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Switching careers at 36 to architecture?

michaellau1

hi I am 36 and thinking of going into architecture. Would it be advisable? And how would I do it? Enroll in an undergrad again or a master's degree? I graduated computer science.. thanks.

 
Nov 24, 19 11:47 am
Bloopox

Since you already have a bachelor degree, the shortest route would be an M.Arch program.  Most have a 3 to 3.5 year route for those who don't already have an undergrad degree in a related field.  Applying typically requires a portfolio of visual work, and sometimes a few pre-reqs such as a course in architecture history, a semester of physics, and/or calculus.

Whether you should do it or not is a lot more complicated - you should try to arrange to shadow an architect, to see what the day to day work is really like.  Understand the timeline:  after the 3 or 3.5 years of study you'll usually need at least 3 years of experience before you can sit for the licensing exams.  An oft-repeated rule of thumb is that architects aren't even fully competent until their mid 50s.  If you start your M.Arch at 36 you'll be 8-10 years behind the average, so might hit your stride in your 60s.  Be realistic about salary expectations: most architects are not highly paid professionals.

Nov 24, 19 12:13 pm  · 
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( o Y o )

Do you have a trust fund?

Nov 24, 19 12:23 pm  · 
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flatroof

Also if you go the 3/3.5 M.Arch. route, know there is a bit of a bias against graduates of those programs outside the Ivies, MIT, etc. Many 5 or 6 year degree holders look down on them as expensive associates degrees and I have seen job ads for entry level specifying 5 or 6 year degrees only. 

Nov 24, 19 2:42 pm  · 
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BulgarBlogger

Lol- you have it all wrong. If you get credit for all AP-classes, you can substitute architectural classes for general education classes in order to be full-time. Beyond that, the B.Arch supplements his 3-years or so of architectural education (as you put it) with earlier exposrure to practice/work. Where someone who went to a four-year non-architecture related program, and then gets a 3.5 Masters (total of 7.5 years of education), the B.Arch graduate has a headstart

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BulgarBlogger

in terms of experience. Finally, the B.Arch saves a total of 2.5 years of tuition compares to that person who "suddenly" woke up and decided he/she wanted to study architecture and enrolled in a 3.5 year M.Arch.

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SneakyPete

Speaking as a 3.5 graduate, you can succeed just fine.

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Formerlyunknown

No M.Arch programs grant advanced placement for work in a firm.

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Formerlyunknown

There is advanced standing in some M.Arch programs, based on previous coursework. Articulation doesn't apply though, because the courses don't "transfer". There's no connection between undergrad and graduate transcripts, and your GPA starts over from scratch in grad school (except in a few cases of schools that award both a 5-year B.Arch and a 1-year or 1.5 year M.Arch at the same time at the end of one continuous curriculum.) What happens is that the M.Arch program admits the student at a higher level, and waives the credit requirement for the courses already taken. There is also advanced placement or course waiver - this is different - it means the courses are waived, but the total credit requirement is still the same. In that situation the student has to take other electives instead of the waived required courses, because the credits needed to graduate are still the same.

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sameolddoctor
Are you stupid?
Nov 24, 19 10:05 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Let's pretend, for the moment, the answer is yes. What next?

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Dokuser

Next question: Who hurt you? Haha I'm just joking, but in all honesty, what makes you want to switch fields?

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Menona

No.  Don't do it.

Nov 25, 19 12:42 pm  · 
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Dokuser

Look into computational design maybe

Nov 26, 19 4:06 pm  · 
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