Is it possible to get the expirience without the credentials?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Is it possible to get the expirience without the credentials?

Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)
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    Jordan Lockman

    Is the undergrad Arch. degree accredited? Would it be enough for you to sit for the Arch tests?  

    Sara Donohoe

    Unfortunately, no. To sit for the Arch exams I would be required to get my MArch and work for an architecture firm for a few years.

    Neive Tierney

    Thank you all so much for the great feedback! It is really helpful to be able to talk to professionals in the field.

    Jordan Lockman

    I have met others in that spot. There is just so much redundancy in the 4 plus 3 option for arch/la school. I like the 5 year masters with an option to stop after 4 years.

    Jordan Lockman

    No to what?

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    You can’t honestly say “no’ to being able to get “the experience” without the credentials if you don’t know what exact experience she is looking for.


    What experience are you looking for? Where do you want that experience to take you?


    There is no generic all encompassing Landscape Architecture skill set. There are some that you can not get without credentials because no one will take the time to train you to do something that someone else is already trained to do. There are some that you can get elsewhere and tranfer with.


      … tell me that Sara has less opportunity in an engineering office for grading & drainage experience than someone who has only gone to class and earned a degree. If her experience is anything like mine wa, she’ll be doing grading plans for the LA firms that tossed out her resume. Several years of that and she’ll beat out people with CE degrees for jobs in CE offices (done that). Don’t ever confuse a degree with experience. Certainly having a degree opens more opportunities to get in the door to gain experience, but once you are through the door – experience wins.

    Sara Donohoe

    Thanks, Scott. This is something I’ve never thought of before. I always assumed that having an MLA was a huge step-up. Now I know that’s not always the case. I’ll keep this in mind!

    Trace One

    Sara, the huge anti-intellectual bias on this site  is shocking and I think it is one of the reasons LA can’t compete with architects..Architects respect learning, respect theory and history..and respect new ideas..LA’s like on this site, are imbued with anti-learning that is prevalent in our society.

    An MLA can hire a BLA (with several years of work under their belt) to do their irrigation plans..But someone who stops at the BLA, will, by reputation, be a technician..They do not care about theory, they do not care about history..They do not care to try to break new ground. (metaphorically speaking.)

    The traditional dichotomy, which all these posters have ignored, is that the MLA has thought about theory and knows history, because they care..The BLA is a technician..These degreess do not ask you to think.

    This anti-learning that pervades this site is one of the reasons Architects always beat us out..They LIKE to learn, they LIKE to theorize..

    I got my MLA from the U of Penn in 1987, I met the most amazing architects and LA’s of our times – James Corner was a classmate..

    We must, as a society, learn to respect history and theory, and I think the one-sided bias you have received on this site, which should be open to all, is depressingly indicative of why we, as a profession, don’t succeed.

    We need to embrace thoughts, embrace ideas, understand the past, and understand theortecial implications of design..People who stop at the BLA never get there, and so our profession is mired in gardeners and horticulturalists, and cannot compete against architects who respect IDEAS..

    Get an MLA at a good school – learn to think, not just be a technician! You can always hire someone to be your irrigation specialist – they will work for you!


    Trace, Wow! You hit the nail on the head. I give you the badge for best comment of the month! Just be careful that you don’t extend too far. Someone with only a BLA doesn’t mean they don’t possess visionary thinking like the MLA and a person with a MLA doesn’t mean they’re not technically proficient either. Everybody is different and you should never judge someone based solely on their degree alone. I have always hated the firm, Design Workshop for falling into this elitist attitude with having employees an MLA. I’ve interviewed with them on 2 separate occasions, got to the final stage and was passed over for someone with an MLA. Yes, they do prefer it. Or at least they did several years ago. I still have proof from one of my thank you/rejection letter.


    Remember, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg never graduated from college! Yes, I know…but technically no degree. 


    Heather Smith

    Agreed! Who said we should stop learning? What we are questioning is whether an MLA will help her achieve her goals.

    Leslie B Wagle

    BLA’s from a good program will have no shortage of theory or history. But I’ve seen schools offer MLA’s to students without prior design backgrounds and there couldn’t have been enough time in the program to make up for all the studio work they never experienced; the MLA just listed the same courses and descriptions that a BLA would have taken in the last 2 years, with higher numbers. It almost seemed designed for marketing to career changers with the lure of getting more for the bucks and I can understand the appeal but it involves a hazard.


    Nobody relishes paying for a re-tour of college to get what is mostly retraining…but, if you contemplate any great leap the issue is the same. You’re talking about what you want to do with the rest of your life, and the confidence of knowing you have a thorough grounding is hard to overestimate. You don’t want to run the risk of just getting a few lectures on some facet of design compared to others who were given a whole semester in a BLA program.


    I’ve overheard the opinion more than once that “all landscape architects don’t need to know how to do a grading plan (substitute other skills).” Well, aiming for greater things is fine as long as you CAN do what other depth-trained people do, but the general public would assume an MLA holder is at least as knowledgeable and if you aren’t, (ie. your program was fast track with a “writing thesis” emphasis)…that’s going to show up in a studio context. This is not such a hazard for people who enter from allied undergrad majors. But if you are transferring from an unrelated field, and want to design, you need to look carefully into whether a program is responsible enough to insist on remedial work and provide it if needed to give you a solid base.

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