American Society of Landscape Architects Promotes Unique Career Options for Minorities

Advocacy efforts start April to promote African-American study and occupation pursuit

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Part of National Landscape Architecture Month, landscape architects will join across the country during April to promote their profession to underrepresented minorities.

With a 2014 theme of “Career Discovery,” the efforts provide an opportunity to show students what landscape architects do, according to Mark A. Focht, FASLA, president of American Society of Landscape Architects.

“We want all students to know that landscape architecture is a welcoming, rewarding career that helps make our towns and cities better places to live,” Focht said in a statement. “We want to mentor a future generation of landscape architects who will bring fresh, creative ideas to the table.”

A recent ASLA survey of graduating landscape architecture students found that the majority of those who pursue the career are white (84%), compared with 1% who are African-American. With the growth of the minority population—88% between 1980 and 2000—this profession is seen as a key option for growth and expansion. The median yearly salary for landscape architects, according to the BLS is more than $64,000.

“It’s critical that we give all students an early start in learning about the landscape architecture profession,” said Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “National Landscape Architecture Month is the perfect time to turn the spotlight on education. It’s clearly time to make a change.”