Overview of Online Landscape Design Certificate Programs
Gardeners, horticulturists, landscape architects, civil engineers, and even entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses can benefit from learning landscape design through certificate programs. In a landscape design certificate program, students learn to balance the functionality and aesthetic quality of green spaces. Landscape design programs are offered by many schools throughout the U.S. but, due to the hands-on nature of the profession, online programs are uncommon. Still, some schools have designed curricula that cater to the distance-learning needs of interested professionals.
For the most part, no specific degree or qualification is required of applicants, though some schools require prior education. Additionally, some schools only allow individuals who are at least 18 years of age to enroll in their classes. Online landscape design certificate programs are delivered in many ways; they may or may not grant credits and may only be comprised of short courses. Students must complete coursework, assignments, and, in some cases, a capstone to graduate.
Landscape Design Certificate Requirements
The main objective of a landscape design certificate program is to provide students with the tools and skills needed to successfully analyze and design outdoor living spaces. Some classes may be conducted on site, but most lectures and coursework are completed online.
Information and Requirements
Typically, only credit-based programs have prerequisites for applicants. These prerequisites include a four-year bachelor's degree in a related field, such as biology, and a specific GPA. It may take students one semester or a whole academic year to finish a program, which is likely to follow a schedule instead of a student's own learning pace. Few programs grant credits; if they do, around 12 credits of coursework are needed.
Due to differences in the curricula of online non-credit landscape design programs, the lengths and formats of these programs vary. Some programs consist of one course divided into modules spread out over three months, totaling 27 class hours. Other programs contain up to five separate courses, each of which requires around 12 hours of study per week. The course modules contain most, if not all, topics relevant to landscape design that are covered in the independent courses.
Since these classes are delivered online, students need a computer or laptop and a stable, high-speed internet connection. They can check if their devices comply with the hardware specifications listed in the school websites.
Information on Online Landscape Design Certificate Programs
Landscape design programs are generally centered on the materials and methodologies involved in creating or improving outdoor space in domestic and commercial properties. Students are taught fundamental concepts from an array of subjects like botany, design, and even marketing. By the end of the program, students are expected to be knowledgeable in landscape features and able to identify the needs of a site. They can also learn the steps involved in designing functional and sustainable landscapes, especially through computer-aided design, as well as the proper use and upkeep of plants. Additionally, students receive instruction in identifying trends in landscaping and communicating the environmental significance of landscaped public spaces.
Lectures are held via virtual conference software like Zoom. To check students' progress, instructors may give assignments, graded activities, and additional readings. Capstones are usually a completed landscape design that students have continuously worked on since the start of the program.
Career Outlook for Landscape Design Certificate Holders
The audience for landscape design certificate programs includes gardeners, entrepreneurs, landscape architects, and horticulturists. Civil engineers may also enroll in this program to obtain an edge in their profession.
As of May 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the yearly median salary of these occupations are $69,360 for landscape architects, $87,060 for civil engineers, and $25,840 for agricultural workers. Landscape architects and civil engineers were expected to experience a 4% and 6% employment growth, respectively, from 2018 to 2028, while the projected employment growth for agricultural workers was only 1%.
Online landscape design certificates are offered as both credit- and non-credit programs that may be completed within three months to one year. These programs are designed for home gardeners as well as landscaping and engineering professionals interested in improving their skills.