The US national unemployment rate is wavering somewhere between 9% and 10%. Does anyone know the unemployment rate for Landscape Architects/Designs?

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Steve – great to hear from you, it’s been a while.

 

Firstly, I stand behind my statement; someone going to school to get an education is not worthless. I learned so much more than just a vocation when I went for my BSLA. There’s more to an education than just graduating and getting a job. Going to college opened my eyes to the world. For me that is priceless.

 

I’m sorry but I don’t live my life worrying about looming bubbles or waiting for the other shoe to drop. Those are things that I have no control over. I live my life doing all I can do today to continue to grow and have a happy life tomorrow.

 

What’s the alternative for young people? They can avoid school, get a low paying job and hang out with their friends talking about how much life sucks. Or they can go school and get a degree in a “sure thing” field that they hate and life will still suck. Or they can give it their best shot studying a field that interest them. Of course they might fail and end up pursuing another field, but at least they have the satisfaction of knowing they let it all hang out and went for it. Besides playing it safe doesn’t always guarantee happiness. Risk is a part of life.

 

I think that my advice is practical because in 4 years no one is offering any better alternatives than doing nothing or going into a field that doesn’t interest you in hopes that it has a rosy future.

Ok, Craig,

You can be tedious, in that it seems like you carelessly scan many posts and are too quick with a rebuttle.

Please re-read my post.  I don't suggest anybody to wait for a shoe to drop and also, you throw the frase "rosey future" in too many of your replies when most are just talkig about a food and a roof.  Thereby maybe that is how you missed the point of my post.  Which is:  although it might be a wonderful and "priceless" experience, Is that reason enough saddle yourself with insumountable debt?  Especially in an enconomy that is very bad and trending even worse?  Enter reality here, nothing rosey about it nor gloomy, just FACT. 

In other words,

You are claiming that is is better to have loved and lost,  and I am claiming plain old, unprotected sex might not be the best idea.

Steve

 

I’ve been accused more than once of jumping to conclusions, so I took your advice and re-read your post. I still get the same flavor, so I stand behind my post. But what I will do is start reading my own posts so that I don’t become too repetitive. Yeah you’re right I am guilty of saying “rosy future” too much.

 

“…although it might be a wonderful and "priceless" experience, Is that reason enough saddle yourself with insurmountable debt?”

 

Yes, because it’s a priceless experience and it’s one of the many chances that one takes in life. Although my university experience didn’t necessarily prepare me to be best Landscape Architect, it did provide me with a solid foundation of general knowledge to build upon. I gained a world view and most importantly learned how to work with people. Going through a grueling five year LA program gave me toughness and a “can do” attitude that my friends in business management and other schools just didn’t get. While they were getting their solid 8 hours of sleep, I was at the studio most nights. While they were turning in their work and waiting for a grade, I was presenting my work in front of professionals, faculty and fellow students while exhausted and emotionally naked. Oh yeah and then standing there while your critiqued by these guys. Most LA programs instill a sense of toughness in their graduates (or at least the use to).

 

If I had it all to do over knowing what I know now, I would still go out and get that LA degree because the profession still feeds me after 23 years and I’m just a regular guy. If a seasoned LA or LD has 2 ounces of motivation they can find a way to hustle up a few bucks. Knowing this how could I discourage some young person from getting an LA degree?

 

“You are claiming that is is better to have loved and lost, and I am claiming plain old, unprotected sex might not be the best idea.”

 

Huh?

Andrew, "poke and laugh at those of us stupid enough to not leave the profession" Huhh? I'm merely saying there's more to it than you're view on the "inside" or "outside". Just because you're on the "outside" with an LA job doesn't imply lack of hard work or no knowledge in getting clients. This is what your previous statements are suggesting. And don't worry about me; I'm doing quite well. I worry for my former co-workers who haven't been able to find FULL-TIME employment in the profession. And ask yourself, what has ASLA, your national organization done lately? Did they lower the fees for licensure and for the annual conference?

Someone is talking about stock investments? I'm all ears!! Hey, don't blame me if my hunches were right on. I went with my gut feeling 14 years ago and in April of 2009.

Andrew,

 

I think that more broad question here is about you.  Are YOU an "inny" or an "outty"?

Where's the work that'll set my hands, my soul free/where's the spirit that'll reign over me/where's the promise from sea to shining sea?

'We Take Care of Our Own'- B. Springsteen.

 

PS I never thought I would relate hard core to Bruce's words of the working class (now despairing)...But now I do.

I really do

Sorry about the politics now I cant help it...

I had been meaning to look up the lyrics to that song when I caught the line "From the shotgun shack to the Superdome" and realized there was a big social critique in there to belie the anthemic sound.  I hear ya on the relating thing!

Boilerplater, you might like these lyrics too, or not...

 

People Have the Power

I was dreaming in my dreaming
of an aspect bright and fair
and my sleeping it was broken
but my dream it lingered near
in the form of shining valleys
where the pure air recognized
and my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
that the people / have the power
to redeem / the work of fools
upon the meek / the graces shower
it's decreed / the people rule

The people have the power 


Vengeful aspects became suspect
and bending low as if to hear
and the armies ceased advancing
because the people had their ear
and the shepherds and the soldiers
lay beneath the stars
exchanging visions
and laying arms
to waste / in the dust

 
in the form of / shining valleys
where the pure air / recognized
and my senses / newly opened
I awakened / to the cry

people have the power!

Where there were deserts
I saw fountains
like cream the waters rise
and we strolled there together
with none to laugh or criticize
and the leopard
and the lamb
lay together truly bound
I was hoping in my hoping
to recall what I had found
I was dreaming in my dreaming
god knows / a purer view
as I surrender to my sleeping
I commit my dream to you

People have the power


The power to dream / to rule
to wrestle the world from fools
it's decreed the people rule
it's decreed the people rule


LISTEN
I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth's revolution
we have the power

Hi everyone , I am an employer , and I am not a Landscape Architect .   

From reading a lot of the posts on this topic for the last half hour , it really hit home to me how much a lot of people in your industry are hurting . It pains me a lot as I have the utmost respect for Landscape Architects and their work.  Us Aussies also love our American friends . 

We all know that the economy in the USA has been hit hard by a series of events since 2008 , and to a lesser extent , so has the industry here in Australia .  Anyone can be forgiven if they find it hard to keep a positive outlook , especially if they have also become unemployed in the process. I mean this in a sincere way, not in a condescending way.  I know what it is like to have creditors knocking on the door for overdue payments, it is very stressful, and it also seriously impedes our daily ability to be creative in our work and to stay positive.  

As an employer of LA's and A's , the changes in the economies across the globe have forced us to look for new ways to gain new business , so we continually search for new marketing methods , new software and hardware , and of course new and better ways to maintain our creative bank of contractors .

But worldwide competition , and the rapid speed of the internet growth in places like China and especially India , is creating a situation where it is almost impossible for any business to survive under the systems and hourly rates of years gone by .  Terrible but true !  

I am not sure if you good people are aware of websites like www.freelancer.com where employers place/post  projects and jobs online , and then contractors from around the globe bid on each project.  This means that you can be located in the USA ( not China) but still be able to bid on work anywhere in the world.  I know it is NOT the ideal way to get work , but at least it might help some LA's and others in the design industries to get some dollars in the bank to meet current living costs . Maybe you also need to be creative in the way that you work, maybe you have talents that are peripheral to the core LA's talents, upon which you can earn dollars by bidding for projects . 

I also know it is hard to teach old dogs new tricks( I know this because I am an old dog) , but I am about to use Apple's new iBook authoring software( free download) to create some Landscape Design books for the iPad .......as another avenue to earn some extra dollars, but more importantly , to help in the cross marketing of my company's products and services to new and existing clients.  If you can use a CAD program, you can easily pick up on this new software and create an ibook that might sell for say $4.99 ..what if you sell 10,000 of them this year ? ( most good apps sell hundreds of thousands of units )

For those LA's who are looking for work , do you have your own website setup ???  Do you know it only costs about 15 bucks per month to do that ? Do you know that you can download web designer software that is dead easy to use , but also very powerful , for about $49 ??( e.g. www.xara.com ).  Your own web site could be up and running in a week .  If you also read up on SEO's , then Google search engines will find your site quickly, and you might just start to get some enquiries in from prospective new clients from around the world. Maybe it is worth considering ?  Clean and easy to use website layouts are the best ...simple and easy to navigate . 

My message post here today is to try and assist ,in a very small and positive way , some of you earn some extra bucks and pay your bills , as like me , we also hope and wait for a slow recovery in the economy of the USA and the rest of the world .  I hate to say it, but sitting around brooding , abusing, attacking others' messages is not achieving anything positive at all , it just takes oneself deeper into the negative hole that is so easy to end up in when faced with financial worries.  I know because I have been there, every day is a challenge in business , but if you think outside the square, who knows what good may come from it ? 

A final thought , be proud of your profession , and more importantly be proud of who you are and know that you can achieve great things if you set your mind to it .  I honestly believe that . 

Good luck everyone , and if you need any assistance , you are welcome to message me. ( no charge , but I want credits when I get Upstairs :-) ) 

And NO, I have absolutely no affiliations with any of the websites etc I have mentioned above , I am truly just trying to help anyone that wants help. 

Take care   Glenn 

 

My point is not "ha-ha screw you, you are on the outside" (except in your case Bob). It is only that landscape architecture is not dead unless you are on the outside because situationally, you can get on the inside right now. Yes, that is because of the economy. Without those things - network, built work, connections, reputation, ... it is dead because there is no way to get those right now.

 

If you are still on the inside, the work is the same. .... and any of us on the inside can wind up on the outside looking in. The only difference is that we are better positioned with connections, built work, and more experience dealing with clients directly.

 

When there is more development, the cycle will restart.

Okay brother Andrew, that's not how explained it. I gotcha now.

Craig (only), LA is dead! Get it thru your head. Take off the rosy colored glasses! Give it 10 years. Know what I mean, jellybean? Those on the outside are losers and every designer should be able to get on the inside.

Rose colored glasses are when you operate on what should be instead of what is. If you base the state of the profession on what it should be, then it is dead. If you base it on what it is and always was, it has not changed.

 

What many think it should be is what they were lead to believe, what they hoped it would be, or maybe anything that they could make it. If you knew or know what it actually is, expectations are more realistic.

 

More people have to tell it like it is. Teachers need to do that, assuming they know how it is. Professional organizations should also do it for those looking to get into it. The problem there is that they have a conflict of interest in doing so. All you'll ever get is a pair of rose colored glasses, more reasons to stay in school longer, and more reasons told to you on how important it is to join a professional organization.

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