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Thread: Need some advice about location, location, location, and master's!

  1. #1
    Jul 2006

    Need some advice about location, location, location, and master's!

    Okay so if you can please answer these two questions for me.

    1). I will be wrapping up my undergrad degree in Geography next year, and I plan on taking my GRE's this summer so I can apply this winter. I plan to go to Landscape architecture school so that I am can become an Urban Designer. I know that it is three years to attain the degree and hopefully I will find a job as well. I also am looking to get another degree that can balance my MLA and make me a much more attractive candidate for jobs. I want to work for big private firms, so I am asking: What degree goes better with MLA? A Master's in Marketing, or a Master's in Communication? How attractive will I as a prospective employee be? I feel too many times Landscape Architects are all about the pretty drawings and it kind of pigeon holes them. I feel with the extra Master's it shows that I am capable of the political aspects (B.A. in Geography), Design aspects (MLA), and as a strong investment into stragetic planning and relations to my company (Master's in Marketing or Communication).

    2) My five schools for MLA of choice are UIUC, UWash, Berekely, Texas (at Austin), Ohio State. I am from Chicago, and I really would not mind working in another city for a few years, but I want to end up in Chicago. If not I would not mind Milwaukee or Madison. My dream firm to work for is Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. They have various locations, one in Chicago, one in San Fran. The schools I REALLY want to go to by rank are #1 Texas, #2 Berekely, #3 Washington. After I get my degree I DO NOT want to live in Austin, I would not mind working a little bit in the Bay Area, or Seattle. My question is: Where you study and intern, is that usually where you end up? How hard would it be for me to get to a job in Chicago, if I studied and only worked in Austin? Since I want to be in Chicago would you suggest going to UIUC seeing as it is the only school that has LA in the entire state of Illinois, and most likely most of its graduates get interns and jobs in Chicago? Is it better to give up a place you want to study in for a job in the city you want? Or does not matter, and I will eventually get to Chicago?


  2. #2
    Dec 2006
    I would recommend getting a second degree in planning. IMO, too many landscape architects and architects don't know how to read an ordinance. I see a direct relationship between the two fields. I have been invited back to my alma mater UIUC this Tuesday to speak about the relationship of planning and LA to students from both departments (taking a break from working on my 2 hour powerpoint presentation on this sunny saturday..grrrrr).

    If you want to work in a large firm...and want to do design...focus more on design. Often larger firms will have separate marketing departments who are focused on getting work, networking, advertising, markteting, etc. I know a few people in larger firms who do this and they have a degree in communications or marketing (and may or may not have a landscape architecture degree). Personally, I think working towards a second degree in marketing will make you seem like a marketing person, in the eyes of the hiring manager, with the bonus that you have a landscape architecture degree, whereas you really want to do design.

    Not all landscape architecture graduates who work in firms in Chicagoland come from UIUC. A lot of them come from Iowa State, Ball State, and other surrounding states. I think this would apply to almost any city you choose to work in. You dont HAVE to go to school in the same state you choose to work in. IMO, Public and private sector groups are more likely to hire students and gradautes from schools in nearby states than from across the country (unless they have a stellar background).

    As for UIUC planning: not design heavy, but good rudimentary intro into many different areas of planning. UIUC-landscape architecture: so-so, concerns by several firms that they need a LOT more experience with AutoCAD.

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