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Thread: How important is education?

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    How important is education?

    I know we have talked some about can anyone be a planner, but I was wondering how important is a formal college education to being a planner? What else would help a person be a good planner?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Living all over the world as a military wife...only I don't know how to get credit for that on a resume.

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    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Im not sure your undergrand planning classes do much but a college education is worth its weight in gold.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

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    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    I think because we work largely in the public sector, a college education is vital. Not necessarily because it means a person with a college education is any better than someone who doesn't have it... it simply justifies the expense. If someone is dealing with planning, then they need to have some type of artificial credential (whether that be a BS, MS, or AICP) to explain to Joe Taxpayer that they are paying someone who is "qualified" to do the job.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
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    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    How important is education to being a planner? Depends on what you want to do. More schooling means more skills which means you are more competitive which usually means a better job and/or better pay.

    Of course, you can be a successful planner without any formal education training. Depending on what you want to do, where your "friends" are, and how aggressive and political you are, that may be just enough.

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Without a bachelors degree, your job opportunities in planning are very limited. Without a masters degree, your opportunities for the highest-level jobs are very limited. Without a PhD, you should do just fine unless you want to teach or research.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    What is your level of formal education and what level position are you?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Survey?

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    What is your level of formal education and what level position are you?
    Should do a survey on this question:

    1. Entry Level w/out degree (Planning Tech, Planner I, Planner II)
    2. Entry Level w/BA Geog/Econ/other....non accredited...
    3. Entry Level w/BA accredited in Planning
    4. Entry w/Masters non accredited
    5. Entry w/ Masters accredited Planning
    4. Mid Level categories from above (Planner III+, Senior Planner, Principal....)
    5. Executive/Director categories above....
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    Im not sure your undergrand planning classes do much but a college education is worth its weight in gold.
    I agree. Most of planning is learned hands on, esp the land use stuff. This holds true for the most import planning tool, people skills. You have got to learn to interact with people and is only done by dealing with people. College gives you a general and theortical background and teaches you how to do research and reports.

  10. #10
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    Im not sure your undergrand planning classes do much but a college education is worth its weight in gold.
    I disagree...but probably because of the program I was in. We did "real world" projects in 90% of my undergrad classes at BSU.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    I disagree...but probably because of the program I was in. We did "real world" projects in 90% of my undergrad classes at BSU.
    Ours was the same way at Appalachian State. By the time I graduated, I had conducted land use studies, run public meetings, and held visioning sessions. As far as on the job training, I feel as though I was better prepared than most of my colleagues from other schools, as they focused mainly on planning theory.

    edit: fixed a typo
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    I disagree...but probably because of the program I was in. We did "real world" projects in 90% of my undergrad classes at BSU.

    Yes my program was more theory and law-zero real world hands on work and none of the faculty were involved in the APA/AICP or any planning related groups. I learned much much more from my nonverbal com classes and sociology type classes. My classes for my other major (poli sci) were much more useful working for local gov.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    There will be instances of persons without formal education being very good planners. They will be the few, however. I have witnessed several long time secretaries becoming planning directors: they can be very good at processing plats and zoning map amendments. I question, however, if they can ascertain the public interest, formulate goals and objectives, and develop policies to create community change.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    I disagree...but probably because of the program I was in. We did "real world" projects in 90% of my undergrad classes at BSU.
    Northern Michigan University is the same way. We also did some theory, but we learned that by doing real world projects then presenting them at the APA national conference as student speakers, as well as the community and organizations related to the project.

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