Friday, August 27, 2010
With respect to the licensure, there is no difference between the two. Both serve as the first NAAB accredited professional degree.
However, obviously they are different in terms of length and emphasis. In terms of the profession, they are different but probably only in the initial years after graduation. Depending on their individual background, employers may have a preference over one of the degrees more than the others, but that would be personal preference.
In other words, if I have a BArch, I may be more interested in graduates from a BArch program or likewise for the MArch. Ultimately, you choose a degree program based on your own criteria - one of which could be how the profession views the degree.
In the end, employers want to see your work and what you can do regardless of degree.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
First, I suggest you check out the following blog that includes answers to questions I receive -- http://archcareers.blogspot.
With your degree, you can easily apply to any number of Master of Architecture (3-4 years) for individuals like you that have an undergraduate degree in another discipline. There is no need to get another undergraduate degree. The true challenge is researching programs and developing your portfolios.
To research programs, visit the following:
Also, visit www.portfoliodesign.com for ideas on how to develop your portfolio.
Friday, August 20, 2010
First, I am sorry to hear that you lost your architectural position; as you recognize, the architectural profession has been hit very hard by the economic situation.
At this point, I suggest you consider yourself as a set of skills that are marketable to employers rather than a career title. Instead of using the title of architect as your goal in the short term, analysis what skills you have developed through your architectural education and position. What did you learn?
Perhaps, most importantly, you learned how to design and the design process which can be transferred to a number of other disciplines. I always joke that all you need to do is place a word in front of designer and you have a career, i.e., interior designer, furniture designer, exhibit designer, graphic designer, industrial designer. As well, graduates now have superb digital skills compared to graduates from the previous generation -- this particular skill can relate to web design, graphic design and the like. One of my former students actually designs wedding invitations as a side business.
Architects are problem solvers and every employment sector needs that skill. Architects learn how to be creative, communicate graphically and orally, participate in a team environment and construct models. All of these skills are transferable to other positions in the short term until the profession rebounds.
The following link on ARCHCareers.org has a list of related disciplines to consider:
Also, consider becoming an architect within employers other than traditional firms. Corporations, governments at all levels, educational institutions (teach CAD or drafting at a community college), developers, engineering and design firms all hire architects on staff or for contract work. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box.
Ultimately, you can reenter the profession, but the key is to stay engaged through reading, connecting with other architects (join the AIA or another professional association, maintaining or improving your skills, and set career goals that move you towards licensure; have your started your NCARB Council Record? In some states, you can actually begin to take portions of the ARE or you can gain credit towards IDP through community service or reviewing the EPC - Emerging Professionals Companion.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I live in Indiana so my options for architectural degrees are limited (Ball State and Notre Dame) and while I would love to go out of state I'm not sure I can, so I'm wondering what would be best to go to college for that would help me in becoming a architect, other than the obvious pre-professional architectural undergraduate degree? Thank you very much for your helpful web site I have found a lot of useful information on it, and I'm hoping you can help me answer these questions. Once again thank you very much.
First, congrats on your desire to pursue architecture as a career path. Next, there is no best way to pursue the education of an architect; you must research the different paths and discover which is best for you. With that being said, you can certainly pursue any discipline/degree in college first and then pursue the Master of Architecture (3-4 years). It does not matter the degree at the undergraduate level, but remember you will need to submit a portfolio as part of your application to the Master of Architecture. For this reason, you may wish to pursue a related degree in art and design, engineering, etc., but what is most important is that you enjoy the major and do well. I understand fully that there are only two architecture programs in Indiana, but why can you not pursue programs in other states? I suggest you consider all programs by researching -- www.naab.org www.archschools.org To determine the best college, you must first determine the criteria by which you will make the decision; next research the colleges, and make a decision on the best fit. Be in touch with the college guidance counselor in your high school.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
As you have learned, determining salaries is a difficult challenge because there are so many variables. Many salary survey data is available, but costs a considerable amount to obtain. Published by Architect Magazine, the 2009 salary below will begin to answer your question.
Below is some information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Median annual wages of wage-and-salary architects were $70,320 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $53,480 and $91,870. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,320, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,220. Those just starting their internships can expect to earn considerably less.
Earnings of partners in established architectural firms may fluctuate because of changing business conditions. Some architects may have difficulty establishing their own practices and may go through a period when their expenses are greater than their income, requiring substantial financial resources.
Many firms pay tuition and fees toward continuing education requirements for their employees.The starting salary of recent graduates will vary depending on their degree (BArch vs. MArch), firm size, location (Urban vs. Rural), amount of experience, etc. It is not an exact science.
When discussing this topic with students, I will state that starting salaries can start between 30 - 45K and will increase with experience again depending on the factors I listed above. When seeking employment, be sure to know your worth and how to negotiate.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Many schools that I have been thinking of applying to don't have an architectural program. What do you think about majoring in Art as an undergraduate and then pursuing a M.Arch after graduation? How would this compare to majoring in architecture as an undergraduate? Would I be behind? And if my school ended up WITHOUT an architectural program, would you more suggest majoring in engineering or arts?
To best answer your questions, you must understand the various paths to an accredited degree. -- There are basically three paths - 1) Bachelor of Architecture (5 years), 2) Master of Architecture (4+2 years), and 3) Master of Architecture (4 + 3-4 years). You may certainly begin an undergraduate degree in architecture paths 1 or 2, but you are not required to do so.
As you suggest, you may gain a degree in another discipline at the undergraduate level and pursue architecture strictly at the graduate level. Your idea to pursue a degree in art first is certainly valid, but understand that it will take longer to obtain the Master of Architecture. You will NOT be behind, but you will want need to submit a portfolio for your graduate program. Pursuing engineering, art, or another discipline is entirely up to you.
Architects are involved in many careers related to design - interior, furniture, etc. Perhaps not so much product design. If interested in design, I would suggest you consider disciplines in applied arts more than fine arts.
Feel free to ask more questions if needed.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
First, review answer posted to the ARCHCareers blog - http://archcareers.blogspot.
With your undergraduate degree in mathematics, you are eligible to apply to the Master of Architecture (3-4 years). There are about 50 programs or so. Begin to research programs via the following websites --
While researching programs, discover what prerequisites each program may require. Most require calculus; some will require physics and others may require freehand drawing and architectural history. To the extent possible, attempt to meet these during your senior year especially freehand drawing as you will need to submit a portfolio to each graduate program.
If possible, consider visiting some programs to learn about them but also to talk with current students. Looking at a map, the closest program may be Syracuse University.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Is there any advice you could give for someone looking for NAAB certified program that would accept a student with such a low GPA?
First, I suggest you review the ARCHCareers blog (http://archcareers.blogspot.
Given that your undergraduate GPA is less than the 3.00 GPA required by most graduate programs, I would suggest the following:
1) Obtain your transcript and fully analyze it; when did you get less than grades of B. What is your major GPA? What is your GPA over the last 60 credit hours or last two years? Why was your academic performance less than 3.00? Did you have reasons for your grades? Once you fully understand your academics, you can better provide your application.
2) Consider taking a graduate level course in architecture at a school as a non-degree student and perform well. By doing so, you can demonstrate your performance separate from you undergraduate.
3) Ensure that the other aspects of your application are stellar especially your portfolio. You are coming from a creative discipline, so ensure that your portfolio is strong.
4) Contact each school you are considering to inquire how to best submit your application with your academics.
You are not wasting your time, but do understand that most graduate programs typically have to support your application to the Graduate College when you do not meet the minimum requirement. By a strong portfolio or graduate level courses, you make it easier for them to write that support.
Monday, August 2, 2010
To become an architect, you need to obtain a professional accredited degree in architecture. As you have an undergraduate degree, you are eligible to pursue the accredited Master of Architecture (3-4 years). For a list, visit the following:
ARCHSchools.org -- www.archschools.org
NAAB -- www.naab.org
Unfortunately, no accredited degree can be done online. Two institutions have distance MArch, but you need to have a pre-professonal architecture degree - Boston Architectural College and Lawrence Technogical University.
Because of you family situation, you may wish to consider other careers within the building industry that do not require an architecture degree.