I'm a mid-career professional thinking of going back to school and getting an MLA. It'd be a major lateral transition in my career but I am so attracted to this field and it's a much better fit for me than public administration (my current job)
I've been accepted to University of Georgia and University of Texas at Austin. But lately my enthusiasm has been tempered by the posts that I've read on some forums here about scare LArch jobs. It sounds pretty dire. Anyone think the job market will see an uptick in a few years? I'm hoping to work in a major city for a studio that specializes in large, sustainable public projects. Thanks!xo
Be prepared for the following if you take an entry level job in China:
If your ungainfully unemployed right now..... consider your options...they are very limited.
Lol, thanks for the advice landplanner! :)
Have you asked the recent grads from those schools? The upper tier east coast school grads (from schools I have contacts with) are at about 50% employment in the profession, another 25% in a related line of work.
I haven't found a way to ask them actually. I've made some cold calls and emails to firms in NYC (where I live) and they were a little vague about the job outlook. Mostly they said it was grim right now, but should pick up in a few years. Thanks!
I just moved back to CA from Athens, GA because my wife finished vet-school at UGA. Before the initial collapse I postponed my LARC career in the private office so she could return to school. When we returned to the country and moved to GA several colleagues were out of work and some for over a year by then.
As for Athens, take note that Atlanta, GA has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. One hour away, Athens does receive extra income as a college town but the region is not growing. It was bad enough that LA students at UGA could not find free internships for school credit.
A large part of the population went back to school once everyone realized this was going to be a long dry spell. When looking to leave a stressful, non-exciting, desk job, several thought Landscape would be fun and colorful. Instead they found a stressful, sometimes exciting, desk job...but of course, if they found a job.
The colorful master plans everyone plasters to advertise is simply a marketing tool. Many outside the profession don't realize the colored renderings are to drum up public support and finances and are often a far cry from the finished product (think "concept cars"). They have to be created because few people can correctly read a set of construction plans. Nothing would get built if we relied on cd's to secure funding and gain name recognition.
Our profession is currently undergoing a dramatic definition change fueled by so many people in related fields and others doing anything they can to survive. No one bails water faster in a sinking boat than a scared sailor. Those who realize it's changing will be ahead of the curve and prosper. The others will either retire out, fall to the wayside, or look for jobs within the competition.
This is not a time for a career change into Landscape. However, a newbie coming in looking for a first career will have the time and more likely to have the lower financial req's (i.e. kids, second car payment, mortgage, addt'l school loans, etc.) and be able to ride out the slow economy.
Keep in mind, If you are lucky enough to even get an job, you are starting over. Unlike many careers, the design professions are not ones that you can just slide into at the same level you were by getting yet another degree; there is an apprenticeship aspect to it. you will be green and need to learn the profession from the ground up. This, of course, also means you will be earning an entry level salary. You might have better luck with a pubic sector career, given you have experience and an admin degree to back you up, but that does not translate well to the private sector. Good luck.
Kim I’m going to be honest with you. Landscape Architecture has a high rate of attrition in a good economy. Right now it’s almost impossible to make a living as an LA. The key word is almost. With the right combination of attitude, skill, location, friends and breaks the profession can feed you. Your chances of making it are as good with Landscape Architecture as they are with most professions right now.
So until someone offers something better than not continuing your studies and doing nothing or going into IT, Medicine, Mortuary Sciences, blah, blah, blah, I suggest you do what you’re passionate about. If you’ve been following threads on the LA employment outlook, one thing you’ll notice is that nobody’s made any realistic suggestions for career alternatives.
The profession was booming before the collapse. I just can’t understand why people feel the prospects for LAs won’t improve when business in general picks up. It’s not like all of a sudden the profession has become as unessential as lets say…wheelwrights.
All of this feed back has been really helpful and may influence my decision to not to do this, due to the financial struggle it will likely bring about. On the other hand, it's encouraging to see that the field draws such dedicated and passionate people.
Just add "landscape" before architecture and you have your answer right here.
This article along with its charts is telling us what? It was hard to make a living in the arts and architecture before the great recession/depression. Who goes into professions like photography, dance, sports, music, Landscape Architecture, etc. thinking that their chances of “success” are as good as someone going in to health care? You want an easy path to the big bucks, don’t go into Landscape Architecture. It was that way before the crash, it’s the same now.
Come on, what good is posting this article doing for you and people that are pursuing a career in Landscape Architecture? Enough singing the blues already. Bullsh!t charts and statistics are not going to keep some one away from what they are passionate about. You have to give it a shot (right?).
We need writers, dancers, musicians, LAs and other like professionals to make life worth living so…Go hard!
When someone graduates with an art degree, sometimes they go into teaching or graphic designer or working for a film company to design sets. Generally, when LAs and Architects graduate, they go do LA and Architect stuff, and not teach in high school.
Anyway, Craig. I'll never convince you. Start working on Plan D. LA is gone, man. Craig the NYC man, the greatest LA in state of NY! A hui hou.