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Members of the Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) were recently surveyed about their career paths in landscape architecture. Responses were varied and had many insightful comments and suggestions, which will be shared and discussed with everyone here over the next few months. This issue, we will focus on respondents’ favorite subjects in school. Though most did not encounter landscape architecture until later, either during college or afterwards, in many cases, their academic preferences earlier on foreshadowed their subsequent inclination to the field.

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Here is the breakdown of responses, in order of popularity:

  1. Art – selected by 32.8% of respondents
  2. Science – 23.5%
  3. Social Studies – 15.7%
  4. Math – 14.6%
  5. English – 9.5%
  6. Music – 3.9%.

It seems appropriate that art and science came out on top in a survey of landscape architects, whose practice deftly combines the two. Several respondents chose “Other” as their answer, and wrote in their own response. In addition to “none of the above” and “all of the above,” these responses included:

  • Wood shop
  • Drafting
  • Geography
  • Foreign languages--German, French, and Latin
  • Gym.

A follow-up question asked about minors or degrees earned in fields other than landscape architecture—nearly two-thirds of respondents have studied different subjects. In some cases, the connection to or possible applications within landscape architecture are clear:

  • Horticulture
  • Botany
  • Environmental Studies
  • Planning
  • Architecture
  • Forestry & Wildlife
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Agriculture
  • Biology
  • Geology
  • Historic Preservation
  • Business
  • Art
  • Graphic Design.

In other cases, the connection is more intriguing:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Psychology
  • English
  • Comparative Literature
  • East Asian Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Theater Design
  • Textile History and Design
  • Music
  • Aviation.

Given its multidisciplinary nature, landscape architecture clearly appeals to people with a diverse range of academic backgrounds, resulting in an exceptionally varied group of professionals whose many areas of expertise no doubt broaden and enrich their understanding of landscapes.



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