June 24, 2010 at 7:08 pm #168987
Why are companies asking for an MLA for an entry level job. I have a BLA. I can’t imagine incurring more debt to get a 30k-45k entry level job. Why are companies expecting an MLA? Wouldn’t an MLA be more acceptable after years of experience. Could someone explain to me who is in HR why MLA is worth more than a BLA in an entry level.June 24, 2010 at 7:15 pm #169009
Jason T. RadiceParticipant
Thats a huge question. If you have a professional and accredited BLA, there should be no need for the MLA, as many who get the MLA have a different bachelors degree. I’m going back for my MLA after getting a 5 year BLA 11 years ago, partly to become elligible for the restricted applications. I plan on refining some of my design style and expanadng my expertise. Now someone with a BLA and an MLA should be technically worth more than a BLA alone, or an MLA alone. But it won’t be, there is not a great return on investment (thats why I’m going to a state school) on an MLA.
I think the simple answer is, with such a crappy economy and so many LAs out of work, is because they can demand it.June 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm #169008
I think its ludicrous that some firms are requiring the MLA. That said, even if they advertised the MLA as a requirement I’d still send them my portfolio. For what it’s worth, and I dont know if I should admit this, but I havent completed my BSLA yet, but I can’t afford the remaining classes right now. It’s always seemed to me that your work and experience should come first. There will, in most situations, be someone else to stamp drawings anyway if need be. Given, there is probably a point at which there will be a salary cap if you dont get the license. Free market types should be well in line with this train of thought, right? Sorry for the tangent.
I tend to think, and no offense to the MLA’s out there, that BLA/BSLA’s tend to be just as qualified if not in some cases moreso than MLA’s given the number of years in study. There is also the argument that MLA’s will have a more diverse background and possibly more ‘life/work’ experience, BUT that said I know more than a few going directly from BSLA to MLA with nearly zero work experience, which in my mind equates to a fair amount of life experience as well, so where’s the added value?June 24, 2010 at 8:23 pm #169007
Frankly, I don’t know if many … if any … that ask for an MLA for an entry position. Of those who have an MLA and are going into an entry, most have no experience and the MLA is their first design degree.June 24, 2010 at 10:33 pm #169006
I won’t name them but some of the biggest firms that I’ve been keeping my eyes on for open positions now require MLA under minimum requirement. What’s worse is that some firms now require you to know an insanely amount of softwares just for an entry level position or even an internship. I know of somebody who got rejected for an UNPAID internship for not knowing Rhino, some Adobe suite programs, and GIS.June 26, 2010 at 2:26 am #169005
Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
In this economy every landscape architecture office is flooded with resumes whether or not they have a position to offer. There is little reason to spend money on advertising for entry level or all purpose staff when you do have a position if you are sitting on a pile of fresh resumes.
When would you advertise a position? When you have a special need that you can’t fill from the pile of resumes, perhaps? I believe that the reason we are seeing a higher percentage of MLA requirements is that we are only seeing the positions that are hard to fill being advertised.
The next question before you invest in two more years and another pile of school bills is whether just having any MLA is going to put you to the front of the line, or is it a particular specialty that includes a specific area of study at the Master’s level that each of these job ads are looking for. Is there a pattern of a particular skill set in demand that is developing out there? Is it primarily government and teaching positions that are being advertised?
I’d be surprised if it is entry level generic LA jobs that are now requiring MLAs.June 26, 2010 at 5:16 am #169004
Jennifer de GraafParticipant
Because with so many of us out there looking for work, they can ask for whatever they want and get it. Why not ask for the moon?June 26, 2010 at 6:39 am #169003
Jason T. RadiceParticipant
They don’t have the time or manpower to train new-hires they way they used to. Every firm I know is lean and mean, and if you don’t know their software, they don’t want to (or have to) invest in the training.June 26, 2010 at 6:52 pm #169002
I could never understand the MLA. I transfered into the LA program after 2 years pursuing a different degree. I had to accept that to get that BSLA I was facing 4 more years of LA focused study. It took 5 years not 4 just like all the other BSLA pursuing students around me. Then along comes some BA in English who gets a stupid MLA in two years and that person is suppose to be more in demand than a BSLA with 5 years of intense design theory and all the other crap you have to study. I have a Masters in Urban Studies and, believe me, it was easier to earn than my BSLA. I’ve met a lot of MLAs and I have never been impressed. Sorry.June 26, 2010 at 10:13 pm #169001
In all fairness, I did check out the University of Colorado Denver MLA program and it does look very intense and inclusive. Maybe my opinion is outdated or the academic world felt the same as me in the past and changed things. Go MLA.June 27, 2010 at 11:37 am #169000
Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
Is there a trend in universities toward adding MLA accreditation and dropping BLA accreditation?June 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm #168999
It would be nice to introduce some hard facts into this debate. The data required would be fairly self-evident: Gather course work requirements for all BSLA degrees and compare with course requirements for MLA programs. Gather information from help-wanted, etc. for LA’s on requirements, and who gets hired. Gather information on other types of coursework MLA’s have , compare to other types of course-work BSLA’s have (did they take Constitutional Law classes? Art History? etc..) …just off the top of my head..lots of refinements to data list would happen, as the scope of the study is defined..
So far we have a lot of anecdotes.. These are valuable also – but a few facts would definitely enhance this discussion, which has come up more than once in this Forum..
For me, I LOVED my 3 year masters’ degree from UofPenn with Ian McHarg and many others..I saw the BSLA as always more horticulturally and scientifically inclined (‘Turfgrass Management 101), and much less able and interested in Design, as snobbish as that may sound.. It is not snobbish, however – the scientific aspects of our profession are extremely important, we must all be collaborators – it is one thing Olmstead is known for – he knew how to hire..June 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm #168998
I think likeablity would be one factor, Mr. Schmid – addmittedly perhaps a big one – Japanese youths are apparently egaging with frequency in cosmetic surgery, to help with the hiring process.
However, I think one can’t disclude the value of a study – even just to see if there are any correlations to anything..yes it can be skewed, but yes also, a good scientist tries to account for that..
Unless you don’t see any value in science at all? Perhaps we should just consult god for the answers..And that is another perspective, widely held in our society…June 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm #168997
Hi, I may have part of your answer: It appears you are located in a university town (Athens, Ga) or at least near one, as am I… located in Berkeley, Ca, (UC Berk)… These cities have MLA’s graduating every year, looking for jobs in the area before they move on to another place. Therefore the employer can advertise for this seemingly endless pool of MLA grads on a regular basis, knowing that entry levels dont stay that long to begin with, generally speaking.
Here in the Bay Area i see plenty of job openings asking for MLA degrees, entry level or not.. I agree, a BLA is 4 years, versus two in grad school. However maybe the employers are really looking for someone who may have an undergrad in architecture also? getting some cross-over expertise for the price of one.
Thats my guess…June 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm #168996
I think I’m going to hire the person that will make me the most money. Which one is that?
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