Who is a landscape architect?
A landscape architect is a design professional whose job is to plan, design, construct and manage gardens and landscapes of all sizes. These professionals creates gardens and landscapes that are aesthetically pleasing, functional to the intended users and sustainable in terms of long term management plans.
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Some places where you are like to witness the works of landscape architects include; public parks, private gardens, residential homes, business parks, campuses, hotels, recreational centres among other outdoor or open spaces.
What is landscape architect’s work environment?
Landscape architects usually spend considerable amount of time in offices developing garden and landscape plans, models and reports and presenting them. The rest of their time can be spend on construction sites monitoring landscape project’s progress.
Landscape architecture jobs in Kenya
Landscape architects are employed by the County Governments, National Government, academia, the private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations among other areas.
Within Government, these professionals can find employment in training institutions, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Environment and similar County Government departments among other state owned agencies such as Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service among others.
Landscape architects can also find employment in other privately owned businesses such as architectural firms, physical planning firms, construction companies, environmental firms, engineering companies among others.
These professionals can also opt to start their own landscaping firms/ companies.
How to become a landscape architect in Kenya
Subject’s selection plays a significant role in determining ones future career choice. Therefore it is extremely important for young people to become aware of the various subjects combination required for various career options.
High school subject selection
To pursue a career as a landscape architect, you will require good performance in the following cluster subjects.
- SUBJECT 1: MAT A,
- SUBJECT 2: PHY,
- SUBJECT 3; any GROUP III,
- SUBJECT 4; 2nd GROUP II or 2nd GROUP III or any GROUP IV or any GROUP V
Education and Training Routes
If you work hard and score good grades in the above subject’s combination with a good overall mean grade, KCSE mean grade C+ (plus) and above, you can pursue this career directly in the university (academic route).
However, if you do not qualify for direct university admission for this career and interested in it, you can still pursue it through a different route (technical route). Under the technical route, you will pursue a diploma course that can help you further your education to become a landscape architect.
So what course(s) can you pursue in either route and eventually become a landscape architect?
Academic route/ Landscape architecture courses in Kenya
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, KCSE mean grade C+ (plus) and above.
Diploma in Architecture or other closely related field. KCSE mean grade C- (minus).
Important skills to have
To work successfully as a landscape architect, you will be required to possess important skills some of which are listed below.
- Communication skills
- Visualization skills
- Analytical skills
- Technical skills
- Creativity skills
- Teamwork skills
- Problem solving skills
- Detail oriented skills
- Presentation skills among others
How to Join College and or university
There are two ways you can follow to join training institution(s) in pursuit of your career of choice. The majority way is applying through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps). This is a state owned agency that admits/ places government sponsored students to colleges and universities. One of the advantages of applying through Kuccps is that, upon successful placement, you will pay subsidized fee as a government sponsored student.
To be placed through Kuccps you must have attained a certain pass mark required for various education levels for (degrees/diplomas/certificates etc.) For more details on placement criteria, visit Kuccps website. The second approach is applying directly to training institution of your choice. Students who opt to apply this way do not get government fee subsidy and are therefore self-sponsored.
How to fund your post-secondary education.
If you are a needy student, upon application, you can get education loan from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), a state owned institution that gives education loans to students joining technical colleges and universities. You can also access education bursaries from your local Member of Parliament (MP) or the County Government among other sources.
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