Work or Study?


Dear Architects,


1. I just started a intern architect job in NYC.

2. I got accepted to Columbia GSAPP MSAAD with $15k scholarship for 2013-2014.

3. I have a MARCH from a state school. 

4. I already have $40k student loan debt.

5. MSAAD will add another $100k debt.

6. I will probably lose my job once I start the program. (MSAAD graduates said it is impossible working even part time job while you are in the program)

7. I am 32 years old......


I am in big dilemma. Will I regret giving up the acceptance throughout my career? How important having an IVY league degree in architecture field? Will that guarantee promising future?

Apr 20, 13 8:42 pm

uumm.. you have an MARCH already.. what is your reason to attend MSAAD? 

if I were you, I'd keep working, pay off debt, save up enough tution, and then apply for MSAAD again if I'm still motivated... perhaps find another part-time profession on the side to finance education or earn a living until you start making real money in architecture.

Apr 20, 13 9:48 pm

You are in a great city with minimal debt. Spend the time to pay it off and get to know and network in the city. NYC is a great architecture hub so let it be your post graduate education. 

100k debt is shackles for life.  

Apr 20, 13 11:40 pm

100k for a piece of paper that probably won't make that much of a difference in your career. instead of buying the same degree a second time, why don't you focus on saving that 100k for any possible children in your future so that they can go to the school of their choice without any debt and not have to go through what you are going through?  just a thought, for this generation in particular.

Apr 21, 13 12:36 am
It's not 100k, it's a 140k...easiest decision you'll ever make. Stay working and take care of the debt you've already incurred.
Apr 21, 13 10:52 am

yeah.. $140K in debt when you're done with your studies.. Don't forget the two or three years of lost time you could've spent working and earned $40K/year.

Apr 21, 13 2:39 pm
Thanks for all your comments. I decided not to go back to school.
Apr 26, 13 8:11 pm


Okay, I just read your comment, absolutely very wise choice! Make a living, pay off that 40k you have and live!

Apr 26, 13 9:04 pm

smart choice.  its not an easy decision.

Apr 27, 13 12:53 am

smart choice... meanwhile, here I am trying to decide if I should go to grad school or not.  I make 40K now and will likely make the same with grad school.  I'd totally scratch it out of my list if I didn't need it to get licensed

Apr 27, 13 1:24 am

accesskb:  how do you feel about construction management?  if you're more of a project manager type then its a graduate degree that could actually pay off.

Apr 27, 13 9:03 pm

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