In these days of reconnecting with former classmates via facebook and linkedin I discovered that many of them later went to grad school. Most of us were fried by the time we graduated and there was little if any discussion of more schooling. I have often thought that if I were to go back to school, it would be to study estuarine biology and ecology. Definitely not more architecture. A large part of my practice involves furthering my education (read: un-billable hours) I spend a great deal of time keeping up with the rapidly changing field of residential design. The science is changing on all levels from products and detailing to sustainability and energy use issues to how we as architects actually convey what we design. Many architects and firms have their heads in the sand and follow the models they were taught back in the last century. I think the architects that will emerge at the top in coming years have to be a different breed.
My version of graduate school, in retrospect, was the half-dozen years I spent carpentering after college. It was a good compliment to architecture school and the required internship. At 10 to 13 dollars per hour – no benefits and weather dependant, it also left me rather in debt (similar to graduate school) while my friends started working at larger firms and made much larger salaries.