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Thread: Entry level jobs in to planning?

  1. #1
    Aug 2005
    berkeley, ca

    Entry level jobs in to planning?

    What are some positions or titles that are a way into planning if you don't have a planning degree.

    I have a BS in Sociology no pun intended, and having been working as a research assistant in public health policy analysis.

    I am trying to find a way into an urban planning department with a city or county and am open to what gets me in the door more than what the intial job is.

    Thanks for any advice in advance

  2. #2
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    May 2004
    Since you have some experience in public health maybe you should look at starting as an environmental health specialist or something to that effect. They typically work closely with planners and maybe that would be the foot in the door you are looking for. Otherwise i suggest an internship. Not having a degree in planning can kill your chances in a lot of jurisdictions so if you really want it you may want to consider grad school.

  3. #3
    Aug 2005
    Washington, DC
    I also have a bachelors in Sociology, so I know what you mean. I did concentrate in urban sociology and I did go to grad school in planning (honestly, I'm not a fan of the undergrad planning degree, go for the master's I say). You probably should do an internship.You could also get involved in some way with APA. I worked on committees in one of the APA divisions in a relatively prominent role and it was really helpful for me in getting jobs. My concentration was in affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization, so I volunteered in a few county homeless counts and looked for opportunities like that. Not directly related, but if you can make the case for planning in a variety of aspects (job, volunteer, internship) you could get in somewhere.

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    I would maybe look toward the affordable housing, community initiative, CDBG programs that hav close ties to planning. With those, your background in sociology can be helpful and you can get a little on-the-job planning insight.

    "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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