June 3, 2005

architecture, money

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I had a talk about why architecture is a "slow, tired field." My conjecture about the profession unable to keep and sustain excellent people is probably true. In the last Architectural Record, there was a blurb about a recent job satisfaction survey done in the UK. The most satisfied were hairdressers, and the second to least satisfied were architects.

My boss said thirty years ago there were over 3000 architects each year getting licensed, and now there are about 350 per year. Other things are just more appealing. Talent's gone to those sexier, faster industries (especially around here, sexy is new ideas, entrepreneurialism, venture capital, stock options), so we're left with fewer and fewer great leaders in architecture.

My other boss said when he was getting his ph.d. at Berkeley, our most prestigious public uni, in the 1970s, the cost of a year of school was $150. $150! TOday, the graduate school student pays $8,439.90 and up (a lot more for non-residents) for tuition alone. Living expenses are as high as any metropolitan area. If you're getting an M.Arch, you also add in the cost of materials, shop fees, lab fees, cigarettes and booze -- and that adds up to quite a hefty load that your parents / inheritance pays for, or carry into debt.

I always thought I'd finish up my education by getting a hard-earned Master's of Architecture degree from a prestigious university. But then I started working. I always assumed my parents would foot the bill (they are willing to), but I realize $100,000+ is not something I should spend on a professional degree that follows my undergrad degree by default because it IS default. (Hey mom, can you just write me the check anyway? jk) No, i'm going to take my time deciding what to do with it, even though according to others, I might be "wasting" my time dilettante-ing away a few years, because im "not earning as much as i could."

Someone had told me if you have any doubts about a relationship early on, take it as a warning sign and break up with him. For example, if your boyfriend doesn't tell you why he's always out of money and off on "business trips," take it as a bad sign and break up. I'm having doubts about my relationship with architecture, the profession. Should we break up?

1 comment:

jean said...

note to self: decided not to break up with architecture, due to new job, changing role, and increase in salary. :) will pursue other fields later.