Posted by: PatrickJL | September 2, 2010

Grad School vs. Real Life: a rant

It seems post-graduate education is becoming a popular option for people my age in the architecture field.  The job market is saturated with more experienced designers looking for any work at all and entry level graduates seem to be left in the dust.  The only option may be to extend the job search by a couple of years while gaining a higher level of education.

As cut throat as the job market is, grad school is not much different.  We attended undergrad at Drury University, a Midwest liberal arts school.  I just had an interesting conversation with my friend Claire who has decided to return to school to pursue a master’s degree in historic preservation.  Most of her classmates completed their undergrad at an east coast ivy league school.  Does that make our education of any less value?  Absolutely not!  I think that you get out of your education what you put into it.  You might find that I may have put less into my education than most…but Claire, NO!  She’s as hard working as they come.  I simply won’t believe that someone has a greater advantage than her just because they attended a “better” school.

What you might find at an east coast ivy league school is some high profile professors.  I believe these faculty are brought in order to bring in hight enrollment.  I would put up some of my professors at Drury against these people any day.  In fact, many of these “high profile” professors are busy running successful practices in other cities.  How in the world do they find the time to dedicate to shaping the minds of the next generation of architects and designers?  Have they ever pulled all nighters just so they could give adequate time to each student?  I know I’ve had some professors who have done that.

Now I’m not saying that ivy league schools do not provide a quality education.  I’m just saying that someone of equal initiative could get just a good education just about anywhere.  Example – the internet.  Just about any piece of information you could be looking for can now be found on the internet and not just at any yahoo’s site (did ya see what I did there?) but at actual reputable websites.

Now that this post has strayed away from grad school vs. real life and concentrated more on why ivy league institutions and the internet, I think it’s time to bring it to a close.  Call me jealous for not attending such established institutions but I think it’s time we stick it to the people who throw their alma mater’s in your face.


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