Architecture as a second Degree?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Geetar, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. Geetar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    I'm looking for advice here from anyone who's done this or even thought about it. It may be mad, but I'll never know unless I try it.

    I'm 43 years old, and after ten years of designing/re-designing residential recording studios and plain old houses in various countries, I've decided to get a professional Architectural qualification that's good worldwide. I've already got a BSc from a London (UK) University in Banking and International Finance, and I'm living in Florida, USA working for a subsidiary of a UK company in the pro-audio business. Oh yes, and I'm not in a hurry.

    Anyway, I figure it's better to do the drafting work myself in future, if possible, rather than continuing to....er.....poke architects on the projects I'm involved in with a pointed stick. So: this involves at the very least getting through both BSc and MSc in Architecture (with a side helping of Acoustics/ Acoustical Engineering ), which could take 6-7 years. So far, Texas A&M looks like a possible. They seem, uniquely for a highly-rated University, to give the maximum credit/exemptions for an underlying non-Arch. degree, cutting the BSc down to an acceptable minimum.........unless I've misunderstood them, which of course is quite possible.

    Is this advisable/improbable/laughable? Anyone got a clue? Any Architects out there?


    Any advice appreciated.


    :confused:
     
  2. Applexilef macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    #2
    hi, I'm currently a college student, and I always have a couple of elder people in the majority of my classes (30+, 40+, etc.). If you think you can do it and you like architecture then go for it!. Plus, I like having people like you in classes because you share plenty of life experiences that most us college kids don't have.

    You really have to like architecture though, you can't do this just because you don't want to "poke architects" for their drawings.

    Do what you enjoy doing, no one can stop you. It's never to late to learn!

    Of course, what do I know about all this stuff. I'm only 19
     
  3. Applexilef macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    #3
    Yes, finally!
    with that previous post my post count is now high enough that I'm officially a macrumors member, woo hoo!

    it's good not to be a newbie anymore.
    Anyways, disregard this post...
     
  4. estlin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2003
    #4
    Hey Geetar,

    I'm currently thinking about getting a M.Arch I. I'm 28 years old, graduated with a (useless) psych degree 5 years ago, went on to become a pretty successful web designer, but have recently gained a love for architecture & furniture design.

    Wow you're quite ambitious to go through both the B.Arch & M.Arch...it takes about 5 years for the B.Arch and another 2 for the M.Arch, which in your case will be a M.Arch II. Since I won't have a B.Arch prior to my Masters and don't plan to, it will be a M.Arch I for me, which is about 3 years of hell. That's an option to think about if you want to cut your time down. I don't think the M.Arch II is any better then the M.Arch I, it's just more for specialization. Not sure how it stacks up against a B.Arch, but it's definitely more focused and intensive.

    I also sometimes think it's crazy (and I still have student loans from my B.A.!) but I would agree with you, you won't know till you try.
     
  5. Geetar thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 18, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5

    Will you end up with a qualification as an actual architect if you miss out the underlying degree? I wasn't aware that was possible.... if you want to be recognised as an architect by the professional bodies in the US and Europe, that is.

    Let me know what you've figured out- I'd be glad to hear of a practical shortcut. I may not be in a hurry (it won't stop me working- I can do my present job at the same time) but I don't mind speeding the process up.
     
  6. Geetar thread starter macrumors regular

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    USA
    #6

    Don't worry. As you'll learn for yourself, I guess, sometimes life moves you in an unexpected direction. And not always at a convenient or expected time.

    I'm probably way more serious about this than anyone who's, say, twenty years old and thinks this "might make an interesting career". After all, I've basically been doing architectural design for ten years already, but without the drafting capability that an architect brings to the table. As for poking architects with a stick, that's way better than some I've worked with actually deserve
     
  7. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #7
    i say go for it....these days people live much longer and on average, have four careers

    i am 40 and didn't really have a defined career per se until i was 35, just jobs here and there with no career path in mind...i had a couple of degrees from a junior college and university but did not want to pursue any specific field as a job/career...then i became a techie and landed into a whole new world of possibilities that actually had a demand in the real world ;)

    my wife got her degree in graphic design and did it on and off for over 20 years and now, at 48, she wants to be an accountant and is pursuing, a new accounting job and accounting training...if she really likes it, then she will pursue a degree

    her dentist was a housewife until she was 40 and now that she's 50 with ten years of experience as a dentist, she's making money for the first time now that she got a proper office, staff, and paid down her student loans

    i graduated from a college that catered mostly to graduate students and mostly to students over age 30...many were pursuing their mba or law degrees and a second or even third major career

    ...and then, there are the many thousands who retire from the military around age 40 who start over, go to college, trade school, or grad school and start a new career in the civilian world...and not once have i ever heard the word "old" in thier lexicon ;)
     
  8. MichaelEB macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    #8
    One thing you need to be aware of is getting a degree in Architecture dosent make you an Architect. The title Architect is legaly protected, just like the word Lawyer or Dr. To actually become an Architect you need at least a BA (5 year degree) and complete a 3 year internship working for an architect registered in the state you want to work. Then you have to test, the registration test is actually a series of 9 tests and costs about $1000.

    So your looking at 8 years + testing which takes about 6 months. Under some circumstances you can get about 6 months credit on the internship for previous related experience. But even after all this you are only licensed to practice architecture in one state, there is reciprocity between some states, and others require more testing. As far as europe, I dont know but I'd guess its similar to the US

    Getting a masters knocks a year off the internship, but most masters programs are 18 months so theres no real time benefit.

    I'm just finishing up my testing, I graduated in 93, did residential remodeling for 5 years and have been in an architects office for the last 6.

    I don't mean to discourage you but this is the reality of becoming a licensed architect.

    I hope this helps
     
  9. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #9
    but isn't the job you are at in your field? and is the pay good? if so, then why become a licensed architect and have to worry about having your own office, employees you have to pay, and possibly high rent for office space?

    i have a friend who is a teacher at a military school and he wanted to achieve full tenure and status there and it takes about 4 years on average...he didn't get it until year 17 just three years before retirement, but at least he got paid all those years in between and at not a bad salary, either...he told me if they retired him before he got his full tenure and status, it would just mean a small difference in his retirement pay anyway and it was just more or less a prestige thing

    i originally wanted to be a network administrator in charge of the entire network but i just got jobs in the support staff and on individual machines...but i got paid so it didn't matter that i never was the "network administrator"...in network administrator school, they teach you to be the head admin, but rarely do people ever get that position, which in small to medium sized companies is often the chief information officer and in each company there is only one...anybody else basically takes orders from him/her

    i have known people who worked for the postal service who wanted to run the local joint and be a postmaster...none of them made it that far but i did meet a postmaster from a different (much smaller) city who basically just fell into the postmaster role and to him it wasn't anything special, it was just a job that happened to have a title people respected

    i think in the end the best thing is to be in a field where one does the work and likes what they do
     
  10. Geetar thread starter macrumors regular

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    USA
    #10

    Yes, if you re-read my original post, I was intimating that at, the very least (by which I meant the beginning of the process), I'll need the Uni BSc and MSc as a precursor....at the age of 43, and with a halfway decent degree and career already behind me, I wouldn't be so naive as to imagine I could just "slip past" either the AIA or RIBA :D
     
  11. MichaelEB macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    #11
    Well, in architecture, having your license makes a big difference. Either to signifigantly advance where I am, or to get a good position somewhere else pretty much requires getting a license.

    That and I want to simplify my description of what I do, legaly I can't call myself an architect, I'm technically an intern, but I've been in the business for over 10 years, it's just strange and having my license will make all this easier.
     
  12. MichaelEB macrumors newbie

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    Mar 23, 2004
    #12
    Sorry but it's a common mistake alot of people make, assuming that the degree automatically give you the title. It also causes some confusion with clients, I'm a project manager, but not an architect, but I have a degree in architecture.

    I don't know what kind of work you do, and you may already be aware that a license isn't required to design houses and some smaller projects, depending on the scale you are working at you may not need the degree. And if its drafting skills you need, thats not that hard to learn, either on your own or with some community college classes. And to be honest most architecture programs dont teach "drafting" They teach design and figure you can learn the drafing skills on the job (which is true)

    Good luck, As far as a career, I really do like my job, it's not what I though I was getting into, but it's good work.
     
  13. Geetar thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13

    Yes, so to be allowed to learn drafting, the practice of acoustical architecture/engineering, specialised CAD etc etc etc in the companies that themselves specialise in the area I'm most interested in , I'll almost certainly need the Degree. It's really the whole shebang, or nothing. If I had a spare brain, I'd also do a Tonmeister course at the same time!

    Plus, there's the recognition thing too, I guess.
     
  14. Apple //e macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    #14
    why dont you just take some art/drafting classes? dont go straight to cad classes, as i think theres something to "learning things the old fashioned way first"
     
  15. MichaelEB macrumors newbie

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    Mar 23, 2004
    #15
    Very well then, off to school with you.

    Personally I really enjoyed architecture school, its a very creative environment where you are encouraged to experiment. Have fun.
     
  16. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #16
    cool, now i know ;)

    thanks for the info
     
  17. estlin macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2003
    #17
    The M. Arch. I is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Almost all of the top arch schools offer it (i.e, Hardvard GSD, Yale, UCLA, Columbia...unfortunately it doesn't look like A&M offer it...but look around, i think a large percentage of arch schools offer it). Read the program descriptions from each school and the NAAB site and you can assure yourself its the real deal. It is however, extremely intensive and they will only take full time students, this means absolutely no employment. MichaelEB is right though, this only grants you the degree, to be a registered arch you need to do an internship plus pass the test.
     
  18. Akira macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #18
    estlin, you say that BSc Architecture takes 5 years. I'm studying Architecture at the TU Delft (The Netherlands), and here BSc takes 3 years and the MSc takes 2 years.
    But the average student takes about 6,3 years to get his MSc-degree.

    I have a 30 year old pilot (flies to Johannesburg, Miami, Singapore etc. every weekend), and he is studying Architecture too, although he wil take about 10 years to get his Master :p
     
  19. MichaelEB macrumors newbie

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    Mar 23, 2004
    #19
    The difference may be that in America you only need a Bachlors in Architecture to Practice. The Masters Degree is preferred for teaching positions but not required for licensure.

    Do you have to have the Masters to Practice?
     
  20. Akira macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #20
    With a Bachelor degree you can do the work an architect usually does, but you can't call yourself an architect. Every year there's like a huge phonebook published where you can find everyone who may call himself an architect.

    But I still find it strange. The BSc/MSc structure is totally new to us, we're using it for about 2-3 years now and the reason for switching to the BSc/MSc structure is to make the degree's exchangeable/comparable. For instance, if I got my BSc at Delft I could get my MSc at Yale without too much trouble
     

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