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Thread: Other Courses that Benefit a Planning Career

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Other Courses that Benefit a Planning Career

    I am a graduated geography student 6 months into my first Current Planning job.
    I have a "continuing education" allowance with my city where they will pay for additional courses.
    I was thinking of taking an AutoCAD class or many some architecture classes at night through the local community college.

    Any thoughts?

    Are these good or bad choices? What other classes would Cyburbia recommend?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I would be a little cautious about taking "technical" courses. People who develop technical specialties can tend to get pidgeon-holed in their career. I would think about continuing to study towards a masters, or taking courses through professional organizations, like the Urban Land Institute or National Development Council. They are focused on land development, and offer a good opportunity to network at the same time.
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  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I would maybe take one or two AutoCAD/GIS classes, but DO NOT become an expert in them. Cardinal is right that you can get stuck doing just the technical stuff. One of the electives I took with my undergrad was a Real Estate class, which I've found to come in handy when talking to Realtors (I get a lot of calls from them), plus it comes in handy making major life decisions like a house purchase. An architecture, landscape architecture, or site planning class is good if you weren't already exposed to them in your undergrad.

    Take a look at all of the possible topics covered in planning compared to what you had coursework in. If you have any weak spots then I would focus studies on them. I agree with Cardinal in that you should not limit yourself to just university courses (if your employer will allow it).

    I would suggest looking at a Masters program since your employer is willing to pay your way. Grad school is expensive, so anything you can get for free is great!

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    I would be a little cautious about taking "technical" courses. People who develop technical specialties can tend to get pidgeon-holed in their career. I would think about continuing to study towards a masters, or taking courses through professional organizations, like the Urban Land Institute or National Development Council. They are focused on land development, and offer a good opportunity to network at the same time.
    I do agree with both of you. My main emphasis in college was GIS and guess who the GIS guy is in the office. (Not that I mind it)

    As for the National Development Council and the Urban Land Institute, Cardinal are there any courses though these entities I could take in Colo.?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    I think the important thing is that if you are going to take higher courses, try to focus on something that you don't mind dealing with alot. This is especially true in the case of GIS courses. If you enjoy GIS, then that would be the way to go.

    Real estate stuff would be good. I took courses in college and was able to become licensed as a realtor. I never went into real estate, but it's been useful knowledge to have.

    I've taken some courses in group facilitation... but it wasn't necessarily towards a specific degree. But it is useful in terms of dealing with the public and running meetings.

    If you are aiming to move into management, then a public administration degree might be useful.

    One of the great things about planning is that just about any additional education could come in handy. I think the key is realizing that whatever you get a higher degree in... you may get steered in that direction in your career... so make sure it's something that you wouldn't mind dealing with alot of.

    Personally, I'm planning on getting a masters degree in statistics... but I'm a number geek.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    I do agree with both of you. My main emphasis in college was GIS and guess who the GIS guy is in the office. (Not that I mind it)

    As for the National Development Council and the Urban Land Institute, Cardinal are there any courses though these entities I could take in Colo.?
    These organizations (and IEDC) move their courses around to different cities, but that is often influenced by state organizations helping out. Colorado does not appear to do that often. There are courses offered more often in nearby states, like AZ.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    These organizations (and IEDC) move their courses around to different cities, but that is often influenced by state organizations helping out. Colorado does not appear to do that often. There are courses offered more often in nearby states, like AZ.
    Hmmm. Thanks for the Info.

    I have two friends in Phoenix I could probably stay with!
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Try the NBI

    I like the NBI seminar (one day deals) w/ many in Colorado and elsewhere...
    Title Policy Seminar was interesting
    Water Law was great
    Planning and Zoning are also good ones....

    http://www.nbi-sems.com/seminfo/nbi-...p?division=NBI
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

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    Cyburbian SideshowBob's avatar
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    One of the better non-planning specific courses I ever took was Grant Writing. If you can find a good grant writing course, it may be worth taking.
    Fighting congestion by widening roads is like fighting obesity by buying larger clothes.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus
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    As mentioned in previous threads --
    There are 2 classes on the National Flood Insurance Program
    at Emergency Management Institute; Emmitsburg, MD.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian SideshowBob's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    As mentioned in previous threads --
    There are 2 classes on the National Flood Insurance Program
    at Emergency Management Institute; Emmitsburg, MD.
    I took a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course there. I am at an RPA and sort of had CERT/Emergeny managemetn thrust upon me. It's important stuff, but I wish someone else beside me could do it--just not my cup of tea. It's part of why I'm sending resumes.

    Anywho...The Emergeny Mgmt Institute in Emmitsburg was a great place to go for a few days. It was like being in college for three days, two nights.
    Fighting congestion by widening roads is like fighting obesity by buying larger clothes.

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