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Thread: Worth it to go for MURP?

  1. #1
         
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    Worth it to go for MURP?

    I just graduated from college last may with a BS in economics. I currently work on the finance side at a consulting firm that does a lot of international development (specifically infrastructure). I would like to move to the consulting side of the business, but know I need some sort of graduate degree. I am interested in urban planning, and have spoken with several of the consultants here and they say planning issues come up a lot. But before I start even trying to get into a graduate program I want to make sure that
    1) if things don't work out here, I would be able to get a job pretty easily somewhere else?
    2) having the graduate degree would significantly boost my potential salary?

    I just recently started to worry about this, because I also have a second job at a restaurant, and there seem to be a good amount of people with graduate degrees (none in planning) doing nothing with the degree and working full time at a restaurant. If I am to put forth the money, time, and effort to earn a graduate degree, I want to make sure it is worth it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I say go for it, but have a fairly clear idea of what you want to get out of it.

    I think graduate school is valuable as much for the opportunities it creates as for the information you learn. Also, planners do so many different things. With your background, policy analysis or economics might be a good fit, but maybe you will get interested in something new, so stay open. Regardless, get friendly with your professors and find opportunities to get your feet wet and show people what you can do (internships, contracted jobs, etc) and opportunities will arise (especially if you can bring your current background to bear on issues).

    This is part of the the job of a good program, I think - to not only educate, but help move students into professional positions where they can be effective and happy. You might ask the programs you apply to what percentage of students each year leave the program with a job in hand.

    I have another Masters in Folklore and, after working in the arts non-profit area for several years, I decided I wanted to impact more social change and develop better tools to do that. I was also having trouble finding a decent paying job (what!? you say, struggling to make a living int he arts?!). Now I am finishing up a planning Masters and have opportunities out the wazoo. Wow, this school thing actually works!...

  3. #3
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by veleez
    I just recently started to worry about this, because I also have a second job at a restaurant, and there seem to be a good amount of people with graduate degrees (none in planning) doing nothing with the degree and working full time at a restaurant. If I am to put forth the money, time, and effort to earn a graduate degree, I want to make sure it is worth it.
    Relax....I worry about this all the time too, but as is the case with most things in life your drive and ambition and hard work is what really determines the outcomes of your education or your job. A degree definitely gives you a foot in the door but what you do with it is ultimately up to you. Work on defining what your definition of "worth" is. Is it money and perks, is it helping people, is it having a balanced life, etc?

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    It depends on your direction. Generally, a graduate degree increases your chances of getting a particular job and can boost your salary.
    But with your background in economics and finance, perhaps a MURP is not the best option for grad school. Maybe a grad degree in Real Estate development? I don't think a MURP would increase your earning potential for the type of work you're doing. I'd look at something that would make you more valuable for what you want to do. Internation Finance, maybe. Ask people who are in job positions you'd like to be in and see what kinds of degrees they have.

    If you're interested in future salary potential, go to salary.com and punch in different job titles, see what each pays. It should be your deciding factor, but you can learn a lot there, be more fully informed.

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