Career advice for a worried architect student

Hey all. So I'm a second year architecture student at junior college that offers an AS degree. My goal is to graduate from JC with my AS degree in architectural drafting and technologies and transfer to Cooper Union in New York for my undergrad. I understand how little of a chance statistically I have of getting into this school so If I didn't get into Cooper Union I still want to move to New York City and pursue my undergrad there. I have a 3.8 GPA. Over 5 years work experience in many areas of construction; high end home building, roofing, electrical, framing, etc. so I have better understanding of what I'm designing than most my peers and it shows. Basically, I love the idea of architecture and want to travel and continue my education but recently I got a seasonal position at Anheuser-Busch. This job has little to nothing to do with my education and experience but eventually I can move up and maybe fill an engineering position if I change my major and dropped my dream of continuing school and traveling. If I change my major and stick with this job I would have the security of a 401k, pension, full benefits, and steady paycheck (although I make more doing electrical under the table now) that will change with time. I'm just wondering what you seasoned architects would do if you were my age (25). Would you hit the road and travel and stick with architecture maybe try to work as a freelance architect with the freedom to work for who and when you want or stick with the more secure route that you are not passionate about?
Jun 23, 14 4:56 pm

Unless you are passionate about architecture stay clear.  Its not a good career but it is a wonderful field.  If you can live without it then do so, if you cant then go for it.

Jun 23, 14 6:47 pm

I hereby propose a sticky thread titled "so you want to be an architect ..." for all those numbnuts who are too stupid or lazy or both to spend all of three seconds searching the topic or even scanning the first page of the forum which has multiple threads on the same issue.

Jun 23, 14 8:13 pm
I think that would be a good idea, Miles. Turn it into a verb, "So you think you can architect". I'm tired of reading these things expecting one to be different. Everybody gives the same advice to the same question. To the OP, you're gonna have a hard time as an architect almost indefinitely, you can read that in almost any of these pessimistic posts. However if you're a smart guy, you'll find a way to make it work. As jla said, if you're passionate about it do it.
Jun 23, 14 8:21 pm

The idea is to do it without going into crippling debt. There are ways. Studying in New York City is not one of them.

Jun 23, 14 9:37 pm

One lesson learned is that you'll always have to deal with mean spirited responses when asking architects for help. Aside from that...

I totally understand wanting to pursue a more exciting career path, and New York is definitely the place to do it. If you didn't get into CU, you could always try City College. They have a great program, with great instructors, and the tuition is very affordable.

New York would be a great place to explore, and there is plenty of part-time drafting work that you could certainly make it work. It wouldn't be easy, and it probably wouldn't be comfortable (shitty apartment with roommates, little money) but it would certainly force you to grow as a person. Probably more-so than staying put and taking a safe, easy job until you retire.

Good luck sir.

Jun 24, 14 7:31 am

mean spirited response

Anonymously looking for life/career advice on the internet? I'd like to say LOL but it's just another sad commentary on this society. Fawning over idiots doesn't improve their lot. 

Maybe next time I'll just lie to them. That will no doubt serve them much better. But until then, happiness isn't doing what you love, it's loving what you do.

Jun 24, 14 8:57 am

what?  you're talking about happiness now miles?

the kid works at Anheuser-Busch.  everyone knows happiness is found at the end of the bottle.

Jun 24, 14 9:20 am

I think that's "bottom" of the bottle. Or is that sadness? I can never remember.

Jun 24, 14 9:47 am

i think 'bottom' of the bottle implies you're searching for something

'end' of the bottle reads more like a story; there is more emphasis in the process rather than the destination, imho.

of course you have to remember, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  so, if happiness isn't at the end of the first bottle....

Jun 24, 14 10:45 am

Is your bottle half empty or half full?

Jun 24, 14 10:54 am

either way, i'm working on it.  the goal is to get to the end, not to sit at half-way.

Jun 24, 14 11:07 am

The destination is irrelevant, it's the journey that's important. 

Jun 24, 14 11:23 am

Yes! New York! In fact I would suggest a year in New York followed by a year in San Francisco. Then maybe a year in Paris and a year in Barcelona. With the summers spent in Monaco sketching the boats in the harbor. Hey, it's only money. You gotta be well rounded.

Jun 24, 14 12:45 pm
@milesjaffe. Gonna spend some time today searching all the threads in this topic but regardless thank you for your input. Even negative input can still be constructive so for what it's worth I'll take it.

Also yes it's nice working at Anheuser-Busch. $10 30 packs and two free cases a month. If only I drank more?

With that being said.. I have time to decide
Jun 24, 14 2:09 pm

A good way to start flexing those muscles is by doing some competitions.

Experimental elective exercises where you can challenge your skills and creativity on a real setting.

Here's one:


Best of luck!

Jun 27, 14 4:39 pm

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