I’ve been corresponding with an architecture student for the last few years following a chance meeting at the AIA conference in Orlando. He’s involved in a co-op program, so he’s been working off and on while pursuing his degree – well on his way to becoming an architect.
Except his most recent e-mail indicated his career trajectory was taking what most people would consider a turn for the worst.
At some point this past fall, during his study abroad semester in Germany, he reached the conclusion that he really didn’t want to be an architect. That despite his best efforts, architecture is not for him.
Did I mention he graduated in May?
I’m not sure how his parents are going to feel when he makes that announcement. However, I must give him props for not completely freaking out the moment he had the realization. Four plus years of school and work (or more) only to realize you should be doing something else? Most people would be devastated.
Except no one said he has to be an architect.
And that’s the hidden secret behind an architecture degree. So many opportunities are available that don’t follow a traditional architecture path. Off the top of my head I was able to mention three people I know that do anything but architecture with their degree.
Furniture design. Set design. Stained glass art. Videography. Business development. Computer animation. All are possible with an architecture degree.
And the list goes on and on.
If nothing else, he’s created a mindset that will see the world in different terms, no matter what he decides to do. He will appreciate the beauty of the environment he is in. And hopefully, his architecture background will have an influence in whatever he decides to do.
Besides, no one said he has to be an architect.
Although I’m sure his mom and dad would probably appreciate it.