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Going back for B.Arch

ill_will

Confusing title, I know. The institution I attended for my bachelor of science in architecture has recently been accredited for a b.arch program and has invited alumni back to do one year of study to get their b.arch as well. I have applied just to give myself the choice later this year. I'm definitely on the fence about it. Any advice/trolling accepted. 

Pro's: I spend one year getting a professional degree rather than 3-4 years at an M.arch, I would technically have two undergrad degrees (maybe good for resume?), if I did want to get a masters it would be shorter and cheaper (my undergrad school was pretty cheap to begin with). I would also probably do better in school because working in firms makes you more responsible, time managing, etc.

Con's: I would have to leave the city I'm in, I wouldn't get paid as much if at all, not sure where the job market would be when I get out, moving back and forth would be a hassle. I'd also probably have to start as an intern again, even though I have 2+ years of experience and LEED cert.

Edit - End goal is to get licensed and work at or possibly start a firm (starting one would be wayyyy in the future). I might try teaching, but I kinda like project work.


 
Jan 11, 24 12:02 pm

Questions:

Are you licensed now?  If not do you want to be?

Do you want to teach?

Side note:  having a BS Arch is not worth putting on your resume if you have a B Arch or M Arch.  


Jan 11, 24 12:08 pm  · 
3  · 
ill_will

Not licensed yet, might teach down the line. Good to know about the resume, I only thought it might be relevant because of the gap 2 years

Jan 11, 24 12:19 pm  · 
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ill_will

edited the post, good context questions Chad!

Jan 11, 24 12:22 pm  · 
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If you want to teach then a M Arch would be good. If you are just going to practice then a B Arch is all you need. That being said, the best instructors I had were people without M Arch degrees who practiced for 20 plus years prior to teaching.

A M Arch will take less EXP hours (around 3,000) than a B Arch (around 4,000 hours).  My numbers could be way off though.  


Jan 11, 24 12:24 pm  · 
2  · 
natematt

"Side note:  having a BS Arch is not worth putting on your resume if you have a B Arch or M Arch."  

What? Why wouldn’t you indicate having a BS and an M if you have them? That’s pretty typical on most architect resumes.

I can understand why you might not put a BS and a B, but in this case it actually seems more applicable so people don’t misunderstand your professional experience.

Jan 11, 24 1:58 pm  · 
2  · 

If you have an M Arch and a B Arch you wouldn't bother putting the B Arch on your resume unless you had years between them.

Jan 11, 24 4:14 pm  · 
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natematt

I’d be curious to hear from more people who have these degrees on this. Admittedly not the MOST common education configuration but given that one is a grad degree and the other undergrad I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t show both to paint the full picture. Most people who do both don’t get a professional M degree either, which makes it even more confusing if you have a 1 year M degree as the only education on your resume. It would always beg a lot of questions in my mind if you just had an M degree shown. To be clear, in architecture I don’t think it means much by comparison and I wouldn’t get a masters with a professional undergrad degree, but for clarity sake I think It’s a smart move to show the info.

Jan 11, 24 4:56 pm  · 
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That is a good point!

 I was thinking of people who get an undergrad in architecture (BS Arch, Environmental Design, ect) then moving onto either a B Arch or a M Arch. I didn't think about those who have an undergrad not in architecture then get a 1-2 year M Arch.

I think in the latter case I'd put both the undergrad and the M Arch on your resume.  At the very least it lets firms know the actual amount of experience you have.  

Jan 12, 24 12:59 pm  · 
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natematt

Yeah, I think my point there is that if you have an undergrad and grad degree, I’d always show both because otherwise you’re missing half the story.

If you’re doing a non-professional undergrad and then a professional undergrad (BArch) degree, then I think it’s contingent on the narrative of your educational and work experience. I don’t think this is a particularly common path, but I see there being 3 possible ways this might come about with different approaches to how you’d represent it.

1) If you graduated from a non-professional degree and were able to go basically straight into a BArch, probably at the same school. Which would be similar to someone who went to OPs school but just graduated and then found out they could go back for another year right away. In which case, I wouldn’t include the lesser degree once I got the BArch.

2) If you graduated with a lesser degree and were able to go back after working a while and get your BArch at the same school. Which appears to be OPs case. I would include both, because otherwise when it says you graduated in 2024, but you already graduated several years ago and have full-time permanent work experience, no one is going to understand that without a lot of explanation. You’ll probably be doing yourself a disservice.

3) If you graduated from a lesser degree and at any time went back for a BArch at a different school. I would include both degrees because it gives you a broader network of associations. There might be counterpoint examples of this where you’re trying to game it with this situation, but generally that’s my thought on it.

Jan 12, 24 1:28 pm  · 
3  · 
reallynotmyname

What natematt says is true based on my real-world experience in reviewing resumes.

Jan 12, 24 1:55 pm  · 
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It's true in my real world experience in reviewing resumes. I've seen several CRV's that had a non arch undergrad and a two year M Arch. After a quick look at their portfolios we decided they weren't considered. The few people with B Arch degrees didn't have any other schooling listed were considered. The people that showed their undergrad arch and M Arch degrees were considered.

Jan 14, 24 5:14 pm  · 
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reallynotmyname

"I'd also probably have to start as an intern again, even though I have 2+ years of experience and LEED cert."  is a needless worry.  

Any employer who wants to minimize or ignore your LEED accreditation and 2 years of office experience post-college is someone you should never work for.

If you are two years in and you still like doing architecture, getting a BArch cheap and quick is a good idea.  It will open up more career options for you in coming years.

Jan 11, 24 12:24 pm  · 
5  · 

/\ This. If your design work is the same quality in each program then your two years work experience and your LEED accreditation will be worth way more than a M Arch degree.

Jan 11, 24 12:28 pm  · 
2  · 
ill_will

That's good advice. Thank you

Jan 11, 24 12:31 pm  · 
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reallynotmyname

The BArch is no-brainier for an aspiring firm owner. The teaching thing in the US is a whole different animal. A BArch holder may be able to get some part-time adjunct teaching gigs, but the full time stuff is pretty much reserved for MArch's and PhD's (and too often just those from "prestige" schools). But those degrees don't guarantee anything, there are still ridiculous levels of competition for faculty jobs.

Jan 11, 24 12:34 pm  · 
2  · 
ill_will

Good to know!

Jan 11, 24 1:27 pm  · 
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As reallynotmyname said, getting a cheap and quick BArch is absolutely a good thing! Go for it. It opens up lots of possibilities.

Jan 12, 24 12:34 pm  · 
4  · 
midlander

Do you see a long term future for yourself in your current firm? If so, talk to someone in the firm leadership to get some advice and see if there is any possibility to return on graduating. They might even offer some kind of support if they want to help you develop.

If not, then all the more reason to get the degree and move forward in your career.

Jan 13, 24 6:55 pm  · 
1  · 

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