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Thread: Arch. associates in addition to planning degree?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Arch. associates in addition to planning degree?

    I've been seriously looking into taking some courses in architecture and construction that could lead to a certificate or associate's degree, to augment my planning degree and training. I'm a LEED AP, and I advise on green building and site design, and it seems as though these courses could really supplement that, and open up some new avenues for me and my employer. Has anyone else done this? Am I just wasting my time and $$ (it would be at a state university, not a degree mill, FWTW), or does this seem useful? I think I'd be doing this on my own time and dime. Thoughts, anyone?

    Thanks!
    I don't dream. I plan.

  2. #2
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    This isn't the worst idea ever, just remember that it won't get you any closer to being able to design buildings. You aren't an architect unless you have a NAAB-accredited degree, complete the Intern Development Program (jurisdiction-dependent) and complete the Architect Registration Exam and get licensed in your state.

    If you're looking to further your own education and understand even more about the built environment than you already do (and it sounds like you've done a lot for your career already) and you're not looking to design buildings, this is a good idea.

    Just remember that in all US jurisdictions the penalties for practicing architecture without a license are stiff (we just had a guy here in Maryland sentenced to 8 yrs in prison). He was charged not only with practicing w/o a license, but with felony theft because he got paid for his work... ouch. As long as you and your employer know this won't get you any closer to building design, I'd say go for it. Just don't make the mistake of convincing your employer this would open up new areas of practice... there's no middle ground and you bring a lot of risk on your employer (and yourself that way).

    The one caveat to this, of course, is single family residential - which generally doesn't require an architect in most US jurisdictions. I'll keep any further thoughts about the quality of single-family residential design in the US to myself.

    So in conclusion, you seem like a person who is looking to keep growing and learning (planning degree, LEED AP, etc) so I think continuing that educational process can't hurt. Just my 2 cents.

    Oh, and for what it's worth, I have a planning degree and an architecture degree and an urban design degree... I find them useful in different ways... and sometimes not useful at all.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 16 Mar 2010 at 10:19 AM. Reason: seq. posts

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by jakox View post
    Oh, and for what it's worth, I have a planning degree and an architecture degree and an urban design degree... I find them useful in different ways... and sometimes not useful at all.
    From what little I have read on this post, you sound like a degree chaser. What is the purpose of the associates degree, especially if you already have 3 degrees under your belt AND sometimes you don't find them useful at all? If you are going after a certificate for the sole purpose of making you/your firm more marketable, shake things up a bit and go after one in economic development, transportation planning, historic preservation, environmental planning, flood plain management, etc.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

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    From what little I have read on this post, you sound like a degree chaser. What is the purpose of the associates degree, especially if you already have 3 degrees under your belt AND sometimes you don't find them useful at all? If you are going after a certificate for the sole purpose of making you/your firm more marketable, shake things up a bit and go after one in economic development, transportation planning, historic preservation, environmental planning, flood plain management, etc.
    Okay, so clearly nrschmid didn't read the post at all... and thought that I was the OP. Message to nrschmid: First of all, read the posts before you comment. Second, I'm a degree chaser? Don't throw around insults for no reason, a*hole. Third, you read my usefulness comment completely wrong. I find certain degrees not useful at certain times. Mostly my planning degree does nothing for me, even when working specifically in planning. My urban design degree provides significantly more for me. But that's just me.

    And lastly, nrschmid. Why take the time to comment here if you're going to provide NOTHING useful for the OP? At least I spoke to their question. Quit using the anonymity of the internet to be a snide jacka**. Contribute or leave.

    Moderator note:
    ~Gedunker~
    Name calling and profanity really adds nothing to the discussion, now does it?
    Last edited by Gedunker; 16 Mar 2010 at 10:28 AM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by jakox View post
    Quit using the anonymity of the internet to be a snide jacka**. Contribute or leave.


    Nick contributes pretty much on a daily, and to some of the folks that like to use this site "hit and quit it" style.


    Besides the whole snarky remark, I'll agree with nick with getting a degree for a purpose, not just to have a degree. Makes me think of that skit from Kanye West's College Dropout called "degrees" when they start naming off all these degrees. heh.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    My apologies. I mistook Plannerbabs for jakox.

    I'm far from perfect, so when I make a mistake, just correct me. This is also a professional forum so some tact and diplomacy go a long way. Jakox, you are damaging your credibility among readers on cyburbia when you respond to a post with such profanity.

    Keep the discussion going and move on...
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks, Jakox and others...after looking at the schedule, I'm not going to go after the degree. There just aren't enough hours in the day. And for a bit of clarification, the whole point of the exercise was to find out more about building construction and materials, not to do any sort of architectural work or add more degrees to the ones I already have. As a LEED AP it seems appropriate to have at least a working knowledge of structures, but I have too much else going on right now to go back to school again. Maybe in a few years.
    I don't dream. I plan.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    I would recommend an associates degree in architecture only for high school grads, and then it would be a stepping stone to a full NAAB accredited undergraduate architecture degree. In your case, I would take some courses at the local community college in construction technology, building matetrials, etc.

    I am very skeptical about LEED in general, and that's not because I failed the LEED-NC exam by 1 point. Let's face it, with the "possible" exception of the LEED-ND pilot, if you are a planner with NO previous architecture or engineer training, your role on most project teams (new constrction, core and shell, existing buildings, etc.) is very limited. Even a couple of courses wouldn't really help you without a technical degree and/or training.

    Areforum.org has a forum on LEED which goes into more depth on the exam and the certification process. It's mostly tilted to the architect community.

    Hope this helps-
    Last edited by nrschmid; 16 Mar 2010 at 11:22 AM.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by jakox View post
    Okay, so clearly nrschmid didn't read the post at all... and thought that I was the OP. Message to nrschmid: First of all, read the posts before you comment. Second, I'm a degree chaser? Don't throw around insults for no reason, a*hole. Third, you read my usefulness comment completely wrong. I find certain degrees not useful at certain times. Mostly my planning degree does nothing for me, even when working specifically in planning. My urban design degree provides significantly more for me. But that's just me.

    And lastly, nrschmid. Why take the time to comment here if you're going to provide NOTHING useful for the OP? At least I spoke to their question. Quit using the anonymity of the internet to be a snide jacka**. Contribute or leave.

    Moderator note:
    ~Gedunker~
    Name calling and profanity really adds nothing to the discussion, now does it?
    Ironically, I look somewhat like #9 that is lying on the ground in that picture although I don't have olive skin. How odd and creepy!.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

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