Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Employable?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339

    Employable?

    so what are the chances of landing a decent job in the planning field after obtaining your Masters in Urban and Regional Planning?

    when i entered my program i had high hopes of coming out with a decent job. however, as graduation approaches (still a year away but not too far to plan for) i've started to become concerned that i won't be able to find a job.

    any thoughts?
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,640
    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol
    so what are the chances of landing a decent job in the planning field after obtaining your Masters in Urban and Regional Planning?

    when i entered my program i had high hopes of coming out with a decent job. however, as graduation approaches (still a year away but not too far to plan for) i've started to become concerned that i won't be able to find a job.

    any thoughts?
    Well....you may need to be willing to take your first planning job pretty much anywhere in the US. If you confine yourself to one geographic area, it will most likely take longer and you may not get your prefered position.

    I'm in Chicago Metro and it took me 6 months before I got my first planning job.

    Good luck!!
    Last edited by mendelman; 02 Aug 2005 at 4:29 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339
    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Well....you may need to be willing to take your first planning job pretty much anywhere in the US. If you confine yourself to one geographic area, it will most likely take longer and you may get your prefered position.

    I'm in the Chicago Metro area and it took me 6 months before I got my first planning job.

    Good luck!!
    i suppose i could deal with almost anywhere in the US . . .i would like to end up mid-atlantic or in the north east but i'm not holding my breath.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. #4
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,654
    Start networking with potential employers NOW. Get your name out there, intern, volunteer, go to conferences and workshops.....it makes a world of difference.
    "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

  5. #5
    Member DRJ's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Oblivion
    Posts
    74
    Mendelman is right. It depends where in the country you are. Does the area have another Masters level planning school nearby? Is it a growing metropolitan region? Is is an area that is progressive in regards to land use planning (with the assumption that there are more jobs to be had in those areas)? These are some of the questions you should be asking. Here in the Atlanta metro area, Georgia Tech has a Masters Degree program in City and Regional Planning. In talking to some former interns from this past years graduating class, all individuals that wanted to find a job succeeded with in 2 months of graduating. The majority stayed in the Metropolitan Atlanta area but some others went to Florida, the west coast, Northeast (etc.) and all found entry-level positions. Keep your eyes open, get your name our, and you will find something.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339
    thanks for the input. i am doing an internship with a town in SC at the moment, so i think that will help set me apart from other grads with no experience. and will be working on a Park & Rec. plan as an independent study this fall. i hope that helps as well.


    so much networking to do, so little time and money!
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,354

    Huh?

    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol
    thanks for the input. i am doing an internship with a town in SC at the moment, so i think that will help set me apart from other grads with no experience. and will be working on a Park & Rec. plan as an independent study this fall. i hope that helps as well.


    so much networking to do, so little time and money!
    South Carolina??? What do they pay you with chickens and confederate dollars? he he he.......The One introducing you to the playful banter that you are sure to encounter in Cyburbia

    Remember, The One doesn't live in the South, I'm in "south" Florida (really the North)

    Yes, I suggest that you stick with the internship for at least a year, then you'll have the experience to get a good job somewhere (Nationwide)
    Skilled Adoxographer

  8. #8
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339
    Quote Originally posted by The One
    South Carolina??? What do they pay you with chickens and confederate dollars? he he he.......The One introducing you to the playful banter that you are sure to encounter in Cyburbia

    Remember, The One doesn't live in the South, I'm in "south" Florida (really the North)

    Yes, I suggest that you stick with the internship for at least a year, then you'll have the experience to get a good job somewhere (Nationwide)
    i may go to school in the south and be doing an internship in the south, but i am most definitely a Northerner. new york born and raised! (upstate, that is.)


    eeep. this is just a summer internship, but i suppose it is better than nothing.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  9. #9
    dandy, you'll have completed Master's and an internship after graduating! I didn't do an internship and I have only a BS and I've had no luck after a year (though I have interviewed 3 times). I'm about to enter graduate school to become more employable. Man, if your concerned I must be **** out of luck.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339
    Quote Originally posted by BIH80
    dandy, you'll have completed Master's and an internship after graduating! I didn't do an internship and I have only a BS and I've had no luck after a year (though I have interviewed 3 times). I'm about to enter graduate school to become more employable. Man, if your concerned I must be **** out of luck.

    well i tend to be a bit of a worrier. so for your sake (and mine!!) i hope we both find good jobs after we graduated.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  11. #11
    I hope so too, thanks. May the force be with us all!!!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    13,151
    Networking is the KEY. Youíre doing a good thing by being on here. (Contrary to what many may think)
    Go to the State and National American Planning Association Conferences and seek out the people who you would want to work for. Do some research on Communities that you want to live and work in or the Firms that you find desirable, know who is in charge, who makes the decisions, the projects that they have and are working on, and who might be looking for employees.

    Talk to people about their firm and their projects and get to know them, and listen at least twice as much as you talk. Make sure you look professional and that you are in the moment. Donít talk about the idea of you working for them right way. If they ask, let them know that you are seeing what all is out there, but would be interested in knowing more about possible employment with their community or firm. Exchange contact information.

    Make some notes about your conversation and any information about projects, or even some of the personal information about the person you spoke with such as their hobbies and interests.

    When you get back, send out letters stating your intentions to these places. Be assertive at this point. State that you will call them at this or that time on a day other than Monday or Friday to discuss a time to meet with them. When you call, ask to speak to that person, and remind them who you are.

    Best way to get a job is to market your self. Donít just apply for a job, you need to sell your skills, talents, and make sure that they know that you will be an unbelievable asset to their community or firm.

    I would suggest that you pick up a copy of the book ď48 days to the work you loveĒ by Dan Miller. It will run you though the specific doís and doníts about finding a job.

    Also, if your looking at getting a job in a particular area, let us know on here. A few years ago I was working in a state half way across the country from where I grew up. I did not like the community or the direction, so I made it known on here that I wanted to get back to the mid-west. Another Cybubanite sent me a few places that were looking for people, and so here I am, back in Michigan.
    You get what you give.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,169
    Basically what everyone else said is great advice. I thought about it ahead of time and targetted my job search to one metro area (Boston). I called some people blindly, set up meetings and networked around. I found other planners to be extremely thoughtful and helpful in the process.

    However, I did end up finding my job by resonding to an ad that was placed online on a regional APA chapter site. It took me two months after grad school to find something. One of the best skills is the ability to sell yourself and not discount any of your previous work experience even if it's not that related to planning. I think that's how I got my job.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    [snipped]
    Also, if your looking at getting a job in a particular area, let us know on here. A few years ago I was working in a state half way across the country from where I grew up. I did not like the community or the direction, so I made it known on here that I wanted to get back to the mid-west. Another Cybubanite sent me a few places that were looking for people, and so here I am, back in Michigan.
    thanks for all the advice. i'll definitely look into getting that book. as for letting you all know, about a year from may, or now, i'll be looking for a job in the Northeast! thanks!!
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    No Flo
    Posts
    50

    I'm with you, DW

    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol
    i may go to school in the south and be doing an internship in the south, but i am most definitely a Northerner. new york born and raised! (upstate, that is.)


    eeep. this is just a summer internship, but i suppose it is better than nothing.
    As much as I'd like to go back upstate (from the Ithaca area, UG from SUNY Brockport), I also want to be employed come December 18, so staying in Florida (Masters from FSU) is looking more important.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Land of Confusion
    Posts
    3,741
    Quote Originally posted by whit_x
    As much as I'd like to go back upstate (from the Ithaca area, UG from SUNY Brockport), I also want to be employed come December 18, so staying in Florida (Masters from FSU) is looking more important.
    I can't imagine that planning in upstate ny would give you any worthwhile experience because you probably wouldn't be doing anything other than watching places decline.
    If you do decide to work there just make sure you turn off the lights when you leave.

  17. #17

    Re: Employable

    If you want to enter the planning profession, it takes diligence and a willingness work your contacts. You cannot wait until graduation to obtain your first position. I interned for planning department for fourteen months prior to graduation. Luckily, I obtained tremendous experience from this position, and met many professional planners from it. My ability to obtain a position came from my internship. An internship isn’t merely an opportunity to gain the required experience for a position, but it’s an opportunity to develop strong relationships with experienced planners.

    In June 2004, I graduated with a Bachelors and two things allowed me to obtain my first position, my internship and my professional relationship with fellow planners. My first paid planning position was a temporary planner position for an individual on maternity leave. How did I gain this position? I was referred by planner who worked with me during my internship. After six months, this position ended. Luckily, a fellow planner referred my for a second temporary (six month) planner position. To my surprise, I substituted for another planner on maternity leave.

    At the end of this whirlwind period, I had worked for three cities in three different counties, and I had gained over two years of planning experience and developed friendships with planners throughout my region.

    In June of 2005, I obtained a permanent Planner position. In the end, I think I obtained the position because of one thing – my relationships with my previous employers and other planners. Yes, I had the pre-requisite experience and was qualified for the position. But, I’ve learned one thing as a planner. The planning community is a small world, and everyone seems to know everybody. It all seems a little incestuous to me.

    So my recommendation to a planning student is the following: you should get yourself a solid internship with a reputable planning agency. You should put all of yourself into the position, which means long hours of grunt work. You should try to earn the respect of your co-workers and this occurs with a dedication to your work. In the end, it will hopefully provide you with solid experience, and result in strong personal and professional relationships with your fellow planners. You never know, your co-workers may be called to vouch for you. One day, I hope I’m able to help someone else too.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Clayobyrne, CB
    Posts
    2,581
    Quote Originally posted by BIH80
    dandy, you'll have completed Master's and an internship after graduating! I didn't do an internship and I have only a BS and I've had no luck after a year (though I have interviewed 3 times). I'm about to enter graduate school to become more employable. Man, if your concerned I must be **** out of luck.
    With my B.A in Political Science and school newspaper experience, I landed a job in the city housing authority's communications department, which was adjacent to the authority's planning and administration departments. I begged for any chance I could get to work with the planning department and serve on various Hope VI, relocatrion and ADA transition planning committees. I also started to take night classes toward a Master of City Planning. Shortly after beginning classes, I was hired by my current planning and community development firm as an associate/planner.

    So, my advice would be: look for planning opportunities in other fields that may be more open to you, given your existing skill set and experience.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    So, my advice would be: look for planning opportunities in other fields that may be more open to you, given your existing skill set and experience.
    Yes, it takes time but you can make things work if you're proactive.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Down by Dun Ringill
    Posts
    6,128
    Blog entries
    6
    Try Flathead County Montana. They are always hiring. Go through planners like Seinfeld goes through Pez.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

+ Reply to thread