Transitioning from Architecture to Big Data


Good evening to everyone:

I find myself considering options for my professional career, and aspiring to focus on learning specific skills in order to fit into a sought-after profile with stable labor conditions in the near future.

Even though I know it's not a simple task, I would like to at least try. Being already quite disillusioned with my architecture studies, I discovered during my first real-world experiences that I wasn't interested in traditional architectural practice either.

I am very passionate about Computational Design (working mainly with Rhino/Grasshopper, also Revit/Dynamo) and programming in general, although I still have my reservations about whether there is enough demand for professionals in this field (CompDes).

Big Data came to my mind not only because it looks like some companies in the AEC industry are starting to apply this technology, but also because it seems to be a specialization with a promising future in applied in many other fields as well. Demand for data analysts seems to be quite high, and salaries do not seem bad either. I hope this could theoretically open a door for me, should I decide to leave the architectural field at some point in the future.

I am considering enrolling in a Big Data bootcamp programme since that is the only reasonable way I could get certified qualifications in my area (Spain), other than a CompSci 4-year degree (shorter education programmes in the field are not related specifically to Big Data).

Leaving aside the expensive costs of bootcamps, would you suggest following this career path? Do you think it is a good way of taking advantage of my current studies in case I would like to switch completely to a position inside the Computer Science / Software Development / Programming fields? Do you think a professional with an Architecture Degree and certifications in Big Data represents an interesting / desirable profile for companies in the AEC industry to employ?

Thanks a lot for your time and patience.

Kind regards.

Jul 9, 19 7:09 pm

You'll be competing against programmers with years of training and education. Not that you can't learn from a good boot camp, but be aware that while the barrier to entry might seem low (as advertised), chances for career progression once you're in may be stacked against newcomers without a very strong foundation in computer programming. Are you better off as an architect proficient in computing/data science or as a low-level programmer who happens to have training in design? I;m wary of boot camps in general due to their selling point that they are somehow comparable to a deep foundation and experience in programming. From what I know of friends in econometrics, biology and computing, their aptitude in programming far exceeds the visual programming designers are accustomed to.

Jul 9, 19 8:25 pm

Just out of word of advice, "low-level" in computer programming means something different than you intended. Low-level means programming at machine language level or very darn close to it. However, I think you mean entry to junior level programmer with little programming skill.

I agree with your overall point. You really can't crash course your way to a senior programmer level or anything meaningful. It may help but degree or not, you will have to build a portfolio of works. When it comes to software field, a degree or advance degree in computer programming/science/etc. is not everything. Companies that predominately develops software applications and utilities and various SaaS type of services and the associated IT related fields will typically look at those with degrees over those that don't. More to it, they prefer those with degrees whose focus is closely related to what they do as a business. Less on the job training. 


However, actual but relevant experience is more important in the long run. They will generally not care all that much about the architecture degree or education. It's a whatever thing. This is likely to be the norm so you'll have limited choices if you want a job that is going to give a damn about that degree to mean anything. 

You mention "Big Data" but that's one of those "buzz words" that means a lot. Broadly speaking, we are likely to be talking about database systems. It's like you're trying to shotgun your approach to something specific but you don't know what the specific you want to be doing. You aren't being clear in what you want to do.


You mention Big Data? Are you interested in the data/scientific part or the actual nuts and bolts of programming? Id think hard about this because it might inform your decision. There are many advanced degree folks in the sciences/economics who later are working in data science fields...their programming skills are so/so but their math/analysis skills are excellent. The other side being an excellent programmer with little exposure to advanced data/math/analysis. Just something to think about as you consider your options.

Jul 10, 19 1:41 pm

I see a shift in employers looking for Economist - would suggest you get a PGT degree in economy else you will be a digital monkey - have a look at

Jul 11, 19 4:35 am

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