College advice?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by FinerCutslawnCare, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. FinerCutslawnCare

    FinerCutslawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,386

    Hey guys I will be graduating highschool in 2009(next year) and was wondering wat all classes would you recommend for landscaping? I am new to all this landscaping but not to lawncare. I have talked to my counselors at my school and they say i should go into landscape design for sure. I guess wat i am asking is wat all do you recommend me taking? I just want to make sure i know wat i am doing when i start? Also for you there anything that you wish you would have done or known and tell me that way it might make it easier? THanks for helping a rookie out, your time and answers will be much appreciated!:waving:
  2. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    Take classes in horticulture, botany, soil science, chemistry, buisness, biology, art/ design, computer science, surveying, plant identification, etc. Talk to counselors in the school (s) you plan on going to. Find a good agricultrual college in your area. Go to Cornell or University of Delaware or Georgia. Get those schools to send you info on all their programs. Go to college- it's a blast and even educational!
  3. AceFinish

    AceFinish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    It depends really what you want to specalize in. But for an overall view of things Hort classes, Plant Id, Turf management, Landscape managment, Nursery Managment, Landscape construction, Landscape design. If you paln on being in management or running your own show taking buisness class for sure will pay of big time.
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    get a good base of hort, plant ID, insect ID, soil science, ect, personally I'd take a design class, but I would not major in design.....Get a minor of accounting or business management or something similar. cutting grass and landscaping is easy, actually Running the business and doing it well is the hardest part.

    Remember very few solo -ops make the big time like Brickman, Ruppert, Valley, crest, ect. with the degree, you make yourself marketable after you've had enough of working for yourself and chasing around the slow-non payers

    while in college, rather than working for yourself, in the summer, try to get a few internships under your belt. its more education in that you can figure out what another company is doing and get some "inside info" and either improve on it, or realize that it wont work for your, and it also gives you a good contact right out of college, you may realize that you initially don't want to work for yourself and you'd rather work for someone else for a few yes to save up money until you can start your own biz. I had the option of Doing some start-ups for Davey in Las Vegas, or being the Super for the ball club in Milwaukee right out of college. But I went to Disney instead.

    BS in Environmental Hort from UF
    Worked for Disney, Valley Crest, TGLC(UGH), owned my own business, and now running the show at GU
  5. Dstosh

    Dstosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 716

    Great Info. I couldnt agree more. It is tough to do both a business and school.
  6. Total Landscape Solutions

    Total Landscape Solutions LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    Definitely get yourself educated, whatever long term goals you set for yourself.

    I attend college in Cincy 3/4 time at night and worked a install job full time 50 hrs a week. While this schedule worked for my income and education my personal life suffered. I kept this up for two years with a 3.8gpa.

    After studying soils, entomology, woody plant materials, botany, design, and all the required English, math, and economics courses I realized school was not my cup of tea. I was much happier learning new installation methods, running install crews, learning from other foreman and making the designers vision a reality. I knew I wanted to be in the field with my hands dirty, not pushing a pencil or crunching numbers.

    I left school and paid attention to foreman who really took an interest in my field education. I learned more in 1 year in the field than any course could teach about running install crews, managing people or scheduling. I focused on hardscape installation and in a few years became the "go-to" guy when work-orders were generated that contained hardscape installs.

    I am thankful for and definitely use the knowledge gained in college in running my business. I am happy I decided to leave college when I did and not finish the remainder of my degree.

    Finercuts, GO TO SCHOOL. Give your education the attention it deserves. Don't get hung up on having to get a degree, unless that is where your heart and your head lead you.
  7. FinerCutslawnCare

    FinerCutslawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,386

    Thanks for all the info guys, and also support! I figure if something happens they can't take my college education away from me so i will still have a chance in this life! I was thinking about most the classes people mentioned, although i learned a few more that i might take and/or keep in the back of my head. The college i am thinking about going to is classes from 7:30(am) until 12:00 and i figured i will be able to leave and go out and mow watever i need to that day! I also will not have school Fridays so it will be almost a backup day or a relax day!
  8. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    Major in business and minor in ornamental horticulture.
  9. Triple L

    Triple L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    Find a well rounded CLT (certified landscape technician) everything from soil to plant ID to ecology, to design to some business, to entomology... That's what Im in... Personally I dont think the 5 hrs / day thing will work to good... Thats gonna be one long program. All my terms had 36+ hrs./ week except for this (last) term.. Only 22 hrs / week I believe... Now that I have this I'm gonna continue on with a business management program... It'll be real tough running your business and goin to school at the same time, stay small and just goof around and get your name out... Now that im done this clt program in the spring.. I'm going all out this year! Good luck man!

    C. MOORE LAWNS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I am 21 and currently attending the University of Tennessee and am majoring in plant science:landscape design. Everyone has already covered everything pretty well, but I am also running a business as I go to school and it is super stressful in the busy seasons, not too bad in the winter. Personally, I would not major in business if designing is what you really want to do. My professors always include a business side in my landscaping classes during thier lectures. You could just take a couple business classes in the summer or something if you really want to. Plus, in my opinion a man with a landscape design degree could get a job designing a lot faster than a man with just a business degree. Your advisor will help you with your schedule and tell you what exactly you need to take for the design major. Like a guy said above I would definately do some internships. I am selling my business after this year to do some mandatory internships for my major. Try to get in with some landscaping clubs at school too. It is a lot of good experience and looks good on your resume. Thats my 2 cents, but fair warning, the first couple of semesters aren't fun-core classes such as calculus, english, spanish, etc....anyway GOOD LUCK!

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