Should I be going into architecture?


So I’ve just graduated highschool and I am curretly starting my first year in a arhcitecture program at U of T. At first I was really excited because architecture has been something that I thought i would really enjoy. Intially I wasn’t planning on even applying for an architecture program beacause i was told that i wouldn’t get me anywhere. My opinion on that changed after talking to a prof from U Waterloo (he said that architects have more oppertunites outside their feilds etc.). Now that I’m actually starting, I’m having doubts about the whole thing. I know it’s a bit to late, but is it worth going into this? Also what are some recomendations to start gaining experience early? My program sadly doesn’t offer co-op but i still want to try to get around to meeting people in the feild and learning some actually useful skills (since i’ve heard that architecture school doesn’t prepare you well for the actual stuff you’d do in the jobs) 

All in all, wish me luck in my studies !!

Sep 9, 23 1:23 pm

watch the field

Sep 9, 23 2:29 pm  · 

The job market is pretty strong, so you may be able to get a part time job helping out at an architecture firm.  Just know that architecture firms are all over the map in terms of what the work environment is like.  If the first (or second or third!)  job you get sucks, don't necessarily give up on the industry.

If you don't like arch school, don't worry.  It's very far removed from what real architects do all day.

Sep 9, 23 4:13 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

Emil, perhaps it's not clear to you yet, but first year in arch studies is pretty much a return to grade-school level art classes.  You're expected to play around with the basics (light, shadow, shapes, colours, etc) and do dozens and dozens of iterations of seemingly useless "spaces" and whatever all while trying to navigate the rest of the normal university things.  This is/can be overwhelming for young people but it serves a very important purpose:  It knocks down the A-level students who only feel confortable in linear learning environment and it helps break down pre-conceived habits of what is "design".  If you don't like the abstract nature of the program so far tho, you're in for quite a ride.  

Second to the above, note that you won't really be learning anything related to the practice of architecture for a few semesters at least... even less at UofT since it's a general arts degree, not a arch tech (Ryerson) or a hardcore arch studies (Waterloo) bachelor.  You will definitively need to work very hard because the school severely underserves it's cohorts in terms of real-life skills... but first you need to convince yourself that you want to study/work in the design field.  This last point is key because not everyone who studies architecture eventually become licensed or even touches building design.  Many go into design-adjacent fields, product marketing, or construction management to name a few examples.  

But don't get ahead of yourself in the first week of the first semester of first year.  This is the time to explore your creative problem solving skills while learning to play with spatial designs.  There will be plenty of time to learn the normal aspects of building design and construction later but those early first years are crucial.

I've seen many many students like you back when I sat on the interview board for Waterloo and even when I taught my own little first year studios.  

Sep 9, 23 6:21 pm  · 
3  · 

thank you for your insight, what would you recommend for me to do to get some of that experience and knowledge that I would need in the field? Maybe some courses that you'd recommend taking on a specific subject?

Funny thing is that I did get into Waterloo for their architecture program, but because of my living situation I couldn't afford going to move there. 

Sep 16, 23 12:30 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

You skipped out on Loo for UofT? That is one helluva blunder to go from the top arch school in the country to a mediocre general arts degree. I recommend you work for a year and save up living expenses and chase the degree in a proper school... but it certainly is not an easy degree to take at waterloo. But to your other question, there really are no other courses at your level. Best I can suggest is either to expand with electives in finance, business, journalism... tangential disciplines that will get you thinking outside of the typical design tasks. I was taking 4th year elective classes while still in 1st year drawing classes myself... then I took business and philosophy.

Sep 16, 23 4:47 pm  · 
1  · 

Thanks for the info.

Sep 11, 23 7:35 am  · 

Whatever you decide, it is absolutely NOT "a bit too late" for a course correction. Don't go into architecture or anything else thinking that you are somehow a prisoner.  Particularly not at your tender age.

Sep 16, 23 2:16 pm  · 
2  · 

hilarious how people say they don’t have money yet don’t do their research to save money, especially in higher education. 

Sep 16, 23 4:01 pm  · 

Well it doesn’t help when you are pressured into choosing something that decides your future when you aren’t even an adult yet, yes I agree with but honestly all I can say is that I was not prepared for all of this.

Sep 18, 23 9:27 am  · 

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