March 25, 2014 at 1:35 am #152894
I”m currently a Geography major that has interest going into the landscape desgin field. I’m expected to graduate sometime next year. I think that have skills that would be very useful, such as GIS. I was wondering if I should go get a Master’s or ger a second bachelor’s? What steps should I take from here to go into the Landscape design field?March 26, 2014 at 1:52 am #152915Leslie B WagleParticipant
I’m surprised you haven’t been responded to yet but maybe it’s because this is a similar question to many other earlier questions from people about pathways. A lot would depend on how you became interested. I expected some people more qualified on current training to answer but just so you don’t feel “neglected,” I’ll wade in. If you haven’t already visited operating businesses in design and related (ie. green industry) fields, that would be a first step so that you truly understand what they do. There is a tendency for people to hear romanticized versions and you don’t want to take a leap without really analyzing whether you would like all aspects enough to go further. For example, the business, CAD and/or presentation graphics, estimating, plant knowledge, construction detailing, field work etc. as well as GIS. Then, the choice of degrees, and finally, schools available would be a followup question.
And while many of us don’t get this notoriety etc. you might want to look at a Land8 hosted video here:March 26, 2014 at 3:48 am #152914
I think that I became interested in the field when I was a freshman in college. IT was for English assignment that I visted the local botanical garden, and I had a talk with the director of the facilitiy.I was amazed that you could do that for a living.March 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm #152913CalicoParticipant
Get the MLA. It’s a less time in school and gives you a master’s degree. Also, getting a second undergraduate degree cheapens your first undergraduate degree IMHO. I have no idea of your financial situation, but taking on a ton of debt to go after a low paying but still scarce LA design job out of school sounds wrong. But who am I to judge? Good luck!March 26, 2014 at 10:03 pm #152912
Then it depends on whether you are interested in designing landscapes and master planning, or perhaps a career in botanic gardens.March 26, 2014 at 10:57 pm #152911
I really don’t know to be honest. I like the idea of designing landscapes though.March 27, 2014 at 1:21 am #152910Leslie B WagleParticipant
A master’s based on a field change may not guarantee a quick jump either and there’s a loss of technical depth if what you really want to do is studio work (depends on the school whether they really emphasize remedial work for field changers or not). I did notice in working as a city planner, that a lot of people had geography backgrounds and a master’s in planning, which could be another approach although less about design. It could be an alternative if he tried some design test courses and found that’s not his strongest aptitude, but he still wanted to influence what happens through zoning/historic preservation etc.March 27, 2014 at 10:45 am #152909
This is telling. Either path will involve more education, interning, cost and time. And few L.A.s work in botanical gardens (although many do have gardens as clients). Botanical Garden work may require horticulture or plant science background. One can design once there, so landscape design background is helpful.
I guess the question then is, how shall you make a decision?March 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm #152908CalicoParticipant
It’s a broad profession. Your honest response is pretty common, even among students who are graduating (and probably more than a few professionals as well). Depending on where you live, you may have a community college nearby that offers some kind of intro to landscape design course or two, or even a full-blown associate’s degree in landscape design and/or horticulture. Those courses almost certainly won’t transfer to an accredited LA program – which is part of what you would need if becoming a landscape architect is your goal – but at least you will get an idea of whether or not you enjoy the design process without the financial commitment of accredited LA degree tuition.March 28, 2014 at 7:30 am #152907
Another thing that inspired me to look into landscape design was the concept of green space as a form of urban beautification. I would love to work with plants in some way as a job.March 28, 2014 at 10:29 am #152906
Long ago a mentor challenged me with the question: Do you want to be holding a trowel for the rest of your career?
So another question for you: do you want to be working with…touching…plants? Or just planning for them, imagining them? Certainly many L.A.s are hands-on. But Horticulturists are all hands-on.March 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm #152905
Ideally, I want to do both. Put if I had to pick, I would go for planning for and imagining them.March 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm #152904
Well let me say: that is what I do. I am a horticulturist who doubled in landscape design. No L.A. Admittedly I have had many lucky breaks and opportunities, but now I do landscape design as a horticulturist: concentrating on the plants, soils, matching planting design to environmental conditions and often a client’s vision. Of course, I spent fifteen years as a horticulturist with grounds maintenance and minor landscape design responsibilities before I jettisoned the grounds maintenance side of things.
I don’t know if any of that is helpful, except to say that going for the landscape architecture degree and accreditation will put you on one path (broad as it is) and may be overkill for you.March 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm #152903
Why would it be overkill for me? Because of having two bachelor’s degrees?March 28, 2014 at 9:15 pm #152902
If you decide to become an L.A. you will need to do more than a second Bachelors.
No because the education time and expense of becoming a landscape architect is substantial and may take you where you don’t want to go.
The L.A.s on the Forum will disagree, I expect, and can explain why going for that degree will get you what you want.
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