For some, landscaping is in their blood. They want to get involved with landscaping beyond their own outdoor spaces and learn to landscape the spaces of others. And why not? A landscaping career offers flexibility, pleasant work environments, and solid pay. A thorough search of landscape colleges is necessary for the aspiring designer to get his or her career off to the right start.
Do the research
When choosing among all of the landscape design colleges, be sure to do your research. You want to make sure that the school you choose is accredited and has a credible reputation. You might start your search of landscape design colleges by visiting the Landscape Architecture Foundation website: http://www.lafoundation.org/Scholarships.htm. The site offers a list of scholarships available along with application requirements. This might set you in the right direction. Your state, city, or county might have its own landscaping association that can help you locate landscape design schools within commuting distance. The phone book, the Internet, or landscape professionals in your area will also be able to direct you to these associations.
The United States government offers the following resources to help you in your selection of landscape design colleges:
Information and lists of landscape design colleges and universities offering accredited programs are available from: American Society of Landscape Architects, Career Information, 636 Eye St. NW., Washington, DC 20001-3736. Internet: http://www.asla.org.
General information on registration or licensing requirements is available from: Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, 144 Church Street NW., Suite 201, Vienna, VA 22180-4550. Internet: http://www.clarb.org.
What landscaping design colleges are best?
According to US News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges 2006,” the following colleges are worth checking out:
Don’t be disheartened if you are not in the position to be able to attend one of the listed landscape design colleges. There are many schools with good, solid programs. But if you research those that have been determined to be the best, you’ll have a point of comparison – a list of things to look for as you conduct your search. You will also get a chance to see the various areas of specialization that these colleges offer.
In addition to your general landscaping education, you want an area of focus. This will become your area of expertise as your career progresses. Some possible areas to specialize in include: Agriculture, forestry, garden and commercial property design, horticulture, hydrology, and botany; landscape engineering, landscape architecture, business management, softscaping, hardscaping, nature conservation and soil science. Within each area of specialty you can find a more narrow focus.
To find the right school among all of the landscape design colleges available, you must do your research. In your research, be sure to find out if online courses are offered, if internships are available, and if the school will help you find employment upon graduation.