Jameson Simpson

The news is grim for students graduating into dire economic times. But no graduates have it worse than recent architecture graduates, who face an unemployment rate of 13.9 percent.

At the same time—and in a trend that’s pervasive across higher education—an education in architecture is growing more expensive. According to a study performed by Design Intelligence, average in-state tuition and fees for programs offering bachelor’s degrees in architecture rose from $19,454 to $20,115 between the 2010–11 and 2011–12 academic years: an increase of 3.4 percent.

At the graduate-degree level, tuition and fees rose over the same time period for both in-state degree-seekers (2.1 percent) and out-of-state degree-seekers (1.6 percent). Only out-of-state students pursuing bachelor’s degrees got a break: for these students, tuition and fees declined 1.2 percent. Students enrolled at in-state Bachelor of Architecture programs at public universities got hit the hardest: Tuition and fees rose a whopping 6.2 percent for this group between academic years 2010–11 and 2011–12.

Still, it could be worse. According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, job seekers with only a recent high school diploma face an unemployment rate of 22.9 percent. And recent high school dropouts face a jobs environment that is very nearly hopeless, with an unemployment rate of 31.5 percent.