I was asked recently by a potential new student what his career prospects were like if he chose to do our Online Postgraduate level Diploma in Garden Design
Career prospects are a tricky issue, as the one thing that I can't do for my students is to make the telephone ring for them after they graduate.
I have heard stories of a principal from one particular London college, bragging to a prospective students, that if they are taught by him they will be guaranteed to get work after they graduate which is not only extraordinarily arrogant but quite frankly rubbish.
The only way you can tell if a school is performing well, is to look at its past students
The Oxford College of Garden Design has one of the best track records in the country with our student working for almost every top design firm in the country and those that choose to set up their own design practices getting plenty of work and winning many of the major design competitions.
What I will say is that it takes at least 12-18 months after you graduate for you start to earn a reasonable income, as it takes a while to get your name out and to market your self.
Personality also plays a big part in this as if you can't communication or sell you can be the best designer in the world and you still won't get work.
I tell all my students that they need a contingency plan to make sure they allow for this 12-18 month start up time after they graduate but this is true for any new business.
I am not in the habit of giving students an unreasonably optimistic outlook when they first start. I suggest they should look to complete approx. 4 projects in year 1, 8 in year 2 and 12 in year 3
The online course allows student to continue to work while they study and in the current economic climate I see this as a real advantage.