I'm having trouble deciding whether to do the M.arch program (for non architectural background) straight after undergrad or taking a gap year (or two). Is it beneficial to work before and gain some real world experience? I don't want to get burnt out but also am thinking that it may be good to go ahead and start my career. Any advice?
This is always the million dollar question - go straight through or take a year or two between.
First, I would apply to programs and plan to pursue the degree directly after your program because you can always decide later to not go if admitted. Next spring, you cannot apply to programs after the deadline if you do not have a position.
Normally, I would suggest you work between degrees to broaden your exposure to the profession, discipline, but can you find employment? What is your UG degree?
Remember, that most graduate programs for those with a degree in another discipline may be 3-4 years -- taking a year or two in between may be a nice diversion if you can afford it.