A decade ago when Zach Jordan was a first-year student at the University of Delaware, he was certain he wanted to be an engineer. But after discovering the creative rush of landscape architecture, he switched his major and never looked back.

“I’ve always liked building and creating stuff, and to some extent, some of the engineering professions are more limiting in how creative you can get with something,” said Jordan, who is now a senior staff landscape architect at Langan, a land development, engineering and environmental consulting firm with locations worldwide. “Landscape architecture is a good opportunity to do both [engineering and architecture] and create more.” 

Jordan is far from the only college student to unearth this beloved major and profession well after high school. 

“A lot of people enter engineering because they’re good in science and math, but they want to create things,” said Susan Barton, professor and extension specialist of ornamental horticulture. “But if they get into engineering, and they say ‘this is boring,’ or ‘I don’t enjoy this math,’ finding landscape architecture is kind of like a lightbulb going off for them.” 

Like Jordan, these students apply math and engineering to thrive as landscape architects. From going out to do field work, to managing a team of architects or designers, Jordan experiences it all. The job’s day-to-day flexibility is something that the 2018 alumnus truly appreciates.


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