Posts Tagged ‘Master of Architecture’


The first question every architecture student is asked in an interview is “How much experience do you have doing Construction Documents and using CAD?” The second question asked is whether you have “any experience using Revit?” For most¬† Masters students seeking their first summer or full-time position, these questions are tricky as the majority of Masters programs do not explicitly teach CAD/Revit. Where as an undergrad or college architectural education does normally provide courses in CAD.

What is concerning is the emphasis some firms place on students and graduates knowing these programs and at the same time the lack of emphasis Masters programs have in teaching the basics in a structured way. In the realm of higher education, there appears to be a snobbish outlook on the technical skill set needed to meet the minimal level of readiness for the workforce. Is technical skills training the purvey of only Colleges?

I have met graphic/digital course teachers who take a very hands off approach in teaching programs, rather lecturing from the podium while students follow along on their laptops. This is of course highly ineffective. For students who have not had an undergrad or college education in architecture, it is the responsibility of the Masters program to either dictate that students seek external help prior to entering or provide a basic skill set workshop to bring students up to speed. Architecture students should not leave graduate school without learning to draw plans, reflected ceiling plans, sections, and elevations all in CAD and if possible Revit. That being said, firms need to realize that if they are looking for “CAD Monkeys” then stop hiring Masters students. Colleges are cranking out technically proficient graduates who want to produce Construction Documents. Masters students are taught to be designers and understand the formal qualities of architecture in a way that is not taught in college or undergrad. The value added of a Masters student is his/her comprehension of design.

Registered Architects have a responsibility to the profession to take on students and train them. This is a very important commitment as the sunken cost into a student is normally never recovered. Yet years ago, every registered architect was in the same position as the student today. For students worried about their lack of skills, don’t be! Go into an interview, be honest about your deficiencies, yet always return the conversation to your strengths. Talk to the potential employer about your best studio projects, ask them if they have any questions, push your interests in architecture and sell them on you, not your technical skill set.


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So back in 2009-2010 as President of the Environmental Design Students’ Association, the Executive decided to make some architecture swag for our students. Unfortunately due to the controversial message on the clothing, we were unable to ever make our dream a reality. All we wanted to say was that Architecture students are skilled at building models. Some people took this out of context.

Special thanks goes to the designer of the swag and fellow graduate of the Architecture  program at the University of Calgary, Cameron Ashe.

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Great News!

I just completed my Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Calgary, Faculty of Environmental Design! I will be returning back to Toronto soon and will be looking for internship to become a registered architect!

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