Saturday, March 2, 2013

Career Change - Online Education?

I am interested in pursuing a second career in architecture. I already have a BA in Art Studio from Davidson College and an MBA in Information Systems from City University in Seattle, WA. After 26 years working (somewhat by accident, actually) in information systems, I've realized I really am not happy at what I've been doing. 

I've been doing some career exploration and began taking several architectural design and graphics classes at our local community college. Finances are a bit tight so I need to keep my current position or I need to be working while attending school (as I am currently doing). Moving is out of the question at the moment as well with my family situation and current mortgage. 

Are there any online programs that are accredited? I'm 47 years old so time is of the essence to complete an accredited degree and work toward licensing. What do you recommend?

First, you may wish to search previous questions I have answered on the ARCHCareers blog - -.

From a strict practical standpoint, you are eligible to apply to a Master of Architecture (3-4 years) given your previous education; but as you are in Seattle, UW would be your only choice for the professional accredited degree.  

Given the nature of an architectural education, there are limited choices for online education - Boston Architectural College, Lawrence Technological University and Academy of Art University.

Perhaps, you can start by simply taking a class or two at UW to confirm your interest in architecture.  Also, have you thought about applying your current skill set to the architecture profession.  You could do what you are doing but within a larger architecture firm or the Department of Architecture at UW.  There are a lot of cool things happening within the profession.

In this case, you are NOT an architect, but you would not need to return to school.  Contact the local chapter of AIA - American Institute of Architects and the Department for ideas.

Go to a lecture at UW to connect with architects and the profession.  

Best!  Read books, blogs, and websites -- search Google for keywords that make sense for you.

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