Switching to Architect after doing bachelors and a year in Banking


Hi guys,

I am giving my passion a chance. After graduating in Business Administration and working for a year in an investment bank, I have come to a conclusion that work will need you to wake up every morning whether you want to or not. So why not work in an industry you would really want to work? So I've quit IB after a year of thinking about what to pursue.

After a thorough analysis, I have chosen architecture to be that playing ground. All my childhood I have played with LEGO creating houses, swords, cars and what not. On top of that, I can never tell how, but I have natural talent in sketching. Not drawing, I suck at painting, but give me a pencil and a blank sheet and I can sketch whatever I see in my mind. People started calling me an artist during my highschool and university. They would see my sketches and ask me what the heck am I doing wasting my talents. I was stupid after money back then and didn't realize money is not easily earned, specially if there is not interest in what you do. Now, I don't care about the money, all I care about is using my gift to give something back to the world.

Well now I am 24 and am in great need for some guidance. If there is someone out there who can guide me through this phase of life, please do. I would love to know everything, I mean every single thing, about architecture.


Syed Osama Hussain

Jan 26, 18 12:13 pm
Non Sequitur

Playing with swords, especially juggling, is extra helpful in architecture but what is more important is how well you think you'll handle another half-dozen years of education and training when you gave up on IB after only one year.

Jan 26, 18 12:37 pm  · 
4  · 

Particularly when you internalize just how poor the financial and pyschic payoff is going to be. Sane people go out of their way to improve their situation; those who do it to make their lives worse are called masochists.

Jan 26, 18 5:30 pm  · 
2  · 

The sanity in me is ordering me to make this decision. Being in IB is the same, the fame the money and the tasks promised in the university and depicted in movies so glamorously is false as well. Might as well be humiliated doing what I like doing. Dont you agree?

Jan 27, 18 7:31 am  · 

I hate to break it to you, but what you've been told about architecture from the media and movies is also completely false. To your point about playing with Lego? Guess what? Every kid loves playing with Lego, because it's play. Work is not play. Your sketching ability doesn't mean anything. Nobody cares about that (I say this as somebody who does the hiring). If you couldn't make it for just one year in business, I suggest looking elsewhere because architecture is a marathon, not a sprint, and it doesn't sound like you're ready for that.

Nov 4, 20 1:49 pm  · 
2  · 

My humble two cents. I think money becomes more important once you get older and actually need money. What architects do is very different from what people often think. Do an internship and see if you still like it. I was good at art. I played with lego all the time. I don't enjoy working in arch firm one bit. Architecture most of the time doesn't mean being artistic, sketching, designing. It often means drawing plans, sections, details, needy ignorant clients, picking finishes and fixtures, cad drawings, dealing with contractors, getting permits from DoB, and cad drawings. If you have money, go travel and see things when you are still 24. Or work odd jobs and discover yourself. Don't be framed in one thing, architecture in this case.

Jan 26, 18 12:52 pm  · 
4  · 

Traveling is part of the plan. The other tasks you mentioned, are fine, in fact, they seem interesting. Whereas the question of dealing with clients, I will need to eventually learn that anywhere unless I become a rock. My point is, do you regret waking up in the morning? Or the projects designed by you, have they not made lives better for anyone else? Because that is why I will be going through the pain of this journey. Design projects in a way that lives are affected through them, hopefully positively (lol) .

Jan 27, 18 7:37 am  · 

No I don't really want to go to work every morning. In fact, like many others in this community, I am planning to switch to a different career field. Important thing you should know is that architects are not the ones who design building. Its the owner or the developer. Architects just listen to them, satisfy them, and get paid to do their work, not yours. Don't be naive. If you really want to make other people's lives better, go help refuges or work for non profit hospitals in Africa or make lot of dollars for donation. People who actually get to design and be creative like Frank Gehry or Koolhaas is very very very rare.

Jan 29, 18 3:30 pm  · 

I agree, I have a passion for architecture but absolutely hate working in this field 95% of the time. Not to be that guy, but if you're going to make the switch to this industry, you better be damn sure you like it because it's not what most people expect. That said, I've known plenty of people to get a bachelor's in business, biology, etc before getting a master's in architecture. It might be even more common for architects to go back for their MBA to move up the corporate ladder. So there's no reason not to aside from one's personal preferences.

Nov 14, 20 11:46 am  · 

I'm probably 2 years late to this post but I went through it - switched from my comfy banking career in HSBC to pursue my "passion" in architecture and now 5 years later (at 32 years old), i wish I can travel back in time and give my younger self a big slap and tell him to stay put in banking. Honestly it is not worth the money, time and effort. I am now worse off than myself 5 years ago emotionally, financially and socially. I regret it every single day and the feeling is worse than that feeling that made you think of quitting your banking job in the first place. Yes i know what you're going through because i went through it myself. I woke up every morning dragging myself to the bank and constantly asking myself why am i doing this when i dont even like it, and that I think i would make a good architect because i used to play with legos and sketch a lot. Truth is, now in hindsight, I should've kept the banking job and make sketching and lego building a hobby because that is NOT what architecture is. It is drier than banking honestly and now its too late for me to do anything and I'll be stuck in this forever instead of a (maybe boring) but lucrative job. 

Nov 4, 20 10:21 am  · 
3  · 

LOL. I just can't stop laughing reading your comment. What were you imagining you will be doing as an architect from that banking job perspective? And you hate your current situation because of the actual architectural work? Or because of the lack of success due to high competition?

Nov 4, 20 1:04 pm  · 
 ·  1
Non Sequitur

My 4y old plays with lego and loves to sketch. Does that mean he has a lucrative career in banking in his future?

Nov 4, 20 1:16 pm  · 
2  · 

I think this comment is very enlightening, and I am sorry it turned out this way.

Nov 4, 20 1:21 pm  · 

the defining characteristic of people who really enjoy a career in architecture is that they love and care about buildings. enjoying various childhood hobbies really isn't a useful guide. the actual work of architects is like all work, it often means getting up earlier than you feel and staying later than you want doing things you don't particularly care for - except that they get the buildings built. sorry to the op no one was available to give you some career guidance and figure out what was actually missing from your work in banking.

Nov 4, 20 6:41 pm  · 
1  · 

to the above poster, you're not stuck with this now. find a career counselor and pay for some time discussing the options with someone who has a broader view of career paths. there are plenty crossover roles that would benefit from your design perspective and depend on the skills that made banking possible for you.

Nov 4, 20 6:44 pm  · 
2  · 

FYI I only made that comment on childhood hobbies because the OP mentioned it in his original post way above. Obviously other factors were at play but I still think my passion in architecture could've been fulfilled in some other way other than leaving the job market for a few years to go back to school. Peace.

Nov 5, 20 1:22 am  · 
Hang in there, things will get better for you eventually (when you’re about 60 lol). Not kidding.

Is there any way you can go into property development with your banking background? This way you could explore your love of architecture, but make some money: Many developers have in-house architects .... good luck!
Nov 4, 20 11:45 pm  · 
3  ·

Jesus, imagine making a multi-million dollar mistake, literally.

Nov 14, 20 7:21 pm  · 

Hi, I am about 3 years  to the post  but the comments has really helped me.

I studied architecture Bsc for 4years, when I was about to go further at Masters,I was advised by my older siblings to come over to the city and get a job.

I tried out getting jobs in architecture firms but the financial conditions were lower than expectations. Now I work in a bank.

It wasn't all bed of roses when I started but today I enjoy it though the whole waking up early is frustrating, what is important is that both my finance and work are balanced.

Recently I was asked what is my next step in banking and I realized I don't have an answer to that. I almost thought again I have made wrong decision joining the bank but reading these comment has encouraged me to pursue my career in banking.

But I need advise, I want to do MBA, ICAN, ACCA to increase my value in the banking sector. 

Jul 29, 21 1:48 am  · 

reviving a thread to ask a bunch of architects what your next step in banking should be? Talk to the original mentor/senior who asked you what your next steps would be. Clearly they're interested in your career. Tell them where you would like to see yourself in 5 years and ask them how to get there. Hopefully another degree is not a requirement.

Jul 29, 21 9:23 am  · 

wrong forum: go to

Jul 29, 21 10:14 am  · 
2  · 

if working in banking was just staring at spreadsheets all day, being on the phone and answering’ll be just fine doing architecture, only for a sliver of that old paycheck.

Jul 29, 21 11:49 am  · 
2  · 

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