View Full Version : Career Dilema.

March 1st, 2006, 03:23 PM
I was just accepted to a well-regarded architecture program at SUNY Buffalo. That said recently Iíve had second thoughts about pursuing a career in architecture solely. Iím strongly considering changing my major to business in an attempt to get in the real estate/ developing business. Architecture has always been a passion and talent of mine, but I donít want to put out an endless effort for limited built and financial returns. Iím now considering doing a double major at Buffalo or majoring in business and later going to school part time for architecture in NYC. Money has never been a chief concern of mine, but this year since I am making excellent money I do not want to lose financial stability. Since architects donít typically make good money until at least their forties, the extra time spent in college or in another career as well as having both majors can only help me. If one career doesnít work out I can always fall back on another, plus more opportunities will be available. At least this is how I see it, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

March 1st, 2006, 03:49 PM
I have a friend who got an architecture degree only to find he would spend some decades doing technical drawings for strip malls. He went back and got another degree in Real Estate Management and Development. The dual degree is turing out to be a winning combination for him.

Whatever you decide on, good luck.

March 1st, 2006, 03:56 PM
The happiest people I know pursued what they really enjoyed - they spend their days working at jobs they feel passionate about so they don't need so much money to escape work through vacations and expensive toys.

Besides, a business degree won't do you much without an mba - and even then you really need to go to a connected school to make an interesting career possible. If you aim high - for your dream job - then later on you can decide if you want to go in a different, related direction. I'm sure you wouldn't be the first trained architect to move into real estate.

It's counterintuitive, but you'll actually have more appealling options later on if you have a specialized degree. With a generalized education, you have much less earning power because your knowledge and skills would be less rare (rare=better pay). Also, careers in creative fields often lead to increasing earning power later in life. I don't think it's just for 40 year-olds, but maybe architects with 15 years under their belts, so I'm not sure how much room there is to game the system - meaning, you probably would never catch up if you worked a separate career while you were younger.

March 1st, 2006, 04:24 PM
Engineers and architects, in general, are the most educated, overworked and underpaid profession outside of college professors and a few odd specialties.

If you REALLY like Architecture, go for it, otherwise it may mean 20 years of window sections and, if you are lucky, floorplans.

But I do agree a bit with the specialization, although SOME broad base is important. A person with an architectural degree, MBA and some years under their belt can weig in with more than someone with a buisness minor and no experience.

Be aware though, an MBA is RADICALLY different than Architecture. If you like one, there is absolutely NO guarantee that you will like the other. Even Engineering is significantly different.

If you still like development and buisness, start canvasing the developers and see what their employees have degrees in. You might be surprised, but it will also give you a good idea of what to set your sights on.

March 5th, 2006, 07:19 PM
You've completely dropped arch at CCNY?

And you know, your main reason for leaving would be somewhat cancelled out next year when you'd be in the studio... now that's a community.

March 5th, 2006, 08:10 PM
The only architects who love their work are the ones who are free. You can name them all; they're household words on this forum.

For others, architecture has been turned into drudgery by codes, money men and officials.

To be free you have to be a genius; you must have the power to create what has never been.

A minuscule portion of architecture students have that capability. I'd estimate it at about at well less than a hundredth of one percent. Not one in ten thousand.

Sorry. You did ask for advice.


March 6th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Very interesting. Sounds like you are playing chess with the future. There is the saying, "it is better to regret things you have done than things you haven't done."

I think the double major is the soundest route. You really need to determine who you are at the core. If you are oriented toward a more material life and enjoy luxuries, then thinking about financial aspects is practical. If you seek to be "happy" then pursue what you love and live accordingly. I've earned very big salaries and I've earned rather paltry salaries. In retrospect, the want of or excess of money never had any impact on my happiness. (I sound 80 years old.)

It is very intriguing. This sounds like a debate going on in your mind. What does your gut tell you? Instinct is rarely wrong, but your mind can talk you out of your best instincts. Don't believe everything you think.

Remember the old Zen saying whenever you are going to predict the future on way or another, "We'll see...."

March 6th, 2006, 04:22 PM
I believe that the business degree on a bachelor lever gives one very little. Why torture yourself with doyble major? If you're really good at architecture, do a major in architecture. Concentrate on it so you really excel (get a perfect or close to perfect GPA). With good grades and good experience and talent, you can certainly find a good paying job well before your 40s. No one is going to give you a job of a real estate deevloper just because your have another major from SUNY at Buffalo. Most developers don't become developers by getting a BS in Business from a state school. I would think many of the well-known real estate developers don't have any business degrees. The question you have to ask yourself: what job are your going to have when you graduate? I bet there are lots of jobs for qualified architects. I know many people who had a business major and could not find a decent job.

March 6th, 2006, 04:48 PM
Concentrate on it so you really excel (get a perfect or close to perfect GPA). With good grades and good experience and talent, you can certainly find a good paying job well before your 40s.

Or you'll be able to get into a great grad program (if you're not doing the UB 5 year program). Excellent advice. I know someone who started in community college and graduated from Yale. 4.0 the whole way and it served him very well. Grades make a huge difference in your first professional position (or grad school). Plus there's often scholarships available. I'd also suggest not working while you're in college - it may feel painful to be broke while other people are out having fun, but you'll put yourself in a great place to enjoy your 20's a lot more than they will.