Post # 1
Was/is it worth it? I am currently getting my bachelors degree (I’m a junior in the fall) and I am deciding whether I want to get a masters in architecture and become a licensed architect or get a Ph.D. in art/architectural history and become a college professor or whatever else I can do with that degree. It is a very hard decision 🙁 I am very passionate about architecture and learning, and I am torn between whether I want to practice it or learn about it and pass on that knowledge to others. I would love to get a Ph.D., but I’m scared about the cost and being able to find a tenure-track position afterwards 🙁 I want to know your experiences with this, and how it worked for you.
Post # 3
@ttwo2: Is it possible to do both? I know that in some areas of study you can do a masters for 2 yrs and a Ph.D for 2 yrs or do a combo in 3 years. Also, if you were to get your masters and practice in your profession, would there be opportunities to teach as an adjunct and fulfill that aspect of your career as well?
*Disclaimer, I’m a JD, so I haven’t had to really delve into the land of grad school/Ph.D. programs other than my legal edu.
Post # 4
@indibee:I hadn’t considered that! I’ll have to look into it, thank you for bringing that up 🙂
Post # 5
I’m a 4th year PhD student but not in anything architecture-related so I’m not sure how helpful I can be. I graduate next summer (I will finish in 5 years which is unusally short for my program so consider how long yours will take!) and don’t plan to be a tenure-track professor. Those are really hard to come by and IMO, don’t pay enough. I plan to go into industry, which pays $$$ for my specialty. Within industry, there is also a few avenues I can take. I know there is also the option of goverment.
As for cost, mine is free. It pays a stipend but it is barely enough for living expenses. I definitely have to supplement from savings. (I was just telling SO, I get poorer and poorer the more I’m in school. ) My tuition and health insurance is also covered. I think that’s true only for certain fields. I’d imagine you could become a TA for pay though.
As some people say, those with PhDs are paid to THINK so consider whether that interests you. It is a lot of responsibility to ‘think’ about how to move the field forward, what the next steps are, how to develop new tools and methods, etc. and then become in charge of directing this change. No 2 PhDs work on the exact same specific question/problem. An an example, even right now as a grad student, when I hit a bump on the road with my research, there may not be a single person that can just give me the answer, because my work is my own, and I’m the only person working on my question. PhDs are a dime a dozen nowadays but each person is still supposed be an expert in their own work.
I can’t say whether it will be worth it for me because I’m not done yet. So far I like it. I get to direct what I want to do and the direction I want to take next with my project. I’m in charge of my own research and I like having my own little niche in the field. PhDs get a LOT of intellectual freedom (altho a lot of that gets taken from you if you go into industry).
I do have a cousin with a Masters in architect. He graduated from a top school and is in NYC working with mid-size firm, I think. From what I can gather from his FB posts (and who knows whether he is being sarcastic or serious), he doesn’t get a lot of freedom with his work.
Do you plan to work first before applying to grad schools? The reason I ask is because I didn’t and I found that to be somewhat disadvantageous for me. I came in at 21yrs old, no real work experience (just internships), and will leave at 26yrs old with, still, no real work experience. That is definitely not going to work in my favor for industry.
Post # 6
@mxpinky: what she said.
I recently received my Ph.D. (though not in architecture but in a hard science) and tenure track professorships are extremely competitive and difficult to come by, as I imagine they are in any field. In science, they often require addition post-doctoral research and experience and if it’s the same in architecture, be prepared to add a couple years following graduation before finding a job.
Do I think it’s worth it? For me, my tuition was also paid for including health insurance and I was given a stipend that completely covered all of my living expenses. So yes, it was worth it though I am not pursuing employment in research. If I had to pay for my degree, I probably would think otherwise.
Post # 7
Definitely spend some time trying to understand funding before writing it off as too expensive – many programs will give you full tuition plus a living stipend (so the “cost” is only the difference between your grad student pay versus real job pay).
I’d highly recommend talking to current PhD students as well as professors in your field about what they do and why they chose their path. Also see if you can get an undergrad research position so that you get a flavor for the day-in, day-out life of a PhD student.
Post # 8
I do NOT have a PhD but I would suggest that you practice architecture before teaching it. There is absolutely something to be said for having experience in what you’re teaching. I could tell the difference between my teachers who had jobs in their field and the ones who were always professors and the ones with experience seem to be much better teachers and more inspiring to their students.
Post # 9
i’m about to finish my first year of a 6-7 year phd program tomorrow (as soon as i email my prof this one last paper!) i’m in a different field, but just wanted to chime in that if you aren’t sure which route to follow, definitely don’t be afraid to work for a couple years it to figure it out. talk to your professors about whether there are jobs they’d recommend to help you figure out which path you want to take. i worked for 4 years as a researcher in a related but slightly different field, and i’m so glad i did. i know now that i really want to be doing what i’m doing–so important since this is such a long haul! also my academic skills are honed in a way i couldn’t have gotten from just undergrad.
in terms of cost, i have a full stiped and tuition, so techincally it doesn’t cost anything, but the stipend is much less than a salary, so it’s good that i have savings from working. i actually will probably make just as much as an assistant prof (if i’m lucky enoguh to find a tenure-track position when i finish in a zillion years) that i made at my old job, so the money def isn’t the motivation!