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"Second Career" Advice


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I graduated college in 2005 with a degree in radio broadcasting, but currently work in IT. I often regret not sticking with my original plan to major in Architecture. There's been something nagging me about that career path recently, I just dont know why. But I think the time in my life to go to school has passed. I'm almost 29 (yes, still young), but my current job doesn't give me a lot of free time to attend classes or money to pay for them. Plus, I have two kids under 4. I'm about to finish paying of my wife's and my college loans next year. the idea of incurring MORE loans even if I COULD find time to go back to school is bothersome.

If there are any architects around this forum, what would a "second career" architect school path look like? Would it even really be feasible?


Well-Known Member
I am not an architect, and I hope that I am not acting as a buttinski, but someone posting for this type of advice on a Disney forum seems to be looking for input. Please forgive me if I am speaking out of turn.
There are certain things that I can surmise from your post, and I shall list them for the sake of clarity.

*You and your wife have finished college, and are both established in a work environment.
*You both still owe money for your college education, but you are well on your way to paying the school fees in full.
*You have a young family consisting of two children.
*You are presently in a financially stable position.

The problem now lies in your personal dissatisfaction. At this juncture of your life, personal dissatisfaction must give way to the survival and well-being of your family. One might think that the clock is ticking too quickly, but I have dealt with people who are changing their careers well into their forties. I would suggest that you finish paying the loans, stabilize your children’s future plans, and then talk to your wife concerning a change in career paths. It is unfortunate that you are in a position of professional dissatisfaction, but it is a decision that you made years ago, along with the decision to marry and have children. Your family is now the priority, and the stability provided by your present job, particularly in today’s economic environment, is something that you must take into consideration beyond the dream of being an architect. You have already committed yourself to a family, and honor would dictate that you allow your family to take precedence over other affairs.

As to the change in career paths, it will take a bit of sacrifice, but it is far from impossible. The key is to balance family time with study time. I know that there are some reputable schools that offer on-line work (even Harvard University has entered into this field). Perhaps you can do your homework now (no pun intended) in finding a suitable option, long before you take the step forward in enrolling. The school that you choose, whether on-campus or off-campus, should be according to your needs, but the principle of priorities remains unchanged.

Again, please show a little grace if I have been out of line in posting. You seem to want something more in life, and my only purpose is to lend a hand. I wish you and your family well.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I absolutely appreciate the candid well thought out thoughts. It's definitly something to chew on. My family absolutely does and will always come first. I really do appreciate it, thanks!


Fantasmic Premium Member
Fair enough I dont have any kids, but Im married and was 5 years in the same job; mortgage, credit cards, bills, etc, etc.

I changed my career last year and the best thing I ever did. The most common conversation I have with friends is, I ask "How are you doing?" and there answers are generally "Getting by, getting by."

I was a "getting by" person as well. I thought, Ive only got once life and I am going to follow my dream.

I stopped watching TV, and filling my spare time with crap...focusing on writing my CV and researching how to change my career.
I managed to do it and change from working in education for 5 years to a roller coaster designer (im 27 years old), all within 6 months.
I say this because when I told people I was going to do this, most people thought I was crazy. I knew what I wanted and I didn't give up.

It is very important to give yourself value, and also not to spend the rest of your life 'researching'. I felt the researching part was very comfortable to be in - I didnt need to move forward in anyway. I could just spend my nights researching, researching.
It is best to put out an aim, and then break it down to plausable achievements WITH A TIMEFRAME. And get someone SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR DREAM (i.e wife?) to hold you accountable ; "Stop watching TV and follow your dream" ;)
It is amazing that your mind can tell you, "Na, just stay here and everything will be ok. Following your dream can be hard".

E.g. Aim: I want to be an Architect as soon as possible

Goal 1: Research companies and courses available (2 weeks)

My friend is a published author and I am writing a chapter on "Following Your Dream."
If you ever want any more advise, let me know. I want to help people follow their dream.


Fantasmic Premium Member
I also have to add, it is very common for our minds to say "I will wait until I have $2000 in my bank before i..." <--or whatever
I guarantee you, when you meet your minds tick box "$2000 in the bank", it will make something else up... "No, wait until the new year as it isn't good leaving your job at this time."
I was there..it was hell!


Well-Known Member
I'm in the same spot...

I work in corporate finance, been in the field for about 5 years. I graduated college in 2007 and jumped right in the workplace. At first I worked for a large firm, at the bottom in what is called a "custodial" bank. Basically this functions as a holdings and accounting resource for asset managers. A lot of people start here and work their way up into new firms, but its a sandtrap. Mostly because you're working at a low wage and always looking forward to changing from the custody side of the business to the buy side, asset management. I got there.. 2 years ago and then I painfully realized reality...

in order succeed in this business, you need the following:
1.) a higher degree, no one above me holds less than an MBA / MSF
2.) CFA Chartership ... four years of business school in one exam, sub 20% passing rate. HARD
3.) TIME... I get emails from people all hours of the night

I simply can't see myself bringing work home, checking emails on my phone, etc etc etc

When I go home, I am home... with my family.

I'd love to leave the field and start fresh but I'm a coward, no idea what the heck I actually want to do. I shoot weddings and portraits on the weekends and the cash is great, but its feast or famine. There isnt enough work to sustain life.


Well-Known Member
This is an incredible topic! I am working 20+ years as a civilian in the law enforcement sector. Can I say boring!! I do not have a college degree and never really had any urge to go back to get a college education.
I got married 5 years ago, no we don't have childrern, but we are a family and have the mortgage, bills....etc...etc... I have been taking Yoga for years and always wanted to be a Yoga Instructor. To do this I would have to live in an Ashram for 4 weeks, far from home and have limited contact with my husband and the rest of my family. I never gave it a second thought because I thought my family would think I was losing my marbles and I was just plain old scared! Well, one night at dinner I said to DH, I really want to be a Yoga Instructor, what do you think? He said go for it! WHAT??? I thought he was on drugs but, I jumped on his YES! My boss allowed me to take 4 weeks vacation to live my dream. I had all my ducks in order, reservations made, text books in hand and suddenly I am stricken with fear! How do I leave my family for four weeks, how do I put my life on a shelf and go live in an Ashram. There is a house to keep, dinners to make, bills to pay. DH said it best...I love and support any decision you make, as long as that decision makes YOU happy. If your glass is full, then you have enough in that glass to share with me. If your glass is empty you have nothing to offer me or yourself. (HMM...who is the yoga teacher now? lol) His words were loving yet very powerful. In my 39th year I became a Yoga Teacher, the BEST job in the world!! I still work in law enforcement as Yoga can't pay the bills, but, I am doing what I LOVE.

It can happen! Maybe not as quickly as you would like but, you can do it. I takes work and takes some sacrafice but, in the long hall a happier you makes a happier family!

I the words of Walt...
If you can dream it , you can do it!

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