After a lengthy course of five years, each student takes a breath of relief after the Final architecture thesis reviews. This respite is short-lived, with the dooming choice between an architectural job and a master's degree. Muddled by the opportunities and possibilities available, the quest for the right outcome often takes a toll on the minds. On one hand, gaining practical knowledge and enhancing your hands-on skills strikes as an impressive option, but on the other, pursuing an architecture master's to increase knowledge and specializing in your field of interest sounds equally enticing.
Post Graduation Plans: Should I Start Working or Go for Architecture Masters?
Writer at Oneistox
● 6 mins read
What is a better choice after architecture graduation?
To get a better understanding of the standpoints of both sides and aid you in taking an appropriate decision, here are a few pointers that each student should keep in mind before reaching any conclusion.
1. Look Through the Career Options for an Architect
A lot of architecture graduates confuse themselves when choosing a path after their B.Arch degree that imparts insight into several fields of design, creative thinking and practical skills. The distinct branches of architecture are gaining popularity and turning out to be as fruitful as the mainstream grind. Sustainability, computational/parametric design, urban design, history and criticism are some of the examples. Even BIM (Building Information Modelling), which is considered a niche in the AEC industry, can bring forth several career options. It is crucial to first look through the career options available and determine your field of interest.
2. A Step Towards Your Field of Interest
In the beginning, you could be inclined towards multiple fields, leading to uncertainty regarding your future career options. While some of you become sure of your field of interest during college itself, some of you might still be confused. In that case, gaining some experience in the field will help unclog your minds to a great extent. Instead of jumping to start a master's, it is recommended to spend a year in the field and get an understanding of your interests, ambitions and practical working skills in varied fields. The work experience will not only help you find your calling but also benefit you in attaining scholarships if you wish to pursue a master's in the future.
Research, analyse and understand your interests
3. Where Do You See Yourself 5 Years Down the Line?
Each student enters B.Arch with a dream in their eyes and an aim to achieve their goals. As the course progresses, it's natural that ambitions alter. Before applying for a master's, it's necessary to figure out where you see yourself five years down the line. Firstly, where a longer work experience can get you ready to start your own practice, a master’s degree can provide specialization and detailed skills in fields less explored.
4. What’s the Global Scope of the Field You Want to Pursue?
For an outlook on your career, it's crucial to investigate the scope of your desired field around the world. This includes research into job requirements, the journey of influential people with that area of expertise, recognition of the university and the course along with the core subjects taught and the course structure.
It’s equally important to survey and analyse the payscale, future prospects of the field, general work culture, regions of the world popular for the field and its alignment with your preferred lifestyle. Thorough research into these points will provide clarity on how you want to go about attuning your preferred field with your interests.
5. Make a Pros and Cons List
Eventually, it comes down to listing the benefits and liabilities for each alternative. Various factors need to be taken into consideration for the same, a few of them being:
• The cost and duration of the course in comparison to its benefits later.
• Quest for knowledge on specialized fields and the distinct paths to attain it.
• Course validity and recognition in your city/country of interest.
Deciding between a job or a master's degree can be a crucial step toward building your architecture career. Whereas research is the key, it is equally important to consult your seniors, professors, professionals in the field and your family. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for all graduates, this is a decision that each one needs to take independently as per their objectives and circumstances. It's best to take your time, do not hesitate to test different waters, figure out your walk of life and then come to a conclusion.
Until then do not lose hope, an architecture master's degree is not the only path towards learning and augmenting your skills. Online courses are an excellent way forward. These short and comparatively affordable courses offer valuable insights and constructive knowledge on your area of study.
If you are someone facing this conundrum, it is time to start exploring what is out there! And if you find yourself wanting to upskill meanwhile, do check out Oneistox’s BIM Professional Course and Parametric Modelling Certification Course, both taught by industry experts based on real-world practical skills.
For more insights on industry trends, design software and tools, careers and college help, head to the Resources.
Shriya recently graduated from SCET, Surat with a B.Arch degree. With an architect's eyes, she has a passion and flair for writing and has been working as an architectural content writer. Her zest for research, writing and communication has led her to craft curated articles, interview esteemed architects and give words to built forms all around.
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