Should I major in landscape architecture?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Should I major in landscape architecture?

  • This topic has 1 reply, 25 voices, and was last updated 11 years ago by nca.
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  • #157866
    Michael Tracy
    Participant

    I’ve been taking CAD classes the last 4 years in high school gotten an A in every class and I’m the president of architecture club at my school.  Needless to say I have an interest in architecture, but I wanted to become a landscape architect because the beauty of the outdoors and maybe get out of the office every once in a while.  I would of planned to get a bachelors in architecture later on and then maybe become a teacher at a high school teaching CAD, LA, A.  Teaching was my first career choice but literally every other person I know has a son or a daughter who just graduated college with an education degree but their already back in college because they can’t find a job to use it.  

      Right now I work at a contractor that does wall coverings and window treatments, I download the bid documents print them out and even get to estimate a few.  On the ones I do, I rarely ever see LA drawings and when I do they’re only a few pages.  I’ve been wondering if this is a good major because this is what I put down as what I wanted to study in college but I’m having second thoughts now.  I’ve been reading everyone say that times are tough and they either don’t have a job or aren’t getting paid enough.  I’ve been reading articles that say architectural majors are the worst possible majors you could study in terms of employment once you graduate.

      If you guys were in my shoes would you of picked another major that interested you at the time?  I’m looking at law or health care now since I donate blood regularly and volunteer and blood drives.  I’m also in AP gov currently and enjoy the class and have enjoyed all my previous history classes.  I’m really leaning towards law or health care.  What do you guys think?

     

    #157947
    nca
    Participant

    IMO an architecture/landscape architecture major may very well be one of the most challenging degrees a student can pursue with limitless career opportunities after graduation. The analytical thinking, technical, and communications skills typically learned in a design program are invaluable in the real world and I believe we need more people with this kind of training in the world.

    The problem is that arch/la professors tend to guide students toward traditional career paths in la/arch and there just are not enough jobs/projects right now to support all of the new grads that want to practice design right out of school.

    However, if you’re willing to keep an open mind with regard to how you apply the skills learned in a design program the possibilities are endless.

    We just got two new mayors in small towns in my area, both architects. A design education makes very well rounded creative problem solvers. There is no reason a grad with an arch degree should be working ‘survival jobs.’ There are lots of ways to apply creative thinking in the world.

    #157946
    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    [Like]

    #157945
    Trace One
    Participant

    Steady jobs in LA are heavy on the form – filling  out stuff – if I were you, I would check out our national review processes like CEQR and NPDES, as well as try to check out   your  local zoning laws – this is bread and butter (and health benefits)  for LA’s, and stormwater applications (NPDES) are only getting more significant, better codified for every project.

    You also have to be sure  you like group decisions, with public participation.

    If you don’t, just be ready to run your own business, for which you will need accounting.

    Just IMHO!

    #157944
    George McNair
    Participant

     

    You are a smart young man looking to the future. The plan to teach CAD at the high school level is a good choice. Stay out of L, Architecture unless you want to get a PHD and teach, or get on with the government……………………I have to go and will be back on the form later.

     

    If you insist, then Architecture is another way to go.

     

     

    #157943
    Chupacabra
    Participant

    The analytical thinking, technical, and communications skills typically learned in a design program are invaluable in the real world and I believe we need more people with this kind of training in the world.

     

    I think this is an excellent point and I would say it is one of the most significant skills I developed as part of my design education.  I work with a wide of range of “experts” is a variety of fields and the ability to communicate complex ideas and to cross-cut across the disciplines is invaluable and most other professions don’t use it in the way we do.  One of the rolls I’ve built for myself is as a communitcator and process facilitator.  I also feel the design process is a problem solving process that offers a different approach to analysis and solution finding that is extremely valuable beyond the application to the arrangement of spaces.

    #157942
    nca
    Participant

    Architecture is hurting more than LA right now.

    #157941
    Nick Panetta
    Participant

    I graduated in the spring of 2009, and did not find an industry job until fall 2011.  That was in the midst of the recession.  If you enter school now, I suspect you will finish in a booming industry.  Landscape architecture will have a much larger space at the table of any design/construction project in the future.  We have a lot of new ideas and techniques to offer.  Don’t let the job market scare you away.  Those with the desire to find a job in this industry, from my experience of 100+ colleagues, found one.  Plus, you can always switch majors once you get there.  Your first two years are filled with core classes anyhow : )

    #157940
    Michael Tracy
    Participant

    Yah my mom who’s a nurse said the job market goes up and down, first their was a overflow and nurses then they didn’t have enough nurses, back to overflow and then they need nursing instructors. So I’m hoping I can stay with this major and have good security and a decent amount of pay.  I just haven’t heard that many LAs say good things about how the profession is going.  I’ve even heard a lot of people say it’s going to be useless in 4-10 years but I don’t know how true that is.

    #157939
    Trace One
    Participant

    Michael, No-one says LA is going to be useless in 4-10 years. Where is that coming from? 

     

    My point is, do you know what CEQR and NPDES are? These are legistlative driving forces behind employment of LA’s (with health benefits), in addition to local zoning regulations. In my experience, if you do not have the patience to deal with these laws, it is a huge slice of the LA job description that you do not like. There is also national legistion regarding historic sites that I am not familiar with.

    I loved pretty pictures and design. I am good at pretty pictures and design (ALL the complex systems – !!! it is toast, easy and fun!!) But this pleasure has been codified in American law, and in implementing your design, you are up against these requirements, after the two minutes of inspiration..and design fun.

    If you want to go into LA, I suggest you familiarize yourself with that.

    Your first simple step would be, do you know what CEQR and NPDES are? If you do not, find out, and report back in one week.

    🙂

    #157938
    Michael Tracy
    Participant

    To be honest I don’t know what they are, I’ll look them up but usually I like working with requirements and restrictions because it’s more of a challenge.  In my CAD classes we had to design houses with restrictions but some some kids asked if they could just design what they wanted and my teacher let them.  Those kids generally designed 8,000 sqft mansions with no restrictions and non-effective living spaces.  I tried to design an effective and cheap suburban home with a limit of being in the range of 2,000 sqft, and at the time I didn’t even know LA existed but I had a really fun time designing the site plan of the house and layout of the house.  The layout was more difficult in my opinion but I had a lot of fun designing the site plan. 

    Here is where people were saying LA is going to be dead in a few years.  I realize it’s outdated but they’re also LAs so I have to take their opinion into consideration even if it’s outdated because it’s one of the few that I have.

    #157937
    George McNair
    Participant

    My point is, do you know what CEQR and NPDES are? These are legistlative driving forces behind employment of LA’s (with health benefits),

     

    Please tell us what your point it all about?

    #157936
    George McNair
    Participant

    Nursing is a very good bet.

    #157935
    George McNair
    Participant

    I graduated in the spring of 2009, and did not find an industry job until fall 2011.

     

    This doesn’t sound like a good career endeavor since we are adivising someone on career choices. During recessions, some professions do well while others dissolve. 

    #157934
    George McNair
    Participant

    What?

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