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Thread: Career advice for fresh grad

  1. #1
    Cyburbian silentvoice's avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    Singapore
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    Career advice for fresh grad

    Hi everyone, I've two job hunting questions, heres hoping you can help

    1) I've recently graduated with a Master's in planning. Prior to that I've had architecture experience but no "direct" planning experience. At what level should I apply for jobs in planning?
    -Internship level, Assistant Planner, Planner I or II?
    (I can't really survive for long on an intern salary, though )

    2) Will public agencies (counties and cities) hire non-US citizens? I'm still on a student visa and permitted to work for a year. Afterwhich a work-visa is required.

    Thank you for your kind help. Have a nice day!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cal_Planner's avatar
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    Aug 2006
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    Bay Area (Northern California)
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    1) as a recent grad looking for employment (with no direct land use planning experience), I'm not finding much luck at the "associate planner" level. I think I'm more likely to get hired at the Assistant Planner level.

    background: Master of city planning, MS Engineering, BS Environmental Economics and Policy - all from UC Berkeley. Experience - transportation research and other non-relevant work.

    2) I *think* that fewer public and private employers are able/willing to sponsor non-US citizens.... Likewise, I am less likely to get a sponsorship outside the US....

    GOOD LUCK!!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by silentvoice View post
    1) I've recently graduated with a Master's in planning. Prior to that I've had architecture experience but no "direct" planning experience. At what level should I apply for jobs in planning?
    -Internship level, Assistant Planner, Planner I or II?
    In my experience, many public agencies view a master's degree as substituting for 2 or 3 years of professional experience. So just look at the minimum requirements for the job and judge accordingly. I would suggest a general philosophy to err on the side of applying for too many positions rather than too few. You shouldn't need to resort to an internship.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian silentvoice's avatar
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    Thanks for the reply folks
    Last edited by silentvoice; 12 Sep 2006 at 1:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Sep 2006
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    Killa Cali
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    Thank you for asking this question. I have a similar background and I am in the same situation. I am finding it especially difficult to find a job that fits my level of experience becasue most of the cities in my area are small and thus have small planning departments. It seems that Associate Planner is the lowest level they hire at. You may find more assistant planning positions in larger cities. Good Luck with your search.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cal_Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SpringfieldMonorail View post
    In my experience, many public agencies view a master's degree as substituting for 2 or 3 years of professional experience.
    Most of the job posts I've seen indicate a Master's degree will only count for 1 year of experience. I've occasionally seen it count for 2 years experience.

    But, I'm finding that I'm up against people with "real world" on-the-job land use planning experience at the associate planner level. It seems that academia just can't compete with that.

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