Use your subject


Think about what 'using your subject' means to you and what you're really looking for. Do you want to apply your subject-specific knowledge or skills to the real world? Or maybe you want to continue to practice and develop these skills? Maybe it's a broader interest in your subject that you want to keep alive by working in a relevant type of organisation?

As a start, use the resources below to create your own list of career ideas to research.

Remember that the vast majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject.

  • Look at what alumni from your department have done using the DLHE data we collect and through the University of Sheffield alumni page on LinkedIn.
  • Search for and contact alumni in your subject through our Graduate case studies database.
  • Browse the career ideas for Architecture graduates on Prospects and Targetjobs but keep in mind that these are not a comprehensive list of all the careers related to your subject.
  • Brainstorm ideas and do some initial investigation to find out about research, organisations, start-ups, government bodies and freelancers connected to your subject.

Some career options

Our information resources - Occupations section is a good place to start to explore the following occupational areas. However you are not restricted to these and you should also consider any other additional factors which are important to you for your future career using our Understand yourself and your options section.


Works in a studio to design new buildings and alterations to existing ones. Consults with clients and other construction professionals to create efficent, attractive and functional designs, including individual buildings or larger developments.

Architects assess the users' requirements, advise on practical issues related to the design and necessary materials, and consider the proposed project's impact on the environment.

Use our Occupations section Architecture, landscape and urban design for more information and links to useful websites.

Exhibition designer

Works on the design and presentation of various types of exhibitions including trade shows and conferences, or exhibitions for museums and galleries.

Designers need to create concepts that are practical and communicate the client's information to the people attending the event/location, while also being aesthetically appealing.

A relevant postgraduate qualification is not always necessary.

Use our Occupations sections Event management and Media and multimedia for more information and links to useful websites.

Graphic designer

Designs the visual aspects of a wide variety of digital and printed products including websites, adverts, written publications, computer games, packaging and displays.

Designers also create the visual branding of organisations, working on publicity and communications. They work with other creative staff and clients to develop and agree creative concepts.

Although formal graphic design training is not essential, you will need experience of using relevant design software.

Use our Occupations sections Creative and performing arts and Media and multimedia for more information and links to useful websites.

Historic buildings inspector / conservation officer

Advises on the conservation of historic buildings or buildings in conservation areas, drawing on their knowledge of preservation, care and enhancement of such buildings.

They assist with new developments and regeneration projects, advising on planning applications. This may be a career for experienced architects to move into, or is potentially open to new graduates.

A relevant accredited postgraduate qualification is not essential but can be very advantageous.

Use our Occupations section Culture and heritage work for more information and links to useful websites.

Interior and spatial designer

Designs and renovates internal spaces, working on design aspects such as structural alterations, as well as fittings, furnishings, the colour scheme and lighting.

The goal is to create aesthetically pleasing and functional interiors that are fit for the purpose of the space. As an interior designer, you may work on domestic, commercial, and leisure projects, designing the interiors within buildings and inside other structures, such as trains, aeroplanes, or elevators.

Use our Occupations section Construction, property and land for more information and links to useful websites.

Landscape architect

Plans and designs open spaces in natural and built environments, to provide aesthetically-pleasing areas that are also fit-for-purpose.

They work closely with other professionals, collaborating on a varied range of projects in both urban and rural settings, eg gardens, country parks, and housing developments through to city-centres and leisure/sports sites.

To become a landscape architect, you would need to take an accredited professional qualification typically completed via postgraduate study.

Use our Occupations section Construction, property and land for more information and links to useful websites.

Multimedia developer

Designs and develops multimedia systems and products, using skills in audio and visual media to combine various media such as text, images, animation and sound into digital material.

Developers also test products to fix problems. A relevant qualification may be necessary to acquire the necessary technical skills.

Use our Occupations section Media and multimedia for more information and links to useful websites.

Production designer (theatre/television/film)

Develops the visual concept of films, TV or theatre productions including the design of sets, locations, graphics, and equipment such as lighting, camera angles and props.

They work closely with the director and producer. Designers often manage the art department, which includes design and construction staff. They tend to specialise in film, television or theatre, although there may be some overlap.

Use our Occupations section Creative and performing arts for more information and links to useful websites.

Secondary school teacher (Design technology)

Prepares and delivers lessons to students of different ages and abilities, assesses students’ work, and creates new teaching materials based on the education curriculum.

It is vital to maintain an up-to-date understanding of the subject and teaching methods to prepare students for examinations and assessment. Approved teacher training is required to teach in UK state schools, often involving the completion of a recognised postgraduate qualification.

Use our Occupations section Primary, secondary and special needs for more information and links to useful websites.

Structural engineer

Structural engineers are involved in the design and construction of structures such as buildings and bridges to ensure they are safe and can maintain their structure, withstanding the natural environment. They may also be required to evaluate existing structures to assess how they prone they are to rotation or collapse.

Most structural engineers are office based, where the work would involve calculating stress loads and choosing materials for construction, providing drawings and specifications to be supplied to contractors.

Alternatively, if working as a contractor, you would have a more practical on site role, supervising once designs are complete. Employers can include engineering consultancies, contractors, government and local government agencies and utility companies.

Graduates without a civil or structural engineering degree would normally need to study for a relevant Master's degree.

Use our Occupations sections Engineering and Construction for more information and links to useful websites.

Urban designer

Develops ideas for the design of the environments people live and work in, ranging from entire towns to individual streets.

As well as creative design skills, you'll also need the ability to research and understand the physical and economic nature of a location and the needs of people using it. A specific urban design qualification is not always necessary if you have a related qualification and/or relevant design and software skills.

Use our Occupations section Architecture, landscape and urban design for more information and links to useful websites.