Confused? Two seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum?

As we have explored in our previous articles about the ‘business of architecture’, it would help to bring the opposite ends to some sort of a truce and a possible coexistence. It’s not that either of them is holier than the other, but it would be beneficial for both to imbibe some of the characteristics that the other brings to the table; for architects to have some entrepreneurial capability and for MBAs to have more sensitivity towards the human…

MBA After architecture - Sheet1
now what ©

As we have discussed, there is a difference between a profession that is a service and one that is a business. Architecture falls in the former category and MBA transports you to the latter! How do they come together? Can they? Clarify your mind about the reason for wanting to do an MBA. Is it a conscious career move or just going with the current of what others are doing? When I did an MBA, it was for a truly clear intention – to understand the concept of money, the meanings of the terminologies used, and how money moves around… In that case, then, it was enough for me to do a distance learning program in finance. Clarity resolves… Is your intention to be a better architect? Run an agile and lean, people-friendly architectural practice? Market things better? What is it? After 5 years, you must be clear about the future course of action for you… You must design your life and take a call…Let us now shift gear and talk about the possible specializations of an MBA and how they relate to the practice of Architecture?

According to the most common MBA specializations in India are:

Finance, Human Resource Management, Information Technology (IT), Logistics Management, Marketing Management, Business Management, Rural Management, Health Care Management, Operations Management, Event Management

Princeton offers:

General management, international management, strategy, consulting, finance leadership, entrepreneurship, marketing, operations, IT management.

Quantum University adds e-commerce, supply chain.

Questions that emerge here are:

  • How many of the specializations directly correlate with architecture? Have my years of studying architecture wasted?
  • Which institute is best for me and my area of specialization? How qualified is the faculty of the Institute? What are their background and experience?
  • What is the cost of the course? What will be my prospects after? What will the ROI be?

Learn to figure these out… Search some more and you will also find:

Realizing the lacuna, there are now specialized MBA courses for designers and architects. Do they seem like the obvious choice for you?

Before you jump, hang on, there is more you must do… Zoom in and zoom out of your position, some…

MBA After architecture - Sheet2

From focussing on just the world of architecture and masters in its allied professions,

…to zoom out and look around at the functioning of the rest of the world!

  • What makes the wheels of the world go round?
  • What are the contributions different professions make? What is the current goings-on that matter and have an impact? How are things changing?

A difficult exercise but worth it to spend some time on it; research, talk about it, ask career counselors, ask on online forums, etc. and your path will surely emerge.

Architecture, by itself, is complex and encompasses many human facets that must not be diluted with a purely business mindset. Business and the allied specializations can add another layer to it. A lot of students of other professions face this dilemma too and sometimes are wary of being sucked up by the lure of the instant monetary advantage of an MBA course and losing touch with the core of the subject of their interest. So, the lesson here is that one must be very conscious and aware of one’s goals and choices. Do not get into things accidentally and risk the possibility of a maybe. Be very sure of your intentions and choose your path accordingly. Speaking to an unbiased someone who can give you useful advice helps too… try it! Voicing your thoughts or writing them out can help clear your mind… This self-help, woo-woo strategies are a means to focus the mind and arrive at your desired result. If you are already clear about it, just go for it, nothing like your own intuition and judgment to guide your course of action.

Has this whole soliloquy confused you further? That is not the intention… The intention is to give you some food for thought to dive deeper and help you to bring about some clarity in your thought process. To give you the means to work out a course of action to move forward that you have worked out yourself! To do or not to do an MBA?

Architects can certainly benefit, so go right ahead… Research out the schools, the specializations, the costs, the job prospects, appear for CAT, and


MBA After architecture - Sheet3
just do it ©

An architect by training,who has practised for over 20 years. Her chosen path nowis of a researcher, writer and creativity coach. Shebelieves that it is nowthe era of compassion - for humans to do away with attitudes of segregation and to heal all that we have ravaged!