Should I major in landscape architecture?

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

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 82 total)
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  • #157918
    Michael Tracy
    Participant

    Yup Autocad is what I’m most experienced with, I’ve been trying to learn revit because I don’t think I’ve seen any architect use autocad for the plans I see at my work.  It looks like everything is done in revit anymore.  Electrical engineer sounds pretty good actually, but the college I already put money and stuff down for doesn’t offer that.  I’d probably have to ask for my money back before May 1st the day the stop refunds and apply to another college for the spring.  I really don’t want to do that but I’m gonna look into it and see if it’s worth it.

    #157917
    George McNair
    Participant

    You have a good degree Heather and there are ways to make it pay off. Sounds like you are doing well with the design-build. I used to do design-build but am strictly design and planning now but it’s slow.

    I’m toying with an advertising idea to stress that LAs can do the design, get the client lower cost by the bidding process and improve quality. Over all cost will be competitive and quality should be higher as opposed to going with a pure landscape contractor for the entire project. As an LA you can do both, bid out some jobs and build others.  

    #157916
    Trace One
    Participant

    CEQR is pretty much national in one form or another – in New York it is SEQR.

    I don’t mean to demean trust fund babies, I am just pointing out an area of work for LA’s that is huge, and will only be getting bigger.

    I also don’t mean to diminish small gardens, just to clumsily depict levels of projects that require review. Actually even residential gardens sometimes need to go before zoning commissions, and this is another area of steady imployment with health benefits, on of the driving forces behind my employment choices. Did you learn about zoning regs in school? Or CEQR and NPDES? I didn’t.

    #157915
    George McNair
    Participant

    Your first two years of college is very general, so you can switch majors and apply to another college if needed without much wasted time.

     

    What college are you applying to?

    #157914
    Jay Smith
    Participant

    Its not going to bounce back in 4 years, or even 10 in my opinion.

    Nick what do you base this on? Not suggesting you are right or wrong, but I hear this a lot from people, what are your sources?

    #157913
    Jay Smith
    Participant

    Michael just remember it’s not just this particular recession that you will have to worry about if you commit yourself to this field.  As you’ve probably realized by now, LA is a very up and down industry, more so than most professions.  Consider too that if there are particular aspects of the field that you enjoy, you may still be able to find ways to incorporate them into your life via a hobby or supplemental career should you choose to go into another profession instead.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that just because I have an interest in something doesn’t make it a wise career choice.  Good luck to you.

    #157912
    Phil Moorehead
    Participant

     I also graduated in Spring 2009, and didn’t have a relevant job (assistant designer with a design-build company) until Spring of 2011. It was part-time for most of the season, and I was laid off when winter came around. Since I was aware of that likelihood, I also maintained part-time status with the (survival job) employer I had through college (and in the mean years afterward) through the spring/summer/fall, and returned to full-time status over this past winter when I was laid off. I was not happy about doing so.

     In March of this year, I received a call from a former professor who is also a principal with a local LA Firm, and was offered a contract position drafting schematic level details for a large overseas project. The work was challenging, demanded all of the skills I practiced in school, and I loved it. Before I even finished the term of the contract, I got a call from the design-build company I had worked for the previous summer, and was offered a full-time job. 

      As of this writing, I have quit my “survival” job, and I am now working full-time in a field relevant to my degree, with better prospects of employment in a full-fledged LA Firm than at any point in the two years following graduation. I thoroughly enjoy the work done at both the LA Firm I recently worked in and the design-build company I’m currently with. Different flavors of the same treat; in stark contrast to the McJob I had previously. I’ve also worked in a more bureaucratic LA environment, which could appeal to some, too.

    I guess my point is: Having a degree in Landscape Architecture is fantastic if you can get a job. There is something to be said for taking gamble on it, and it’s probably less of gamble now and in the foreseeable future. There is a chance you could be waiting tables for a stretch, though…

    #157911
    Craig Anthony
    Participant

    Who opened the window and let all of that fresh clean air into the lounge? Thanks Wyatt.

     

    Michael you shouldn’t let people that don’t know your talent or drive steer you away from what you want to do, based on current economic conditions.

     

    I know LAs here in NY who have maintained there jobs through the entire down turn. These are average LAs, not superstars with incredible design and graphic skills. I also know LAs in Texas and Central Ohio who have barely noticed the recession. I was laid off at the end of 2007, but I’ve been able to find enough jobs to pay the bills on my own and I am not a superstar. Go out there and make your own luck by focusing on gaining the necessary skills, meeting the right people and enjoying life.

     

    Believe me if you’re a creative person that’s into Landscape Architecture and Architecture, there’s a very slim chance that you’d be happy being an EE. Have you ever seen their drawings. Commit to what you really want to do and go for it. You may or may not be successful, but the education and exposure wouldn’t be a waste of time unless you allow it to be.

    #157910
    Michael Tracy
    Participant

    Well I applied to Philadelphia university, Temple, and Penn state main.  Philadelphia was my favorite and that’s the one I chose.  I didn’t even complete my application for temple because they lost my transcripts in my mail twice so I just said screw it because at that point I had already gotten accepted into Philadelphia.  Penn state main campus didn’t accept me at first but now they keep sending me mail that they want me.

    I think I just might switch to architecture and try to do that for a few years, get a teaching certificate and do that.  Maybe even try to run for mayor like someone said in a post earlier on this thread, because I’m pretty in politics.

    #157909
    nca
    Participant

    Architecture? Really? Dude, if you’re going for a design degree I’d stay away from graphic design and architecture for a while…but thats the last time I’ll say it..shhh 😉

    I’d follow someones earlier comment and consider civil or mechanical. If I had to do it all over again I’d probably do LA..again, but if I were smart I’d probably check out industrial design or mechanical.

    To become a professor you’ll need a masters unless you want to be an adjunct or associate.

    You COULD always do intro to arch/la and major in political science…that way we’ll get a policy maker with real creative problem solving/design thinking skills..that would be nice for everyone.

    #157908
    Heather Smith
    Participant

    Architecture is worse off then LA. I know arch grads doing construction and that have had to work at Fred Meyers.

    Some things that I think would be fun and require problem solving would be some of the scientific fields. There are things being researched like nanotechnology, developmental evolution, evolutionary biologists, genetics, etc…that fascinate me. I can see there being a lot of work in fields where they study genetics and their effect on disease. Then again I like a wide range of topics. I am looking back as an almost 35 year old…the world is your oyster. Don’t pigeon hole yourself into something just because you have done some Cad in high school. I also studied dental assisting in high school…and am glad I don’t do that. 🙂 Your preferences will continue to evolve as you grow older, don’t underestimate the frustration you will feel entering the design professions and finding very few opportunities. And don’t forget, even if you do land a job at a firm, it isn’t how you imagine it.(or probably)

    This makes me laugh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ej7ZbnzV0U

    Obviously created by a frustrated architect. haha. There is a lot of overlap with our profession.

    #157907
    Heather Smith
    Participant

    I think it has to do with the depth of the recession and what economists forecast. There will not be a quick V shaped growth (rapid rise in employment) instead there will be fits and starts much like we see. We saw this during the Depression as well…we have a bit of a slog ahead of us, I think we are out of the worst of it, but since LA is considered an extra by many people we will feel the effects of job growth later. I don’t know if that makes sense, just what I have heard.

    I do have some concerns about the possibility of default in Europe…that is a mess and if it gets out of control we will be effected by it as well. I am not convinced housing is as low as it will go, I just don’t think our system is set up to be sustainable. We seem to have recessions very frequently, so while we may be technically out of this one, what is to stop us from entering another recession, before we are down to a lower unemployment number? Sorry for rambling.

    #157906
    nca
    Participant

    Anecdotal..

    I’m basing it on my experience over the last ten years. When I started in landscape I was a contractor in 2001 and finding work was EASY.

    In 2005 I started at CSU and worked for bigger LA firms when things started going downhill.

    2009 I struggled to find work, but got lucky and stayed employed though 85% plus of my colleagues did not. CSU is a good program. If there are as many graduates as CSU at all the schools around the country with an average 85% unemployment (or not in LA) rate PLUS all the people that were laid off four years ago..it’s gonna be a while before we start seeing lots of hiring.

    In three years since I graduated we’ve grown our small practice from 2 employees to 6, but in that time we’ve seen several firms flounder, lay off more staff, and close. It’s regional, but even if we see growth like we have in some regions since the crash in 2009 there is still a HUGE candidate pool.

    Only the top 2-3% of graduating classes are going to find work in the next 12 months, maybe slightly more in the next 12 months after that…but again its just anecdotal. Nothing that I can see is going to happen to boost the economy to where it was in 2003-2004.

    #157905
    nca
    Participant

    Why is it that a marketing major can go find a successful career in nearly any OTHER field than marketing after graduation and be happy, but arch/la grads see it as ‘survival job’ vs. traditional career path?

    Get a design degree, take those skills and go write/change policy…sheesh.

    #157904
    Craig Anthony
    Participant

    That’s right a person could end up waiting tables with their LA degree, but they’d be in good company with all the law, journalism, architecture, civil engineering, dance, communication, education, philosophy, English (need I say more?) majors.

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