Hello. I wonder if I can ask some advice concerning career direction. My school’s MRP Program offers five specializations within Planning:
1.Land-Use Planning and Urban Design;
2.Housing, Local Economic Development, and Community Planning;
4.Environmental Planning; and
5.Urban Regional Information Systems.
I’m having trouble deciding which way to go, particularly among options 1, 2, and 3. I’m also interested in environmental planning but am not seriously considering it as a career. Option 5, GIS, isn't something I would want to concentrate in.
My background is in architecture (5-year Bachelors degree, 5 years of experience), so it makes some sense career-wise to go into a field such as perhaps public housing or land use planning. However, while I do find housing particularly interesting (even much more intensely of late), a dream has always been to go into transportation planning. But, in a sense, the transportation field would be like starting over. I am not concerned so much with lower salary and such things but more with the disheartening idea of starting all over at perhaps age 35 (when I will likely graduate since I am in school only part-time). I feel like I ought to be hitting my stride soon rather than starting over from zero, professionally speaking. I am not happy in architecture but feel I probably shouldn’t abandon it entirely after all this effort.
One other point is that living in Albany, New York I feel I would have many opportunities in housing and community development, probably some in land use planning, but relatively few opportunities in urban design or especially in transportation – for that I would benefit greatly from moving downstate to the metropolitan area (which may not be practical).
Do you see my dilemma? Any thoughts? (I don’t have to decide any time soon.) I don't expect anyone to decide for me but would enjoy hearing any advice.