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    the cold cruel numbers for upcoming graduates...

    Gregory Walker
    Jan 4, '12 8:23 AM EST

    so, the above graph is taken from an article by the washington post, on projected unemployment rates for upcoming 2012 graduates in various professions. you can read the whole article (as short as it is) here.


    i'm not sure what's more depressing on a 20 degree morning in atlanta - the fact that architecture has the highest projected unemployment rate for prospective grads in this survey or that it's a full 3 percentage points higher than the leading competitor (the 'arts' for goodness sakes! the arts!). 


    a day of reckoning is nigh... 




    • Now I'm really depressed...

      Jan 4, 12 1:14 pm  · 

      Walter - it's not inspiring, but I'm trying to find a silver lining for a follow up post.


      (Good to see you on here - we need to catch up. You ever done a forensic lab?)

      Jan 4, 12 3:06 pm  · 

      Certainly this is depressing, and who would have thought that by merging "art + science" that it would average out to be worse than both of those fields individually.

      But surely anything can be said with numbers. I'm curious to know the amount of participants that were polled in this survey (13.9% is high, but 13.9% of how many, no one asked me if I was employed, and I graduated last May).

      More intriguing is what this fact means for the future of the profession of architecture in 5, 10, 15 years from now. Another "lost" generation of disappointed graduates who went on to use their creative passions for other interests, and in an age of technological connectivity much different than the last recession: a condition for some interesting ventures...

      Sad, of course, but never-the-less exciting.

      Jan 4, 12 4:08 pm  · 

      andrew - great questions which always get to the heart of these polls. there was another one i was going to cross post that rusty! had which showed a similar list but a 10.9% rate. 


      still, the larger question you've raised is the real point of all this hand wringing - yes, the profession is always going to have creative people in it, but you do have to wonder if we lose a chunk of people (and this happened in 91-93 as well), where will the 'home grown' experience be in 7-10 years? it could mean the ones who do break into the profession get more opportunities at a younger age (my story from 93) or it could mean there's an influx in the use of off-shore help from other countries. 


      i agree though - the best of us will take what's given and push into new arenas regardless of the current situation. i think what it really portends is an overall weakening of the general profession. it'll also lead to more mergers and a greater split between larger and smaller firms (something i've hit on before). 

      Jan 4, 12 4:58 pm  · 

      @Greg:  The first lab building I worked on had a forensic lab component.  It included a firing range for the police, custom refrigerated storage for evidence drop-off, toxicology labs and the like.

      On the main topic of your post, the scary part is that those with the broadest, culturally-useful education have few prospects in these times and this place.  This sort of despair (and  plenty of young people don't go to college, or get "only" associates degrees) for a generation is a formula for a lot of anger, desperation and violent acting-out.  

      On a positive note, there is still a need for level-headed grown-up approach to design in tough economic times.  This is where we older guys come in, and mentor the next generation.

      Jan 4, 12 5:07 pm  · 

      ...(the 'arts' for goodness sakes! the arts!).



      Yep that sums it up perfectly.

      Jan 4, 12 5:13 pm  · 

      damn those arts!

      it's very interesting that grad school graduates are more in demand than people with experience.  wouldn't have thunk it.  really makes going on to grad school to avoid the economy a quite good choice if it's true.  chances of finding job in this climate more than double.

      Jan 4, 12 5:25 pm  · 

      With the same experience,  a master grad is hired over a grad simply because of the degree while nothing else change (hours, salary is just as bad). This would make a master worth like a bachelor used to worth while all the recent graduates suffer.

      Jan 4, 12 10:03 pm  · 

      the new york times weighs in on this same study today - at least they give the architects their props...


      now, what's interesting in their take is that they try to rationalize that, at least the architects who manage to get employed, are doing 'ok'. really? should we send a reply in?



      Jan 5, 12 12:48 pm  · 

      What none of these analyses show is what proportion of the employed graduates are working in the field for which they studied, or in the job category for which their academic program prepared them. I'm quite certain that if you told potential students that there was a 13.5% chance that they wouldn't get work, only individuals with low self esteem would be deterred. However, if you read the details of data sets like the SNAAP survey however, it could be that as few as 67% of successfully employed graduates of architecture programs who work in the arts "broadly speaking," and that the second and third most common occupations for MArch holders are "Sales Related" and "Food Preparation." So it might actually be closer to the truth to say something like 13.5% of recent graduates of architecture programs will eventually get to be architects. 

      Jan 5, 12 5:38 pm  · 

      The way I'm reading these numbers is that architectural degree is the least transferable of the lot. Upon graduation you are instantly either overqualified or underqualified to do anything. 

      There's a lot of people who will try to sell you on the idea that "you could do so many different things with a degree in architecture". If that were the case, we wouldn't be leading the pack in frigging 'actively unemployed'.

      Jan 6, 12 10:53 pm  · 

      Silver Lining? - The whole survey is a moot point.

      Those recent graduates who are now entering the market place having completed their training, committed to the construction industry in times of plenty and could not have foreseen the full impact of recession. Those graduates now deciding to enter training will gain their qualifications when the economic cycle will have turned again. The evidence given in the survey is not a reason not to study architecture.

      I entered my training during the early 90's recession and have gone through several economic cycles already. Earned a good salary, made redundant, spin, cycle, repeat.
      Perhaps with all this hot air, a job in statistics should have been suggested.

      The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.


      Jan 12, 12 9:13 am  · 

      BOTS - 'lies, damn lies and statistics', right? 


      these things always strike me as people pulling what they want out - hot air? yes. but... the reason for posting is that the two messages (coincident on the days they were released) still say two very different things. i'm actually more bewildered by the BLS numbers showing 7+% unemployment for architects last year. there's no way that's even close to accurate....



      Jan 12, 12 12:30 pm  · 

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