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Architecture school dropouts

chonchon

If you're reading this, I'll assume that you attended architecture school at some point.  That said, I'll also assume that you're familiar with the extremely high attrition rate associated with this field of study. 

We've all heard stories about why these students dropout (lack of interest, financial burden, disillusionment, conflicting career opportunities, unhappiness, or all of the above), but that's not what this thread is about. Rarely is it discussed what endeavors or career paths architecture dropouts end up, considering how many are out there.

Perhaps you stay in touch with a former classmate who dropped out of architecture school, or you're a dropout yourself. As we all know, it takes a certain level of creativity and aptitude just to get into a decent architecture program. So I'm interested to read about the alternative ways in which architecture school dropouts decide to use their talents, whether towards an entirely different career, or "untraditional" modes of advancement into the architectural profession?

 
Jul 3, 19 11:38 am
kjdt

Of the people with whom I went through grad school (M.Arch) there was only one person from my entering class who dropped out and didn't return at some point.  I stayed in touch with her for some years - at one point she entered a grad program in history and geography, but didn't complete that either, and the last I heard she was working in an administrative role for a small film company.   The drop-out rate in my undergrad class (pre-professional 4-year architecture major) was much higher - perhaps as many as 45% of the students who originally joined the major at the same time as I did left without graduating.  Of those with whom I'm still in touch their eventual careers were:  industrial designer (after further study at another university); illustrator; fashion designer; signage/wayfinding specialist; restaurant co-owner; realtor.  I have worked with lots of people in architecture firms, in many roles, from drafting to marketing to IT, who did not finish their architecture degrees - though I'd caution that there seems to be a much higher rate of general disgruntlement with the field among those who are stuck in para-professional roles than among people who did graduate and become licensed architects.

Jul 3, 19 11:59 am  · 
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monosierra

One guy dropped out from my class and three years later he is now developing one of the largest mixed up projects in a major American city - he has even hired a starchitect firm to handle the design.

Jul 3, 19 12:01 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Those are really, really bad plans.

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tduds

I think you meant to say "mixed-use" but the typo is better.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

I'm going to guess that my comment above was directed to a long nuked response rather than at Monosierra.

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Aluminate

Supposedly it's normal in most fields of study for a high % to drop out or end up in other things.  Only a few fields keep the majority of their grads - some of those are: teaching, accounting, engineering, and mortuary science!  Former architecture students I know are now lawyers, several photographers, developers, a chef, a city program director, a furniture designer, and many are teaching - not all in architecture-related subjects.

Jul 3, 19 1:21 pm  · 
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THE BAKER

There are quite a few people from my architecture class that went on to become very successful entrepreneurs. One guy switched majors to industrial design and now runs a very successful tech company (not sure if it's still considered a startup) but the company raised a lot of capital and employs 30+ people now. Another guy dropped out and never got his degree but owns a chain of successful salons in the Southwest and travels at his leisure to play semi-pro sports. After working in architecture and architecture adjacent roles I think working as an architect at a "traditional" architecture firm is a bit overrated. I encourage people with that degree and skillset to look at more untraditional avenues and they might find a much more fulfilling career with better benefits and a better work/life balance. 

Jul 4, 19 11:55 am  · 
1  · 
tintt

Our program was extremely competitive to get into (15% acceptance rate) so only a few dropped out during school. Out of the 60 some grads, I think about 1/3 remain in a somewhat traditional role. Many of us work in related fields. A good number of those who stuck it out now work as an architect but not in a traditional firm, they are in-house architects/pm for other companies or governments.

Jul 5, 19 9:05 am  · 
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tintt

I am guessing only about 5-6 of my classmates are in a "regular" project architect position at a firm.

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donaldnixon

i couldnt manage my college fees so my results are still holded.so am not a registered architect but i won 2 national architecture competition and several mentioning.its been one year that am still working on some competitions.all the firms here prefer this academic degree.hope for the best.

Jul 29, 20 2:53 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

I HAVE SAID TOO MUCH.

Jul 29, 20 4:00 pm  · 
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citizen

Do you mean on this topic? Or over the course of your lifetime? ;o]

1  · 
SneakyPete

Yes.

1  · 
citizen

It could be worse.


Jul 29, 20 5:24 pm  · 
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JawkneeMusic

Gonna finish everything but the plan in 3 days

Jul 31, 20 1:11 am  · 
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