close collaboration with Universiti Kuala Lumpur, one of Malaysia’s leading technical university with over 20,000 students across the country, UCTS aims to complement the growth and fulfill the human resource and industrial needs of SCORE.


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Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)

Main campus: Kajang, Selangor
Other campus: Pahang

UNITEN is a unique institution that focuses on engineering, information technology, business management and related areas. UNITEN not only prepares its graduates to become knowledgeable and competent professionals, but also develops them as well-rounded individuals with a broad intellectual outlook. The comprehensive and innovative programme contents and teaching techniques are designed towards expanding the frontiers of learning. The curricula, enhanced with project work, research, open-ended experiments and practical training, are designed with input from the industrial and commercial sectors as well as from local and foreign universities.

Graduating students and alumni are offered career development seminars, courses and programmes such as resume writing and job interview preparations. An annual UNITEN Career Fair is conducted every year which includes a series of workshops, seminar and talks. To date, 97% of UNITEN students were hired within 6 months of course completion.


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Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

Campuses: Kampar and Sungai Long

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) was established under the UTAR Education Foundation as a not-for-profit organisation and launched on 13 August 2002. UTAR currently offers more than 110 academic programmes spreading across nine faculties, three centres and three institutes. The programmes offered range from foundation studies to PhD in the fields of Accountancy, Actuarial Science, Agriculture, Arts, Business and Economics, Creative Industries and Design, Engineering and Built Environment, Information and Communication Technology, Life and Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Process Management, Medicine and Health Sciences, and Social Science and Education.

To date, the university has established formal collaborations to facilitate international exchanges, research and training with over 180 institutions/ and organisation consisting of 117 foreign and local institutions of higher learning and 68 local and foreign industry partners.



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