Most hated degree: architecture?


There was a recent article that the most hated degree for employers is architecture. Where does the writer get this information from? What kind of employers is the writer referring to? Do you agree with this?

Jan 18, 13 12:34 pm

helps if you post the article, and read it.

"Most Hated: Architecture

Okay, so architecture might not be such a hated degree; it's just that there aren't many employers around to love it, says Carnevale.
Basically, it's all tied to the capital markets and the implosion of the housing market over the past few years. According to Carnevale, when Wall Street went under so did construction - which is closely linked to architecture field.
Perhaps that's why recent architecture graduates had an unemployment rate of 13.9 percent - the worst unemployment rate of all the listed degrees in the "Hard Times" report."

Jan 18, 13 12:54 pm

Thanks for posting it. But it still doesn't seem to justify why architecture should be the most "hated degree" just because the field is linked to the ups and downs of the economic cycles. I'm a firm believer in pursuing one's passion and interest rather than something just to get a job or follow any advice recommended by a yahoo article. It creates a bad reputation and a misconception among public opinion.

Jan 18, 13 1:06 pm

Hated? EDD(California Employment Development Dept.) hates it "can't your find something more practical to do - your claim is going to run out after 99 weeks and then you will be on welfare" Wells Fargo and CITI hate it because they hate doing mortgage mods for the unemployed architects -

Jan 18, 13 1:12 pm

More bone-headed rhetoric posing as journalism.

"Hated" by whom?  Architecture employers will require the degree.  Non-architecture employers won't even look for it, or care.  So why "hated"?  I guess "devalued" or "not in demand" is not as sexy a headline term as "hated." 

It's impossible to take seriously so much of the crap that appears or is published when writers and/or editors think in terms of grabbing attention dishonestly, like tabloids at the checkstand.

Jan 18, 13 1:34 pm

I have noticed that even construction companies hate architecture degree. Very bizare!

Jan 18, 13 1:57 pm

Citizen: I agree with you. I have actually personally encountered employers that valued job candidates who chose to studied something that they are actually passionate about. I also don't understand why use "hatred" other than for marketing reasons. Is it really necessarily to diss an individual's choice to pursue his or her interest of study? Should we all regret that we studied architecture? Is it really that bad, other than the 13% unemployment rates? What about those who have studied music, history, religion, psychology, English, East Asian Studies, etc? Are those employment rates better?

Jan 18, 13 2:28 pm

One thing I realized a long time ago is that a lot of these articles are written solely to generate web traffic and are often poorly thought out/researched. Especially "list-y" articles. Not trashing this article in particular but I tend to take anything like this with a mountain of salt.

Jan 18, 13 2:40 pm

Construction companies, development companies, and even engineers in blended A/E firms seem to dislike architects and/or architecture degrees.  I think the fact that what they studied lacked a creative dimension causes this friction.  Other than architecture firms, the others who are more receptive to an architectural background are organizations blended with planners, landscape architects, or even interior designers, and, outside of those allied occupations, in a planning department or a facilities management situation.

Jan 18, 13 3:17 pm

Excellent point, Trffl.

Jan 18, 13 4:40 pm

I Think the problem with engineers, developers and construction firms is they "Hate " us due to the reason they feel like they can design buildings (which they cant) and they view architects and something they need for the stamp. The hatred is because they want to steal our business which we go to school for 7 years plus IDP to do. They just want to cut us out and make more money that is where the hatred comes from. Just in my opinion any way...

Jan 18, 13 4:52 pm

It's sad and scary at the same time to realize that public opinion in anything can be easily swayed by even these poorly thought out/researched articles like these.

Jan 18, 13 5:41 pm


I agree with you, from the practical standpoint.  There's also a personality chasm.  They speak a different language.  It would blow their minds to heard the "discourse," if you want to call it that, in an architectural studio in school or the group critique of an architectural project in a conference room.  I've heard non-architects / non-design types make comments on architectural dialogue, and it is not favorable.

Jan 18, 13 5:46 pm

To conclude that architecture is unwanted is, again, shortsighted and foolish. I will admit that the road to becoming an architect, in a way, is rifed with "red tape" and its jargon is sometimes long-winded and unecessary. However you must consider this, the education and training of an architect, in general, will enable you to do practically anything, including the work of engineers, developers and construction managers. A person with the education and training of an architect can do practically anything that a person with a business degree and background can.

Jan 18, 13 8:42 pm

Since architecture is the "#1 unwanted degree" and "#1 most hated degree by employers", what's the point in continuing this profession if it has become so devalued and disrespected?

Even for those who want to change careers because they think the grass is a greener on the other side, are potential employers even going to consider people for a job interview now that this discrimination against architecture or anything related exists?

Is there any pride left in this profession or community?

Jan 19, 13 4:54 pm

I'm not going to "Ebony" for advice on anything in life. 

Jan 19, 13 5:16 pm

I think articles like this are great!  The fewer people who choose to pursue architecture degrees because of stuff like this, the better if you ask me.

Jan 19, 13 5:33 pm

I think that a person who tries to move away from architecture will experience discrimination in the sense of "perception."   Those interviewing them will wonder if they will be satisfied by less creative work.  There are a few exceptions.  I had to go to ER to get stitched up once and the doctor was talking to me while he was going about his work.  It turns out he had an architectural degree, and then went to medical school, where upon entering the medical profession, they don't care what you did before, because they collectively feel theirs is the best profession.  If it probably wasn't, then everybody wouldn't clamor for it.  As for why he left, he said "I saw it wasn't a good lifestyle," verbatim.

Jan 19, 13 9:13 pm
It was also an article from yahoo... Have you read any "articles" from yahoo? If yes, I'm sorry. If no, don't.
Jan 19, 13 10:16 pm

Good reason to hate our industry - see the latest job postings. They all want you to have architectural superpowers, be willing to work overtime, and know every single piece of software and be a 3d guru - all for peanuts.....or worse yet - for free. I don't think this is what is meant by giving Americans jobs. Maybe I can pay someone to hire me. Not like I pay rent or have student loans or something stupid like that.

Jan 20, 13 9:49 am

I agree with the above.  There was a "scandal" in a big city that a major high-profile firm was paying their graduate interns less than the prevailing minimum wage because they COULD.  Times were good.  This firm was making money, with all their high profile commissions.  Personally, I think its principals should have been banned from the AIA, fined by the relevant labor board, and have their licenses suspended for a while to make them rethink.  The reality is that this firm could have paid their interns what everyone else was paying, and still be profitable.  The profession is caught in this "tortured artist" vicious cycle that it can't get out of.

Jan 20, 13 1:23 pm

I found the architecture degree being quite respected...outside of the architecture field. In fact I'm being asked why I switched careers and left the "awesome", "fascinating", "fabulous" and "wonderful" field of architecture. People don't believe or don't want to believe I completely left architecture. They're in denial and I'm tired of convincing them.

Jan 20, 13 5:04 pm

Yes. ^  Outside of the design and construction community, a degree and a license in architecture get a "wow."  They don't know the ins and outs of the profession ... and the process.  Many will say things like "oh, the big bucks," "you're probably working on some skyscraper, then," and worst of all "oh, good, you can decorate my house."  Along with that, they will tell you they like "Architectural Digest" which, as far as I can see, is about interior design and furnishings, and not about architecture.

Jan 20, 13 5:22 pm

@ Parad0xx86

I'm in the exact same position as you. I'm still trying (and learning new ways) to mitigate this problem.

One of them includes outright lying (since I'm tired of telling the truth, which no one ever believes). I've begun to tell them that "I've achieved everything I wanted in life and I am now seeking a new challenge. I have the money, I have the respect, but I want to do something more meaningful / something more challenging / learn new things outside of construction (or any excuse that plays along with the public perception of architects)"

Believe me, as incredulous as it sounds, the percentage of people believing that is greater than my telling the truth (i.e. low pay, overworked, little satisfaction in uninspired design, no respect from contractor/engineers, etc)

My only problem is I feel I can't keep the lie going forever, as they will begin to think I am a scrooge and/or miser, since they think I am rich as crazy, but refuse to spend any money when I'm out with them.

Jan 28, 13 4:28 pm

Another good excuse I found is the "health issue".

"Sure the profession is GREAT and the money is REALLY GOOD! Of course, I would definitely continue if not for my health. I have bad migraines / bad eyesight from all the drafting work, etc"

Never ever say the money is bad or you have no respect among the industry players - no one will believe you.

Jan 28, 13 4:44 pm

Good for you 12x12. I'm not that fortunate since I've been out of school for only 2 years. Only having 1.5 year of architecture experience and wanting to switch careers is tricky. I haven't used money as a reason but I stated "growth opportunities" and "bad economic outlook". Both of them keep falling on deaf ears but if I can get like 2 years of experience in the new field this will stop being an issue so I'll try again and again to find a place that will accept me.

Jan 28, 13 5:01 pm

Thanks for posting it. But it still doesn't seem to justify why framework should be the most "hated degree" just because the place is linked with the ups and downs of the economical times. I'm a organization believer in looking for a individuals interest and interest rather than something just to get a job or comply with any assistance recommended by a search engines material. It creates a bad reputation and a misconception among lawsuit.


Jan 30, 13 1:40 am
boy in a well

dion, i dont think anyone understands what you're saying.

but, i just popped in here for a bit of a tangent:

a significant portion of the lawyers i have known literally hate themselves and feel their daily lives to be literal shit eating contests. But they have the dough to shell out for therapy to get more money to get more therapy to not totally hate themselves while they're cheating on their spouses while they're chillin in the caribbean. Somebody's filling the strip clubs on 8th Ave after all. Maybe its just a New York thing......?

Some haters, it seems, just hate themselves.

Jan 30, 13 2:41 am

People hate it so much that arch colleges across the country are overflowing with students. Now get back to work

Jan 30, 13 2:59 am


Jan 30, 13 11:49 am

@chris moody

"the education and training of an architect, in general, will enable you to do practically anything, including the work of engineers, developers and construction managers."

The "work of engineers" consists of, among other things, designing building structures or bridge structures (to stay close to the construction field). Complex designs require advanced math knowledge and use of advanced mathematical tools such as finite element analysis (FEA) or even tensor analysis, ... briefly going under the hood that means advanced calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, solid mechanics, to name a few..

I am EXTREMELY skeptical about the ability of an architect to do engineering design as briefly described above.

May 2, 13 12:27 am
boy in a well

when it gets too 'mathy' I call the staff engineer, the way I call a draftsman.

May 2, 13 2:20 am

i don't think the mechanical engineers i work with typically understand calculus any better than anyone else.  turns out balancing air in with air out only involves addition and subtraction.

May 2, 13 7:32 am

In my experience, the mechanical engineers that work on building designs are dolts compared to other types of engineers. These guys that architects work with aren't the advanced knowledge engineers, but the ones who barely escaped school with a 1.8 grade point.

May 2, 13 9:09 am

In my upper level math/physics classes, it was usually the engineers that dropped out first - the engineering version of courses such as linear algebra, PDE, and mechanics tend to focus much more so on 'application' (i.e. blindly crunching numbers and formulas) instead of theory. Come test time, they're the ones scratching their heads at a basic proof. In short, it appears as if the majority of those kids didn't understand why they're doing something, just how to do it - that's why, from my experience, the best engineers were the ones that stuck to theory classes and wrote scripts to handle the actual computation part.

That being said, I do think that architects could use more grounding in math just because it really helps in developing abstract critical thinking skills. It's too bad that math education is as broken as it is nowadays - kids coming out of college calculus not even understanding what a function really is, taking derivatives without understanding sequences or series, because courses are focused on churning out the skill instead of engendering comprehension. Generally speaking, most people won't be using much calculus over the course of their careers - but being able to think rigorously in an abstract system is a pretty invaluable skill. Plus, all of the fun stuff like logic and set theory usually don't come until later even though they functionally precede all the fancy algebra/calculus we learn first.

/end math education rant, apologies :P

May 2, 13 1:03 pm


"In my upper level math/physics classes, it was usually the engineers that dropped out first - the engineering version of courses such as linear algebra, PDE, and mechanics tend to focus much more so on 'application' (i.e. blindly crunching numbers and formulas) instead of theory."

Then you might enjoy this:

May 2, 13 9:27 pm


Not here though, architects like being dumb.

May 2, 13 9:29 pm

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