After five years in architecture school and a few more in practice, architects learn a lot about their built environment, the infrastructure market, and life. On this journey, one learns about new ideas, make and break philosophies about life, and establish ideologies about their design language. Every architect takes a different path and grows in their own way, but the one place where they all coincide is in the lecture halls of a postgrad program. In these halls of postgrad institutions, architects who have spent years working in the field share their different takes on the market, their designs, and what they have learnt. A master’s degree in architecture can open new doors and offer ample opportunities to grow unprecedently as an architect. Therefore, the decision of getting a postgraduate degree carries enormous weight in itself, and one has to make decisive choices on the way. The following article might give you some insights on how to make that decision easy and therefore, help you in making a sound judgement. 

Be specific about the Program

One of the first things that anyone aiming for a postgraduate study needs to address is what course of subjects and professional discipline you want to undertake. In a world of specializations, there are numerous possibilities and scope to tailor a curriculum according to one’s liking. On the other hand, it is also easy to get lost in the way and end up in the wrong vocation. In any case, the program selection is a criterion that needs maximum attention and some decisive action. Often we do not understand or usually fail to realize the impacts, value or importance of any subject unless we grasp the practical aspects behind the said discipline. So it is always invaluable to apprentice for a while in your field of choice before making that decision.

Research the university for yourself, but don’t focus too much on its approval/ disapproval ratings as it may not shed complete light on the subject of your choice. It is more important to consider an institution’s program-specific strength. Some institutions within a university affiliation may hold prestige in their respective fields, even if they don’t tend to score high overall in university ratings. Therefore, choose a postgrad program and institution that suits your interests to narrow down your options. Examine the research reputations of the institutions and departments you are considering and the academic profiles of lecturers to determine if they are specialists in the field.

Research Market Value and Prospects

If you are aiming to pursue a postgrad program with the sole purpose of boosting your career prospects, then it is important to ask yourself how an additional degree benefits your career. For better opportunities, you must ensure that the university has been consistently producing successful graduates in the past, with a positive effect on the industry and society as a whole. Be sure that the institution will help you acquire the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your profession. Your undergraduate degree will have given you valuable insights into what you enjoyed the most about your field. For example, if you wish to work in academics, make sure that the degree leads to a PhD. Or, if you prefer to take set modules, a taught course may be best for you. And if you enjoyed writing your dissertation, a research course might be better.

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Course Content and Practice in the Field

Examine the course outline and ensure the compulsory modules don’t duplicate your undergraduate courses, as it will do no good in expanding your knowledge. Check out the optional modules and make sure that you can pursue your specialist interest whenever you’re ready for it. And if the course will be exam-based or continually assessed. A Master’s degree should have strong industry connections – mentoring schemes, working with companies, and networking opportunities are all important considerations when choosing a degree programme. 

Pursuing a postgraduate course in the discipline you’re familiar with could be a good choice. Usually, it is something connected to your first degree or possibly your current occupation. Could it be the new position you’re seeking? You will have quite a few options and a variety of courses to choose from as a result. Thus, you should carefully examine the contents of individual courses before coming to a decision. Master’s course selection should not be a matter of chance. You will likely have to go through several stages when you begin your search. It is a good idea to start by looking into the courses available locally in your field. Eventually, you will need to narrow down your search and create a shortlist of possible programs.

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Aim for the Job you want 

You should know at what stage in your career it is appropriate for you to start your postgraduation if you are considering a job-related master’s program. It is crucial to go through the course descriptions carefully. Some programs may appear to be for everyone but in reality, they only focus on a specific difficulty level or have students from certain career stages attending, often resulting in narrow demographics. If you have questions about this, you can ask your admissions tutor or recruitment advisor. Make sure the qualification will improve your application with the particular employer you’ve in mind. Recruiters often want to see what graduates have to offer. Look at job advertisements to see what they are looking for, and talk with potential employers at career events to learn how they view Master’s degrees. 

Furthermore, it is vital to look into the employability rate for the program you’re considering. Your Master’s degree could give you an edge in an already crowded job market. More and more employers are looking for ways to shortlist candidates. And an additional qualification indicates that you can maintain a lengthy commitment. Additionally, if you’re interested in changing careers, a master’s degree may be beneficial and make the transition much effortless.

Author

Priyansh is a multi-disciplinary architect + designer. A creative nerd who gets geeky about art would jump at the chance to skydive and in another life would like to travel the world practising Jiu-Jitsu.

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