Architecture + Management??


If I wanted to transition into a more managerial role within an architecture firm, what would be the next best step in terms of education? Not necessarily another degree, maybe just a short course series or something similar? I am interested in management in terms of like a COO. 

My background is in Civil/Structural Engineering and my graduate degree is in Architecture, but I am considering moving into Real Estate Development or Construction Management or plain Business Administration (though I don't know which one would be a better option).

Dec 23, 21 7:48 pm

You don't need a hundred degrees, you need professional experience.

Dec 23, 21 8:25 pm  · 
6  · 

I think some education in business and finance would pay dividends if you want to have a COO role or similar. Too many architects eventually find themselves in roles they are woefully unprepared for, especially when starting their own firms. Don't go overboard, target your education for the usable information, not the degree. Then direct the conversation during interviews so they know you are competent and educated.

Dec 24, 21 10:43 am  · 
1  · 

I definitely occur on getting a business grasp somewhere along. Working with a smaller owner directly might offer more insight through observation than taking courses really structured towards corporate/formal hierarchy. That's more a game than anything academic, in which one might be better off joining a social club and getting the quick nuggets of tried wisdom and connections upwards.

Say if they had a year, what would be most productive: a few intro courses or some work at a development/RE business?

Dec 24, 21 11:43 am  · 

Provided they could get the job and assuming the business was properly run, the latter. It's challenging to learn anything if the company is run ad hoc by folks who never learned anything except from other trial and error folks.

Dec 24, 21 2:23 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Op is in the 1st year of their M.arch and is already looking at management?  Oh boy.... gotta learn how to crawl before jumping into a 100m gold medal dash.

Dec 24, 21 2:47 pm  · 
1  · 

I have both an B. Arch and an MBA … I took my license 3 years after my B. Arch. I took my MBA three years later.

Professionally, I practiced architecture, worked in real estate development, operated my own management consulting firm working primarily with design firms, and finished my career as the managing principal of a mid-sized design firm.

The MBA provides excellent preparation for a career like this and opens doors (and provides a level of confidence) that lesser credentials would not.

Dec 24, 21 3:02 pm  · 
5  · 

Architects are terrible business people who typically refuse to acknowledge it. It boggles my mind. Our industry isn't special, but good luck convincing a principal of 99.99999% of small and medium firms (and there's a reason they don't ever make the jump to large firm status - it's not for lack of design abilities)

Dec 24, 21 11:02 pm  · 

Might help to sharpen what you want to be first long term.  Think that would inform your next step.

Guessing to be COO or some kind of upper manager you really need have hit a sr level of architectural responsibility so doing other stuff doesnt make sense yet.   Need a lot more arch experience first.  Not something academics can teach you.

If you are interested in RE development, just go for it and start out as a junior PM.  Take some finance classes.

Dec 25, 21 2:43 pm  · 
I worked as a PA for a while and then regretfully jumped to a PM position. Very different role in my experience. Far less to do with putting buildings together than it is as steering the ship and keeping all of the architecture team, engineers, client, client consultants, AHJ, and GC moving smoothly. Much more administrative and about people skills. Emails come in tidal waves and keeping head above water is hard enough on an easy day! When shit hits the fan you get to answer!
Dec 28, 21 4:29 pm  · 
1  · 

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