Saturday, November 27, 2010

Architecture - Career Decision

I am interested in architecture and I just finished high school this year and graduated with science subjects,physics, chemistry, mathematics and English in my home country Tanzania, out of the six options of courses I was asked to choose, I later was chosen to do computer science... is computer science related to architecture? Can i just pursue that degree then do architecture later? Or will I have lost a lot of time by then? And what will be the major requirements since I don't have a portfolio of work....Another thing is that I have an opportunity to study a foundational course in the UK at Sheffield Int. College which will direct me to Structural engineering and architectural studies. What is the difference between this and architecture itself?

My great desire is to be an architect. I just need to know what path I ought to take so that I won't waste time and later regret

First understand that my expertise is in becoming an architect in the United States. With that said, I would suggest to you that computer science is not related to architecture. In the US, you could certainly pursue architecture (Master of Architecture) after you received a degree in computer science. It would certainly take you longer.

To apply to a Master of Architecture degree, you will definitely need a portfolio of creative work. If possible, take courses in art, freehand drawing to produce materials for your portfolio.

Below are definitions of the two terms.

Structural engineering is a field of engineering dealing with the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads. Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right.

Architecture is the art and science of designing and erecting buildings and other physical structure

In summary, if your passion is architecture, you may wish to consider studying it as soon as you are able. I wish you the best.

Dr. Architecture

Thursday, November 25, 2010

IDP Hours

I came across your blog"ARCH Career" and found various posts which is very helpful.
I am B.Arch graduate from India graduated in 2008. I am currently in San Francisco, CA.
I just got in a part time job now, and I want to know if I can add those part time working hours to my IDP? Also I worked in India for 1 year in an Architectural Firm. I worked 6 months in 1 Firm, another 6 months in a different firm. Can I add these too to my credit hours? If so do I have to get a letter from my Previous Employee who hired me(From India)?

How do I start my IDP Hours? Do I have to register before I start accumulating my IDP hours?
I know I asked way too may questions.Sorry about that. I asked many people and no one seems to really know about the Foreign Degree.

I would really appreciate if you could help me regarding this.

First, I am pleased to know that you have found the ARCHCareers blog helpful.

Now, the best place for all of your answers on IDP is NCARB --

Everything you possibly want to know is outlined in the IDP Guidelines also available from the website. For example, with respect to working part-time, it counts if it meets this requirement.

Effective 1 July 2008:
To earn training hours in most work settings, you must meet the following requirements:
FULL TIME: 32 hours per week for a minimum period of eight consecutive weeks
PART TIME: At least 15 hours per week for a minimum period of eight consecutive weeks

Normally, you experience in India would count, however, NCARB now has the six-month rule which means you must document your experience within six months; again, review the IDP Guidelines.

To begin, start a NCARB Council Record -

I also found the attached Path to Licensure Handbook from the AIA California Council which may be helpful. --

Dr. Architecture

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seeking Employment - Frustration

Dear Dr. Architecture, I am a 23 year old who just recently graduated from a University with my Masters Degree. Unfortunately I attained my degree in Architecture. Which I guess is one of the worst degrees to have in this economy. I have applied for numerous jobs, but I have not received any responses. Most of the jobs require experience(2-5 years). I cannot become a licensed architect unless I am employed as an architect or intern. Currently, I am working a part time job that does not require a degree, and I have moved back home to California. Do you have any suggestions for me, should I go back to school, is there a better state to find an architect job? I am getting really frustrated, any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Certainly, the profession of architecture has suffered greatly during this economic time, but I would disagree with your statement -- "one of the worst degree ..." I would say the exact opposite.

Someone who has a degree in architecture is probably best equipped for job searching because of a degree in architecture is the best liberal arts degree -- it teaches one to problem solve creatively. Granted, you have been unable to secure employment but perhaps you need to broaden your search and truly analyze the skills you can offer a prospective employer.

I understand that such an approach may postpone your officially becoming an architect but did you know that you can still gain some experience in IDP although not employed.

First, one resource to read is What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles ( It is a book to do, not just read. Also, become connected with the AIA in California; depending on when you graduated, you may still be eligible for free membership ( More specifically, connect with other emerging professionals through programs offered by the AIA. Some chapters have networking programs and support groups for those seeking employment.

Network! Volunteer! Spend eight hours a day seeking! As mentioned before, expand your employer base; what skills do you have to offer a prospective employer and who are those employers that can use your set of skills.

Do not give up! The profession of architecture will need you when the economy recovers.

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Architecture Internships in NYC

I would love to do an Internship in New York.
Could you help me, getting some answers to the many questions I have about how to contact the Architects or better, which Architects.
And also if you do have some information about the J- Visa, as I am from Europe.

Thank you!
I think a number of aspiring architects would love to do an internship in NYC.

Probably your best source for a list of architects in NYC is the following:

As for visa information, below is the best source.

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, November 14, 2010

3D Animation in Architecture

I have a bachelors degree in film from the University of Notre Dame and a certificate in 3D animation from the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University. I specialize in 3D architectural visualizations and am looking to work for an architecture firm. However, I am having difficulty finding anywhere that is hiring. As I am just starting out in this field, I am unsure how to get my name out or how to find these kinds of positions.

I am located in Williston, VT (right near Burlington) but should theoretically be able to work for anyone from home. Do you have any suggestions of places I should look at or how I should proceed with my career search? I am also happy to provide any other information you think may be useful. I appreciate your help.

Congratulations on your degree from Notre Dame and additional certificate. As you may know, my expertise is truly on becoming an architect, but I will add my insight that I will hope be helpful.

As you wish to work for an architecture firm, you should be connected to architects; the best way is to become a professional affiliate of the American Institute of Architects (AIA - -- AIA Vermont -

Additional resources
SMIBE is a volunteer-run educational and professional organization that supports the advancement of moving image arts about the built environment.

There are too many to list, but simply use a search engine in your internet browser to search for "3D animation in architecture firms." Read professional journals, attend conferences on the topic and even consider beginning a blog on the topic to get you name out. I found this one -- not exactly, but seems to be helpful.

Think of yourself as a business that has a skill/expertise to offer. Who might need your skills? Think big beyond just architecture. Perhaps a realtor does to market their homes for sale.

Dr. Architecture

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Job searching

I was hoping you could help with career questions. I have a liberal arts degree and curious about any work available for someone without a architecture degree, I have some CAD and Photoshop experience. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


First, my expertise is on becoming an architect, but I will share some thoughts.

Given the current job market in architecture, it is highly unlikely that architecture firms will hire anyone without any architecture degree. With that said, you can certainly promote your skills to architecture firms, but you may need more than just SOME CAD and Photoshop experience. Outside of traditional architecture firms, possible other employer types might include engineering firms, landscape architecture firms, interior design firms or even construction companies. You have to think about possible employers who could use your set of skills beyond just the CAD and Photoshop. What skills did you develop from your liberal arts degree that would transferable.

Another thought would be real estate or manufacturers that need employees that know CAD.

Dr. Architecture