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Thread: Entry Level Position - 2 years experience required???

  1. #1
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    Entry Level Position - 2 years experience required???

    I have a question that has been bothering me for years. Planning agencies, mostly government ones I have seen advertise an entry level position. However they place the following criteria...

    "Bachelor's degree in planning, ETC, or related field is required.

    A minimum 2 years of experience in planning is preferred."


    1. How is this an entry level job? Yet I see this on almost every entry level position that is advertised this way.

    2. How do they weigh the "2 years," are internships considered?

    3. Are they just trying to avoid "green" college graduates?

    4. With 2 years of experience in planning, who takes these "entry" level jobs when the salaries are only like $41,000?

    Thanks for your insight.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cityscape Dreamer's avatar
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    key word: "preferred"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Oh man......

    Yeah, I agree its a bit odd, they are just being lazy. It should read, internship and related work experience is a plus. Either that or it should be advertised as a Planner I position.
    Skilled Adoxographer

  4. #4
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Usually they say something like "or comperable education and experience." I think my first job preferred 2 year experience, but I got it anyway.

    And around these parts $41K for entry level would be pretty darn good. I made about $26K at my first job, 7 years ago.

  5. #5
          jhboyle's avatar
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    i make 26 k right now and I've been at it for 2 years

  6. #6
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ah....

    Quote Originally posted by jhboyle View post
    i make 26 k right now and I've been at it for 2 years
    You want a job?
    Skilled Adoxographer

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dsmcompany View post
    1. How is this an entry level job? Yet I see this on almost every entry level position that is advertised this way.
    Speaking as someone in a position to hire: If I can hire a 2yr planner for the same price as a new grad. Why wouldn't I? If a 2 yr person is going to apply for my entry level posting, they have a leg up.

    Quote Originally posted by dsmcompany View post
    2. How do they weigh the "2 years," are internships considered?
    Yes, Usually. See below.

    Quote Originally posted by dsmcompany View post
    3. Are they just trying to avoid "green" college graduates?
    Yes, usually. The hand-holding required of most new grads - especially those without related internships - is not acceptable in private sector planning.

    Quote Originally posted by dsmcompany View post
    4. With 2 years of experience in planning, who takes these "entry" level jobs when the salaries are only like $41,000?
    As an undergrad, in our market, that would be a high salary. With a masters, it would be a bit low.

    Quote Originally posted by dsmcompany View post
    Thanks for your insight.
    Anytime

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    If its entry level, apply anyway. They may aim high and not get their ideal candidate.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian RubberStamp Man's avatar
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    Ditto on the posts above; 2 yrs exp preferred but not necessary (would get more points when scoring the candidate during the interview though, but if you interview better - i.e. a better fit, then you may have a very good chance of getting the job even without 2 yrs exp).

    Internships and such normally counts as exp. I know of one municipality that considers a masters as in-lieu for 2 years exp. So a posting with bachelors and 5 yrs exp is equivalent to masters and 3 years exp.

  10. #10
    Definitely apply. I'd prefer a planner with 15 years experience and no minimum salary requirement, but I'll take the best of the bunch.

  11. #11
    Speaking as someone in a position to hire: If I can hire a 2yr planner for the same price as a new grad. Why wouldn't I? If a 2 yr person is going to apply for my entry level posting, they have a leg up.
    So.......What do you say to the aspiring planner who is constantly being pushed down job candidate short lists because of the very happenings you just acknowledged?

    I mean we all have to start out somewhere, sometime, but I find it rather frustrating and misleading that jobs being advertised for entry/Internship are somewhat being held ransom and being taken by people with Masters and 5 plus years of experience.

    Now, being from the Detroit area this is my personal experience. The Job openings are so far and few in-between here that the completion for measly unpaid internships on the other side of the metro are even the most fierce.

    There is a very good chance I could blow those very people out of the water if given the chance, or at the very least the interview. While I can see from the Employers standpoint this makes the most sense, it can be seemingly frustrating at the other end.

    All this does is just reconfirm over and over to me that most jobs are already spoken for before even being posted and that who you know is the name of the game. [Not that this is a surprise by any stretch of the imagination, as this is how life works in every facet. ] I suppose frustration is just creeping in

  12. #12
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Progress you need to network more! If you're looking for work in Detroit you should be attending the monthly planner socials or scanning planningmi.org for job openings.

    We just filled five openings at my place of employment. There is work out there, you just need to know how to get it, and be prepared to do a good job to keep it!

    Did you attend the Michigan Association of Planners meeting in Oct in Detroit?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Progress_Chrome View post
    The Job openings are so far and few in-between here that the completion for measly unpaid internships on the other side of the metro are even the most fierce.
    The problem may be that there are more planners around than jobs . . .

    If there is as much competition for jobs in your area as you say, these unpaid internships may be absolutely essential to get a foot in the door. I am ambivalent about unpaid work, as are most people, but my experience and that of many of my classmates is that internships, paid and unpaid, often lead directly to paid positions after graduation.

    I have a classmate who was recently hired on full time in a proper planning position by her internship employer, even though she hasn't finished her degree. This was a position that attracted over a hundred applicants from outside the office. Partly this is testament to her: she knocked their socks off. But beyond that, employers would rather hire someone who is a known quantity. DetroitPlanner is right, you should network more.

    Good Luck!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    It can also help to look a bit wider in the market. Although I would have preferred a position in a county government when I got my Bachelor's, I ended up a "Water Resource Analyst" at a regional water management district. I was there for 2 years and worked with many of the same issues I would have in a local government (demographics, Development of Regional Impact review, etc), so it was great experience, and a lot less competitive to get my foot in the door.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Progress you need to network more! If you're looking for work in Detroit you should be attending the monthly planner socials or scanning planningmi.org for job openings.

    We just filled five openings at my place of employment. There is work out there, you just need to know how to get it, and be prepared to do a good job to keep it!

    Did you attend the Michigan Association of Planners meeting in Oct in Detroit?
    Well I have a decent palette of networking, although it surely could be even larger. I did go to the MAP Filling the Gaps Seminar on Environmental protection a few months back on Grosse Isle, but haven't been able to make the last few meetings. I use to attend many events hosted by various organizations in the city(TRU,Synergy...etc) but have scaled back in the last year. I missed the meeting held on the Wayne State campus, where I went for my undergrad, because of work getting in the way


    I also have friends and family in the Geography/Planning/Development spectrum but there isn't much they can do for me at this point in time, but its not like I expect them to "do" anything per say.

    I constantly scan Eastern Michigan's postings, SEMCOG, the municipalities leagues sites, and like you mentioned Planningmi.org.

    There has been some great openings of late like the Birmingham Internship or the Oakland County GIS analyst, but the competition for just one or two openings is rather large. I know once I get that foot in the door things will be fine.

    Sounds like I need to start hanging around DetroitPlanner more......

  16. #16
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Pundits will say you should stay away from me!

    Sounds like you're trying to plug away and making some inroads into networking. I graduated from WSU back in 1990 with a co-major in Geography/Urban Studies. I've been there myself. Grosse Isle is a pretty insular sort of place. Most folks that attend those live there (for example you would not have exposure to folks from lets say Riverview or Southgate). I'd suggest going for more larger regional issue based meetings.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  17. #17
    A fellow Alum, nice.

    I was the last class of the Co-major. They got rid if it going into this year. If you were to get your degree now as Geography/Urban Studies it would have to be as a double major.

    I sometimes say its a double anyway

    I will though try to make it a point to attend the more regional meetings. I've been trying to get to one lately but just haven't been able too.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    Don't give up

    I'm in your market area. The key is get to know people. Knock on doors. Don't give up. Organization x may not have an opening, but they may know that organization y has a an opening.

    Professionals may not have a job, but they sincerely want good people who are qualified to find an appropriate job.

    Job openings come in spurts. Don't forget, http://www.pzcenter.com/jobs.cfm

    POR, Press On Regardless!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

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