I am a Mac user at home and also used a Macbook Pro in design school; in design school we were more focused on renderings and Creative Suite type of graphics than we were on CAD drawings. Here’s the thing: The Adobe Creative Suite was originally designed for Mac and, in my opinion, works MUCH better on a Mac. CAD was designed for a windows machine and works MUCH better on a pc. When I started working professionally I was taken aback to find that my office only uses Windows. However, I was shocked to see how much better CAD is in that format. So you have a legitimate question & dilema and here’s what I would advise: if, like myself, you prefer Mac then stick with that platform thru school because you won’t be doing much with CAD except to take the requisite courses for your program. When you start working professionally, the chances are 9-out-of-ten that you will have to learn Windows as it is a superior CAD platform. You can also run Windows on your Mac with “Parallels” or “Boot Camp” or whatever software Apple is using these days for this application. I am now doing side projects from home (on my Mac) and there’s no end to how irritating it is compared to using CAD on Windows at work. Hope that helps…
Landscape Architects are one of the lowest paid licensed professionals in a group of relative trades like architecture and engineering. A typical Bachelor’s degree for LA is a 5 year program and is very intensive with many hours spent on studio projects as well as the run-of-the-mill AS, history, etc courses. After graduating with a BLA or MLA you will need to work for two years in some states (CT) or three years in others (NY) as an intern before you can acquire your license. During your internship, you will need to take and pass all four LARE exams if you wish to be licensed at the end of your internship… these are expensive and time consuming. If you are looking at LA as a career change to make more money you may be very disappointed in the results and the amount of time required for the investment. I am three years out from receiving my BLA and half way through the exams (don’t count on getting the job you want as soon as you graduate; this takes time) and I owe as much for my student loans now as I did when I graduated. I also love nature but find that our business is more driven by “Human safety, health, and welfare” then it is by plants and animals, ecology, etc (although counter intuitive, human HSW is not necessarily informed by nature). I would think long and hard about your career change!
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