I have been going to school for the last two years and FINALLY figured out what I want to do after 26 years. I have always wanted to become an architect since I was young and realized this would be the perfect profession for me considering my love for landscape as well. I planned on getting my masters in LA after recieving my bachelors in business, but after reading so many reviews on the internet I'm a little weary going down this route now. Before I spend $90k on school and the next 5 years doing so it would be nice to know if I'm making the right decision.
Does anyone regret going into this profession? If so, why? I'm desperately seeking advice here. Thank you for reading.
David, I know this is a bit late but something popped into my mind about a post from a person who was considering a change from nursing, and it took me awhile to find that it was a reference to an outside person in this post. Your advice about talent was on the mark but since she wouldn't know if she has that and it's a hard decision whether to wade in at all and incur a relocation, steep debt, etc. what I might also suggest (if you are still in touch with her) is a kind of hybrid career. Nursing and LA have so little in common I wonder which is the really "off base" one in this case, but they do share a concern for people. What if she took whatever lighter weight design and plants exposure she could find, either at a junior college or the "master gardener" programs offered by local Ag Extension Services all over the place, just to get a feel for it? And then even without LA at all, I've seen openings for various (admittedly sometimes part time or low pay) vocations that might be a great fit: ie. being the coordinator person (various titles for this) doing the recruitment, planning for, training and oversight of volunteers to grow local vegetables etc. in community gardens? Sometimes it's a city initiative, sometimes a regional outside group, sometimes an outreach of an established institutional garden. There is quite a big movement going on in this area, and sometimes the gardens are on school grounds or morph into instructional places, wetland preservation exhibits etc. It would link up her health and outdoor interests. Just a thought. And if she needed a degree at all, I've seen horticulture asked for on these, which might be more easily obtainable. Even a 2 year degree might suffice.
Not to hijack this discussion but for someone like myself who is halfway through a LA course, would it be possible to transfer the skills into another job area? I'm very good with computers, things like CAD are a breeze for me. It's just reading this thread and seeing the state of the economy right now makes me worried about when I finish the course.
I think if you have "backup skills" like that and aren't too easily discouraged, it will turn out okay for you. The "doses of realism" here can help immunize you from a big emotional crash, actually, and they apply to a lot of related fields as well. The blessing/curse of the internet and its visible ramblings. :|
Well I think it's better to know than be in the dark, and I know my teachers won't clue us up to how bad it is! But the computer skills seem a bit more transferable perhaps? I got top marks in the CAD and Max assignments we've had, "best bit of modelling i've seen of a 1st year student" for the CAD and I got made a "technical supervisor" for the studio because of it.
I think I could excel in that more than as a LA, and more importantly that there would be more opportunity in that area? Not that I couldn't make it as a designer, I think I could, it just seems like a safer bet to try elsewhere if possible?
If you love something, you try and defend it, supply its needs, and promote its welfare, which should apply to a profession as much as a pet or such things. So, I hope to never discourage a young person. I think some of us here just feel it is also only right to be honest that it does take dedication and we just don't want to reinforce any romantic ideas that you can COUNT ON immediate, full time work on big public projects etc. Nor should you conclude something is "wrong" if you aren't cranking out the kind of work that gets awards or exposure in magazines even in later years. Those are real but rare.
In other words, in order to make it in the long view, have a backup set of skills to rely on in the slow or dry spells. If you have the skills you mentioned, that might be what we mean; you could showcase those to a wider array of firms. Then if you don't get the chance to design right away, you may be of interest as the CAD manager, or you could add rendering skills and be the modeling specialist.
Sure, I understand why someone would try and defend something they love. I'm not interested in winning awards or praise from anyone, or trying to "save the planet".. I'd just like to be able to be a bit creative in the job I will have to spend my life in and applying my brain to solve problems.
I'm going to ask my lecturer about work experience over the summer, but perhaps you could answer this question too; how would you go about getting work experience in a LA firm in regards to 3d rendering/CAD etc, if that's even possible?
I'm not really a good person to ask, as my only suggestions would be: search out firms in cities where you could spend a summer, see if the faculty can keep you posted on anything they hear of, watch the job boards for internships, etc. Maybe somebody else out there will have some guidance.
SS27 Absolutely! My former co-worker friend in Las Vegas was our then, CAD expertise in the department. When the firm was acquired by an even larger engineering firm and the entire LA dept was laid-off in 2009, he quickly made the transition. He was LA educated and trained, but prefered to work on CAD and 3D modeling (3D Studio, Cinema, LightWave software knowledge and not with paperweights like Sketchup). He found work in the San Diego area (Carlsbad) with High Moon Studios producing video game animations. He said he's happier now than ever and make a larger salary. He is a long list of landscape architects lost during the recession and will never return.
One of my lecturers said he knew two guys who started in a LA practice doing 3D stuff and then decided to start up their own company dedicated to 3D visualisation, and now they're driving new TVR's or something.
I don't suppose you have any advice for someone in my position? 2nd year LA student, very good with CAD, Max, computers in general. How would one go about getting into a job using these skills, and where could one start looking?
A BS in Landscape architecture is a 5 year program. A masters is 2 years. The people that i have meet that have a masters, with an unrealated field BA tend not to be very qualified or very good frankly. If i were to do it all over agian i would recomend that if you REALLY want a degree in LA, then have a back up degree as well, not sure if a business degree counts. I would want a degree in park managment or something closely related. I do not regret getting a BA in LA however, i have been laid off times in my life and am now working for myself. Some days i dont like this line of work, but its work. 90K seems like to much to me. You will have a tuff time finding work right away and maybe get an offer of around 35k, depending on your portfilio and experience. Schooling is great, but real world experience is maybe more important.
Dont listen to the people who say stuff like if you love it then do it, that wont feed, cloth your kids.
“Dont listen to the people who say stuff like if you love it then do it…”
Please stand-by so that you can correct the person that posts such a ridiculous thing, you’ll be all over it then.
Thank you in advance.