DesignIntelligence 2010 Landscape Architecture Program Rankings


DesignIntelligence released its 2010 landscape architecture graduate and undergraduate program rankings.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University was listed as the best undergraduate landscape architecture program, and Harvard University topped the list of graduate programs in the annual survey conducted by DesignIntelligence on behalf of the Design Futures Council.

Detailed rankings are available in the 11th edition of “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools,” which assesses programs and education trends in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and industrial design.

Respondents from 381 private-practice firms and other organizations, which are listed in the report, answered questions in four separate surveys about the level of preparedness they experienced in graduates over the past five years.

DesignIntelligence’s most recent survey also identifies programs of long-term distinction.

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings:

1)  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2)  Louisiana State University
3)  Kansas State University
4)  University of Georgia
5)  Pennsylvania State University
6)  Purdue University
7)  Ball State University
8)  Texas A&M University
9)  Ohio State University
10) West Virginia University

Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings:

1)  Harvard University
2)  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
3)  Louisiana State University
4)  Kansas State University
5)  University of Georgia
5)  University of Pennsylvania
5)  University of Virginia
8)  Texas A&M University
9)  Cornell University
10) Ball State University

To purchase the full report for $39.95, go to the DesignIntelligence bookstore.

Also, check out the 2009 program rankings.

28 thoughts on “DesignIntelligence 2010 Landscape Architecture Program Rankings

  1. how it grows 12/08/2009 / 2:29 pm

    Glad to see that Virginia is well represented in the MLA programs!

  2. Barry Landry ASLA 12/09/2009 / 10:58 am

    Congratulations on the rankings, dear old alma mater!
    LSU ROCKS! Barry Landry, ASLA (BLA ’82)

  3. Matt Lancaster, BLA'91 12/09/2009 / 5:37 pm

    I can not help but notice the striking irony of this posting. Unemployment is well into double digits for landscape architects; fewer landscape architects are affecting how our built environment grows in the face of narrowing constraints; growth of the profession is debatable; landscape architects are battling our customarily allied professionals for turf; the list of concerns goes on…

    Yet here is a story related to the level of preparedness of our university program graduates to enter the field.

    The field they are entering has changed from when any of us entered it, so how have the university programs prepared aspiring landscape architects for such a different world?

    And how is ‘preparedness’ defined?

    These are questions not only for current professionals to answer but for academics and recent graduates in particular to debate.

    The posting begs further questions: In popular/consumer/political culture, who is speaking up for landscape architecture? Where are our leaders outside our insular world? Will landscape architectural practice suffer its own image recession due to the void of advocacy?

    Many of us are independently attempting to, to greater or lesser success, scratch out a living in our post-recession world, but I wonder how many will leave landscape architecture for more resilient professions.

    Lists such as those posted and ‘pat-ourselves-on-the-backs’ remarks do nothing to improve our place in the competitive marketplace, and I wish our graduates a better fate than nostalgic one-upmanship.

    • Barry Landry, ASLA 01/14/2010 / 4:19 pm

      With all due respects Mr. Lancaster, seems you may need to do more to advocate for the profession personally rather than complain about positive comments made by fellow landscape architects. The questions you raised have not changed much in the past 28 years that I have been practicing as a licensed landscape architect, it’s a jungle out there and certain L.A.’s (not the entire profession) have always had an ‘identity crisis’. Who are these “customarily allied professionals” you mention battling us for work? Environmental Design has always been a highly competitive profession, timeless results and thoughtfulness still prevail. We need to do exemplary and thorough work within our discipline and worry more about those individuals who do not have the credentials nor license to practice who are out there diminishing the respect of landscape architects, not alienating and offending our fellow design colleagues or their pride in the incredible education they feel they have received.

      Nostalgic or not, postings such as this ranking improve our place in the competitive marketplace via the www.

      Our future leaders are the students who are enrolled in the highly ranked institutions mentioned above. Hopefully they won’t be trapped in the insular “box” you speak of upon graduation, I certainly didn’t buy into that after graduating and throughout my career. I am glad I didn’t get stuck in a negative sad-sack mire about my profession. Good Luck.

      • Doug 07/06/2010 / 12:35 pm

        Still feel the same way?

        How many graduates, from these highly ranked universities, are unable to now find jobs?

        They don’t have the experience. A LOT of very good, very experienced Landscape Architects that LOVE the profession are out of work and will not be finding any work soon. If there is a job opening it won’t go the graduate of one of these highly ranked universities unless they have 10 years of experience in the profession and can bring $$$$ to the firm hiring.

        12 job openings on ASLA today. None for entry-level positions.

        Sad.

        Hope and Change.

      • g.larson 01/28/2012 / 10:21 pm

        With all due respect, Mr. Landry, as a current BLA student, I appreciate Mr. Lancaster’s honesty.

        I could not agree with him more about university programs failing to update their curriculum to better prepare their students for the current job market. For example, my program is highly theory based with excessive redundancy, but yet not a single relevant software course is required. How is that preparing us for a job in the 21st Century? I feel no sense of “pride” in that.

        As for your remark about unlicensed professionals “diminishing the respect of landscape architects,” what is enticing about taking on $100,000 in debt to achieve a Masters in order to get licensed in a struggling field? With high unemployment rates and low average salary rates, it hardly seems worth it. My current boss never got any degree and is running a very successful design-build operation, while my dad, a Senior Landscape Architect in the profession for 30 years, has been out of work since 2008. Explain to me how the work my boss is doing is bringing the profession a bad reputation.

        It’s unfortunate that landscape architecture has taken such a hit during the recession and that good design has lost any sort of priority. This country certainly has become a sad place (James Howard Kunstler would agree), and could really use the guidance and insight professionals like my dad have to offer. As much as I love it, I don’t know how practical a career in landscape architecture is anymore. I wish that I could say that current students are getting the education they need to deal with these problems. I was glad to see that some established professionals, like Mr. Lancaster, have a grip on reality and have gained some sympathy for students in my position.

  4. Daniel 01/10/2010 / 7:13 pm

    No west coast schools? Kind of hard to compare when it seems regionally based. It would be interesting to see which program has the most variety of classes, i.e. strongest curriculum.

  5. Kelly 07/14/2010 / 11:59 am

    I entered the profession 2 years ago and found a job with a prestigious firm and have managed to retain it. As universities inculcate the value of flexible design solutions, so too must they stress the importance of flexible skillsets in changing markets. Although I did not graduate from a top ten graduate program, I have won and retained my job successfully through the combination of my undergraduate, graduate and professional experience, not because I went to Harvard or eh em, LSU. I am a leader not because of the name tag on my degree, but because of the effort and discipline I put into my work.

    For Mr. Landry to defend his “high-five” position for his alma mater’s rank and consider Mr. Lancaster’s comment negative is short-sighted and unfortunate to say the least. Graduate programs should be tasked with developing curricula centered on the effects of our changing environs so that students can leave better prepared.

    I believe graduate programs should be ranked to improve quality in a competitive marketplace. However, graduates from the above schools are struggling just like my former classmates in finding and retaining jobs; I know because I work(ed) with them. Mr. Lancaster was not “complaining” as much as he was catalyzing a discourse that is much needed.

  6. Jeremy 07/27/2010 / 10:09 am

    I am a recent graduate of Utah State University and the only one of my class to graduate with departmental and university honors. I worked for the university housing department as the housing landscape designer/planner for all of my senior year and luckily still have that job. I feel like I’m a very qualified candidate for a “real” job, but I can’t even get an interview. I am willing to move anywhere and have applied for multiople positions accross the entire United States.

    It is so extremely frustrating for those of us comming into the field full of hopes and aspirations of becoming great landscape architects and not even being able to land a call back let alone an interview or a heaven sent job.

    I love landscape architecture, but I am getting really discouraged.

    I totally understand Mr. Lancaster’s post, but I hope for a better future of our life changing profession.

  7. Green Guru 07/29/2010 / 3:01 pm

    As a 2010 graduate in a similar boat as Jeremy, I also find myself applying for the handful of entry level jobs that have opened up across the country. I too was at the top of my class, and also won numerous prestigious national recognition and awards, yet haven’t received one call back. I too love the field but am wondering if I will be waiting tables for years to come as my LA skills slowly fade away from not being utilized. I didn’t need to rack up $50,000 in education to learn skills that apparently aren’t wanted in this country.

    I know that it is tough times for a lot of new graduates out there, but LA seems to be hit especially hard. I see new job postings everyday across the country, but it is rare that they are seeking entry level. The only individuals yet to find work in my class are those that were working in the field before graduation and all but one of those are summer internships that are ending in a month. My graduating class size was 30 people. And of the 24 graduates from last year only 5 have found work thus far.

    This seems to me a reflection of the values of the American public. Money will be spent where they feel it is important. Ecological restoration, environmental education, and recreational outdoor spaces are not what this country holds near and dear to their hearts. Most are not even educated enough to realize that their very existence depends on the natural resources they exploit and take for granted. I for one am not surprised at this turn of events. I will continue to fight the good fight, even if that means personal financial ruin, because my morals mean more to me than money. Otherwise I’d be doing the very thing that has caused this problem.

    What I don’t understand is the idea that a firm looking to hire is willing to pay big bucks to someone with experience when they could employ someone entry level and pay half the salary AND get to mold them into what they’d like. I guess experience means everything and potential means nothing. How exactly did those people get experience and how are we supposed to get experience as new graduates when nobody will even consider giving a new graduate a chance?

    • Trent Grantham, ASLA 12/01/2010 / 12:22 pm

      When I graduated from college in ’93 (BSLA) landscape architecture positions were very hard to find as that was the last major downturn in the economy. I didn’t graduate with honors or from a prestigious university but was always able to find work. Graduates today will need to seek out other opportunities that will lead to your dream job. I worked for a nursery and several design/ build firms before landing a bona fide landscape architecture position. Don’t feel that you have to work in a firm to gain valuable knowledge in order to be successful. Your young, work outside, enjoy your youth, live with less and learn everything you can it will pay off in the end. There will be opportunities for you to learn construction, plant material and installation and when you do land that design firm job it will make you more valuable when you know how things are built and how much things cost. One does not need to work in a firm just because you graduated from college with a degree. Don’t be lazy or give up. Recent graduates will need to roll up their sleeves and actually work for a living. When the jobs come back and positions are once again plentiful those who found jobs within the industry will get the call backs and interviews that have experience over those who didn’t and it won’t matter what college you went to or what your GPA was. It’s not where you go to school that makes you successful it’s what you do after that counts.

  8. Doug 07/29/2010 / 11:43 pm

    Hope and Change Green Guru!

    Just hope. Just hope. Yes we Can!
    The wealthy fuel our profession. They are called “clients”.

    Hope and Changers hate the wealthy. Don’t forget that.
    They hate “architects” because they suck off the tit of the wealthy. Don’t forget that. They hate you.

    Did you vote against yourself?

    You have no experience. You have a great degree.
    You can’t get registered without experience.

    Awards mean nothing when you can’t practice as a
    “Landscape Architect”, and you can not. You need those 3 crucial years of experience under a Landscape Architect. You can’t get them now. It might be 5 years before you land your first job. The economy won’t come around like it was before then. Mark my words. But just Hope and Change man! It’s all you need.

    You learned very little in school. The real world is much different than what they they “teach” in school. The Principles/Partners of the companies that are surviving don’t care about you. They don’t want to spend the time “molding” you. They want you to already be “molded”. There are thousands of excellent licensed “Landscape Architects” that are out of work. They went to the high quality schools also.

    How do you now stand a chance against them? You don’t. They will kill for that entry level position and don’t have to be baby sat. They have more skills and knowledge than you do. Ohhh…that Hope and Change.
    You have never been through the entire process of a project. Never assembled a full package of construction documents. Never submitted a bid package. Never been through an approvals process. Never observed construction to the final punch list. Thousands of people that have and know exactly how to do these things expertly are unemployed.

    Yes We Can!

    • Green Guru 08/04/2010 / 9:20 pm

      They will kill for that entry level position and don’t have to be baby sat.

      Really? For $35,000 a year? That’s pretty damn sad. I can make that much waiting tables. I made way more than that in my previous career. But this isn’t really about the money for me or else I wouldn’t have left a lucrative career. So maybe I am in a better position. I don’t have a huge mortgage, a huge car payment, credit card bills racked up from when times were so good in the building industry and then having to be forced to work for under $40,000 to support my $100,000 year lifestyle. I’m not looking to make a lot of money because as I get older it gets to be less important. It’s more important for me to be able to make positive change in the world. I’d do my work for free but that doesn’t help me get licensed. I just PAID $50,000 to do the work and loved every second of it.

      Hope and change is good. It’s better than despair and stagnancy. I too hate the GREEDY wealthy. Shhh, don’t tell them that. I need their money to help make positive change in the world. I’ve got a Robin Hood agenda here. I don’t hate architects as they are just the artists. Who cares about their wealthy clients? That’s like saying liberals hate artists because wealthy people buy their paintings. That’s b.s.

      I didn’t vote and won’t ever because I have zero faith in any politician or the American government. Anybody who wants that much power is mentally ill to begin with and can’t be trusted. Yes, I’m one of those hippies and I am the next generation of landscape architects here to take over your job someday. Clean air, water, and soil for everybody. Keep your cash. I do this solely for the common good and fight for those not smart enough to realize that they need air, water, and soil to survive…more so than a huge pile of cash.

      This recession may have put a damper on my plans, but it’s the best thing to ever happen to the environment. I’m anti development and consumerism. My passion lies in ecological restoration and environmental education, not in construction punch lists and bid packages. I will make that happen for myself because it seems that the typical firm doesn’t do the things I want to do. I just need to use them for a few years to get licensed. I see the opportunities in this field in a whole different light than most others. I also do it for the art of it and it doesn’t matter to me if any of it ever gets built. I love the creative process involved and that alone makes me happy. Maybe I need to forge the way instead of be molded into an old outdated way of practicing.

      • Jeremy 08/05/2010 / 8:31 am

        Right on Green Guru, I agree with you, I’m not in it for the money or else I would have chosen a different field. We do this because it can change the world, and does change the world for so many of the people that use the parks, nature centers, urban plazas, camping areas, wetlands, natural play environments, ect… that we design.
        I can almost hear all the experienced landscape architects saying to themselves “look at those little kids just out of school, isn’t it cute! They’re so naive.” But isn’t that why we all chose landscape architecture in the first place? We all want to make a living doing something that we love, not just another mundane job that we get our miserable 40 hours in and are so depressed to go back to work on Monday that all we can do is sit on our couches and drink ourselves into oblivion, but something that really matters.
        I don’t know about you, but even if it takes 5 years to land my first job, I’ll stay in landscape architecture because I am happy when I design, and I’ll take happiness over riches anytime.

  9. Tatayki 07/31/2010 / 10:00 pm

    “The wealthy fuel our profession. They are called “clients”.

    Hope and Changers hate the wealthy. Don’t forget that.
    They hate “architects” because they suck off the tit of the wealthy. Don’t forget that. They hate you.

    Did you vote against yourself?”

    Very well put Doug. So many in our field voted for Obama (because they care about the environment and support his b.s. like cap n tax) while overlooking the fact that Obama is AGAINST private industry & seems to be determined to KILL it off completely, run up our national debt and have government run everything.

    Way to go hippies! Are you happy? Barak’s four years in the white house will probably leave Americans (including landscape architects) more hopeless than EVER.

    Electric Cars! Green Jobs! Save the planet! Hope! Change! Yes we can!

    • carrlaasla 08/03/2010 / 12:37 pm

      This country’s middle class has been on a steady economic decline for years if not decades. I don’t consider myself in any way a “hippie liberal” type, maybe I’m even a little more conservative in my way of thinking, but right now I am all for change. I’m tired of a select few making unbelievable amounts of money, while the majority of us Americans try to scratch out an existence. I have had enough of the status quo; it’s not working for me.

      We have to stop all of the divisiveness coming from the right and the left and use some common sense. The belief that Obama is some evil man whose sole mission in life is to bring down the US is ridiculous. Let’s stop with these fairytales and get behind our president and other leaders. We should support them until they really screw up, and then be quick to replace them. It’s time for us to stop demonizing each other politically, culturally, racially, etc.. Basically, we all want the same things in life.

      During this current economic downturn Landscape Architects are suffering just like everyone else. Architects, Civils, Construction Managers, Real Estate Brokers, Developers…, are trying to hang on right now.

      I honestly believe that the future is bright for us and that this “Change” stuff is going to bring new opportunity for Landscape Architects. In fact I am quite “Hope(ful)” that attitudes toward LAs by other design professionals and the public will continue to “Change”. The smart LAs that are under or un-employed right now should be positioning themselves to take advantage of these future opportunities.

      Also, can some one please explain to me why hope, change, and being optimistic about the future are bad things? If we add hard work, compassion, tolerance, honesty and a few other choice words in the mix, I think we’ll be just fine. Besides, what’s the alternative to hope and change?

      There’s no need to fear the future. America will recover from this.

  10. Mike 08/11/2010 / 11:45 pm

    Thank you carrlaasla!! Finally some positive posting!! I’ve just sat here for the past 20 minutes laughing at this spat between 4-5 people. Most of your posts contradict each other, and have turned into a “tit-for-tat”. An eye for an eye makes the world go blind. Creative people thrive in hard times because they think creatively. Stop reacting and start being proactive. Reposition yourself, and think outside the box. Collaborate. And most importantly, have fun!!!

  11. carrlaasla 08/13/2010 / 4:25 pm

    Thanks Mike. Thinking out of the box, being proactive and having fun, now that the kind of attitude we all need.

    I realize that I’m totally off the subject, but I’m just tired of hearing all of the whining. I’m am generally not a rah-rah!, “don’t worry be happy” kind of guy, but I believe ultimately something good is going to come from this “Great Recession”.

    Personally I’m the happiest I’ve been in my 21 years as a Landscape Architect. When I was laid off from my position as a project manager at a small office at the end of 2007, I felt it was time to go out on my own. I wanted to establish my own vision of a landscape architecture firm.

    Within a month and a half of being laid off, I had my first paying client. It was a small residential job, but I was still proud to have it. Business was moving along nicely until July 2008. I had five design jobs I at various stages of development. When all of a sudden four of the five people just cancelled their contracts and the one person never returned my calls. I had a pretty effective marketing strategy that was putting me in front of the right people, but everything changed. My phone just stopped ringing.

    Every since then I have had to look under every stone to find the little bit of work that has sustained me for the last couple of years or so. I am quite thankful for the projects that I have been able to acquire. They are a not as high profile as some that I’ve worked on in the past, but the allow me to still feel like a full time Landscape Architect.

    This brings me back to my point. Although I am literally living “hand to mouth”, I am happy because I’m on my own doing what I want to be doing. And I know that if I can continue to slowly grow my business in spite of the poor state of the economy, I can do some big things when it picks up again.

    Besides, living through this recession has made me a better person. I’ve learned to put more value on healthy personal relationships and to not “sweat the small stuff”. It has made me more empathetic and aware of other peoples needs. I’ve consciously given more to charity in the last couple of years than I have in my entire life.

    My apologies to everyone for taking things in a totally different direction, but all the negativity and divisiveness is not helping us. Heck! As far as I’m concerned thank goodness for hippies, tea party-ers, billionaires, bums, bikers, bankers, soccer moms and strippers. It’s all good to me, as long as you’re not hurting anybody. Diversity is what makes America great. We just need to respect one another and do what we need to do to get ourselves out of this mess. Let’s be rational and not get caught up in all the political hype, it just clouds the picture. Ignore the talking heads and others that are trying to keep us all in a state of fear and paranoia.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  12. Matt 09/19/2010 / 11:52 am

    So after reading all of these posts, I’m left with a quandary. I’m in my senior year of high school, and landscape architecture is the major I have been leaning towards. I was really excited about this career until I read some of these posts. This is something I want to do, but if i won’t be able to find a job in the coming years, what is the point of it? I don’t want to spend a good portion of my life, waiting till there is a job opening.
    This really is something I want to do, but at the same time, I do want to be able to support myself with a comfortable lifestyle. In your opinion, is this a career I should continue to pursue?
    Your answer will not be my decision, just help me out, so anything you say will help.
    Thank you.

    • carrlaasla 09/23/2010 / 8:43 am

      Matt,
      It’s great that you are interested in being an LA. It’s a great profession that will allow you to make a decent living once the economy picks up and we start building things again. Please don’t listen to the whiners that fail to realize that the country has been in a RECESSION. Landscape Architects are suffering just like everybody else right now. Study hard, follow your dreams and ignore the nay sayers.

      • Conor 10/16/2010 / 9:38 pm

        Carrlaasla,

        Thanks for that post. I just spent well over an hour on different sites reading so many negative posts about the profession that I felt quite hopeless about what I have come to recognize as the work I wish to do for the rest of my life.

        We need to put things in perspective. You don’t need to look hard to find articles describing the dreadful state of so many professions. Even law school grads are having trouble finding work (I live with one in that boat) and lawyers with decades of experience and enviable salaries are being laid off from high profile firms. Landscape architecture is far from alone right now, I hope we can all recognize that.

    • Bill 11/04/2010 / 3:29 pm

      Matt, if you’re still reading, stay on your path but pay attention to what doors it opens. You’ll be at a large university with a wealth of options. If you love LA, great! If you don’t, you’ll find something you do love. Maybe your first class introduces you to GIS, or working in urban parks leads you to social work. You get to explore, which is fun.

      Even then, people now change careers a few times in their adult lives. Skills transfer. Make sure you pick up skills you enjoy using.

      And think about a double major. LAs are fairly interdisciplinary; many are self-employed. So business is a good fit, as well as environmental science, civil engineering, sculpture, MCRP. All these complement the degree while giving you more options. Maybe LA leads you into land-use policy and law school, or you pair it up with Chinese studies and move to Chengdu to work for a multinational firm. Maybe a left-field addition, like a minor in chemistry, will serve you well when you fall back on med school. You can also get majors in other fields and pursue the first-option MLA later.

      Just know that everybody’s suffering these days. I just had dinner with a self-employed doctor who’s struggling, and I know a few unemployed lawyers. The economy’s in the tank and no careers are guaranteed. But you’ll do something, so make it something you can live with. Best of luck to you!

    • Lana 10/12/2011 / 4:15 pm

      Matt,
      Don’t let these posts steer you away from LA. Remember you still have to actually complete some landscape architecture classes and see what you’re getting yourself into. I’m sure I can speak for most schools when I say that the first year of classes in LA programs “weed out” the people who don’t really want to be in landscape architecture. Trust the program you’re going into to show you if you really want it or not. For me, I went through an entire year and a half of architecture classes before I realized that I wanted to major in landscape architecture. I realized it later than sooner, but still found my passion.

      Of course I would like to say don’t worry about the recession, but that’d be silly. Instead, contemplate a minor in horticulture, or like Monica suggested urban planning. If you continue on through college with a major in LA, focus on staying well-rounded in your skills; be able to balance mathematics (grading and such), computer and hand graphics and drafting, as well as attention to detail and how things are actually made/built and know plants! I just started an year long internship at an LA firm and one thing I’m thankful for is that I’m well-rounded.

      Two last hints – 1. CONNECTIONS! Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good you are, if you don’t have connections, you’re not going to have much luck getting a job. (I’ve noticed it’s how everyone in my office got their job – they knew someone who knew the principal) (**wink wink** teachers, ASLA conferences & the annual LABash conference **wink wink**) 2. Intern as much as you can!! Experience is crucial in the LA world. I started off in a nursery for the summer after my sophmore year and during the school year was a teaching assistant for a few professors. Having letters of recommendation from a work as well as several from school were huge in getting me my internship.

      Best wishes:)

  13. carrlaasla 10/25/2010 / 2:22 pm

    You’re welcome Conor. Thank you for your post. Maybe we’ve shined a little light on all the gloomy folks out there. I know the last thing a person in school right now to get a landscape architecture degree needs to hear is that their time and money will be wasted.

  14. Monica 11/05/2010 / 5:44 pm

    Matt, if you’re worried about being a viable player in the field of Landscape Architecture, you may also want to consider getting a dual masters in LA and Urban Planning. I work at the San Francisco Planning Department and many of our urban designers have dual MLA/MUP degrees. Graduate level Landscape Architecture study will give you a lot of time to master the design scale; while the Urban Planning degree is more focused on the social context and understanding the project scope (as well as City codes and zoning and the like). I think having the design degree combined with the practicality of a planning degree could make you an outstanding candidate for jobs. Of course, you’d have to be interested in the context of design. And your success will always also depends on your ability to sell yourself in an interview, as well as a good dose of luck. Go get ’em!

  15. Franklin 02/03/2011 / 9:26 am

    Come to Asia and get challenged. It will be a totally different experience. Guaranteed. It’s not a panacea; far from it. But there is work, lots of it right now and it’s difficult to find really good designers with some experience. Do it and change your life forever.

  16. Harry 11/15/2011 / 7:37 am

    It seems to me that you are all missing the boat, the problem is not the the career you have chosen but what you are looking for, if you can’t find a job create the job hit the pavement advertise start your own company, and take the work away from the people you have been trying to work for go out there and get them.

  17. SecondAct 12/14/2011 / 9:52 pm

    Hi All,

    I want to suggest that you go to http://www.dol.gov go to the A-Z link and click on the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Look up landscape architecture. Read about the job growth projections (nicely laid out by region and industry, etc.) and see what you think. The field is projected to grow by 20% – “much faster than average” vis-a-vis all professions. The projected job growth between 2008-2018 in absolute numbers is about 5,300 though (or something like that). Doesn’t seem like many jobs but then again I don’t know how to interpret these numbers. If you look at architects, they’re supposed to grow “faster than average”, but the actual number of new jobs is over 20,000. The current OOH must have been published in 2007 or 2008 (based on data available at the time I presume)… I wonder if it is going to be updated based on current recession-era data (or if the online version has been already – I haven’t checked). Anyway, these numbers would make all the difference to me if I were considering studying LA, which in my fantasy life I am, but for me it’s a non-starter. I am 44, in debt, and not making use of my master’s degree which I am still paying off. I am under-employed and have no retirement savings. Read: not a lot of options for a fulfilling work life or happy retirement. So, my fresh, young landscape architects, be glad that you have your degree, take whatever job you can get to put a roof over your head (like I have had to do), and get ANY LA-related experience you can. Fortunately you are young and more flexible time-wise, financially, etc. (at least I hope you are!) and you can do internships and possibly unpaid work. STAY OUT OF DEBT! And, STAY THE COURSE!!! If you want to work in LA, you might just have to be patient and ride out the recession. Jobs in any profession ebb and flow, recession or no recession, it’s cyclical and to be expected. Get any related experience you can, attend the conferences, etc. You’ve got to commit to it or forget it. And if you don’t have your degree yet, double major. That is not said to be discouraging, just practical. Regardless of your major, I would suggest doubling. It’s just smart. Good luck all! I hope your chosen professional works out. Mine didn’t.

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