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Thread: Public vs private sector

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Public vs private sector

    I am a planning student who will be graduating this June, and will be looking for jobs in the near future. I was wondering if anyone can give me some pros and cons of both the public and private sector. I have worked two internships for cities and am curious to see what the private sector is all about. My interests include redevelopment and new urbanist style of infill development in downtown areas. Not a big fan of the suburbs.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    There have been several related posts on this topic. You might do a search to see if any of them help.

    Stick with the public sector for your first few jobs. I know others here have gone right into the private sector, but I think you will find the experience in government will be more rewarding and better prepare you for that kind of work. On the few projects where I have brought in consultants, they barely scratched the surface, while I was involved in all phases of planning, negotiating, and executing redevelopment projects. That is the kind of background that gets you the good private sector jobs and makes you the person that cities want to hire as their consultant.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian cmd uw's avatar
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    I am employed in the private sector and have been since I graduated in 2003. Although, I have had two summer jobs working in the public sector. I personally believe that one should get some experience in both the public and private sectors. It will help one understand two different perspectives of the planning industry.

    I sum it up this way, in the public sector you are an advocate on behalf of the people (taxpayers). In the private sector, you are an advocate on behalf of the developer.
    "First we shape our buildings, and then our buildings start shaping us." - Sir Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cmd uw
    ...[snip]... in the public sector you are an advocate on behalf of the people (taxpayers)...[snip]....
    Not necessarily....I view my public sector job as a balancing act of working for all parties (the applicant, "the people", elected officials, appointed officials, and related departments and other governmental agencies). The key is finding a solution to satisfy all parties (but the running joke is if you piss-off everybody, you probably did the right thing). In other words, nobody gets everything they want. And I'm sure that those with more experience in the private sector would challange your generalization about their work.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian cmd uw's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    Not necessarily....I view my public sector job as a balancing act of working for all parties (the applicant, "the people", elected officials, appointed officials, and related departments and other governmental agencies). The key is finding a solution to satisfy all parties (but the running joke is if you piss-off everybody, you probably did the right thing). In other words, nobody gets everything they want. And I'm sure that those with more experience in the private sector would challange your generalization about their work.
    /\ I was just making a broad generalization at best. There is no doubt that there is more to how the public and private sector operate.

    And I'm sure that those with more experience in the private sector would challange your generalization about their work.
    I disagree. The statement about being an advocate on behalf of the client was how a colleague (who works in the private sector) described his role.
    "First we shape our buildings, and then our buildings start shaping us." - Sir Winston Churchill

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