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Best Master's degree to pair with a Bachelor's in Architecture degree?

May 15 '13 6 Last Comment
VCar
May 15, 13 10:58 pm

Hello, 

Next year I will be graduating with a B.Arch degree and I am looking for a master's degree. 

I'm interested in either Project Management or Construction Management and have thought of a business degree as well. But I'm honestly not sure which route to go if those are correct or if it's another route. 

What am do I ultimately want?
I would like to be outside more often then inside. 
I want to oversee what's going and delegate tasks and ensure that they are met. 
I want to be involved in the project moving forward and being completed. 

These are the only three things I can think of right now. 
Any help would be greatly appreciated. 


Also, would it be better to work and go to school part-time or to get the master's out of the way? Personally I would like to do the former even if it takes me longer and I see it as a way to gain work experience at the same time. 

Thank you. 

 

observant
May 15, 13 11:20 pm

I'm interested in either Project Management or Construction Management and have thought of a business degree as well. But I'm honestly not sure which route to go if those are correct or if it's another route. 

First, you are looking for a masters program in these fields rather than a second bachelor's degree, as you indicated. 

If you are absolutely SURE that you want to be associated with construction, then a MSCM or MSBC would be the better choice.  I probably would get SOME experience in an architect's office before going back.  These programs are generally offered at night, if in urban areas, and full time if in a college town setting.  Of the college town schools, U of Florida is the most renowned and the oldest such program in the country, assuming you're in the US.  You could probably move to development, design-build or facilities management with this degree.  I think you will get the time "outside" you are looking for.  However, getting out of design/construction/allied fields will require that you can convince someone, given that all of your education is in that realm.

If you want more of a generalist education, go for the MBA.  Two years.  Again, you can go full time, and you can go right after the B.Arch., but they, too, like to see work experience, so you might as well work for a while.  Or you can go in the evenings, also at some of the top schools, though that would be a real grind, especially at a good one.  They don't give those away. After the MBA, you might be more employable  for development and real estate than construction, but you could swing that one, too.  The MBA will allow you to manage in any environment, though.  Also, if from a really plum school, the top 10 or so, the earnings upon landing a job will be the highest; however, the earnings in construction management will also be respectable.  The question is whether you would find generalist business employment, say banking, energy, or consumer products, interesting enough to justify the higher earnings.

I think it depends on how much flexibility you want with the education and if you have interests outside of construction or development.

OoohnooO
May 16, 13 6:13 pm

I actually have a friend of mine who obtained his BS in Architecture from UMich. Worked for a little bit and started a side business and quickly sold it to attend Law school to get his Juris Doctor. 

*Note he is my age at 25, so if you want to get a graduate degree it might be best to work for a bit before heading on. Or find a accredited online MBA program or something. 

s=r*(theta)
May 17, 13 11:38 am

Based on op, I would definitely suggest Master in construction management;

  Although if you want to save some $$$ and make $$$$$ all at once then i would skip the grad degree altogether; get a entry job for a sub or general construction company; work your way up to PM, once you have a good understanding & experience of the work flow; managing people, time, & resources (knowing the ends and outs) i would apply for assistant or PM opening within the company or another company. :D

this way you will be in the office, in the truck, outside in the cold, in the baking heat, on the phone, on the computer, on the ipad, in the dark, up 4:30am, 400mi away from home in a job trailer, at the county jail (some of your crew may end up here and you really need them to get a job done), at the bar........:D

observant
May 17, 13 3:44 pm

It will be hard to turn the MBA into a quasi-blue collar experience, unless you bagged it and began laying rebar.  With a master's in CM, it could go either way - from coat and tie to fairly crusty, and anywhere in between. 

The MBA will probably teach you too much stuff you don't want to know - about economic theory, statistics you will never use, and marketing research techniques, among other things.  On the other hand, a master's in CM will feel like a business-like degree that is applied to construction and most of the allied fields.

I sort of don't recommend making this choice right now, and you really need to talk to people who are graduates of both types of programs.  Is this thread because you are graduating into a not so great job market, or because you had always intended on graduate study because you wanted to focus on aspects that are not typical design and production in an architect's office?

Muhammad tariqMuhammad tariq
Nov 6, 14 11:50 pm

survey the market where u want to work

Volunteer
Nov 7, 14 6:00 pm

MBAs are not the be all and end all they were a few years ago. A lot of people who quit their jobs to get an MBA degree wound up working for much less, if at all, when they finished the degree. Something like a Masters in Finance would still have traction, as would a Masters in Construction. Best option, if at all possible, is to enroll in a night program at a good school while you continue working.

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