Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: What a Master's give that a Bachelor's can't?

  1. #1

    What a Master's give that a Bachelor's can't?

    Interested in people's opinions, particularly those with some personal experience.

    What would a Master's give that a Bachelor's can't? Let's try it for some specific programs:
    Planning -> Bachelor's/Master's?
    Architecture -> Bachelor's/Master's?
    GIS -> Bachelor's/Master's?
    Others (e.g. Policy, Urban Design...) ->

    In practice, is one really that much more ahead of another with a higher degree?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,606
    Blog entries
    1

    Get it.....

    If someone out there can afford it.....can get into any program.....has a slight interest in being "more" educated (personal reasons for me ) and want's to stand out come time to be hired for that high paying job like RJ has.... Then yes, a Masters is a good thing in Planning

    Forget a degree in GIS......just my opinion.....I most likely would not have said that just 5 years ago.....but I've "grown" a lot since then....

    A masters in policy related study is a MUST if you want to be taken seriously at higher levels.....mostly perception here, based on observations, not my opinion....

    A B.A. is all you need in architecture with the AIA membership and stamp of course, but most architects have such BLOATED EGO's that they simply MUST GO ON FOR A MASTERS to impress their friends and Planners
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  3. #3
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,593
    I don't have a masters. I know plenty of people who do and I don't think for one second that any of them have anything on me as far as ability, knowledge or intelligence in any part due to their masters. Sure some of these people I know may (or may not) be better planners than me but it isn't because of the masters.

    Unfortunately- MANY planning jobs now require a masters - and those that don't will almost always give much more weight to someone who has one. Not having a masters can hurt you big time. I've experienced it. It's unfortunate - big time. So yes if you can do it I say go for it.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    19,258
    off beat answer -
    DEBT, a couple of more sleepless nights, more test anxiety, etc.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    May 2006
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    22
    a masters will only help. it depends what you want to do. someone with a masters in urban planning with a BA in psychology may have the same planning knowledge as one with an accredited BA in planning and no masters degree. it also varies from jurisidiction.. Experience is weighed heavily, along with your ability to perform the job at the current city i work for. more education is always a plus though!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,593
    Quote Originally posted by spalding View post
    a masters will only help. it depends what you want to do. someone with a masters in urban planning with a BA in psychology may have the same planning knowledge as one with an accredited BA in planning and no masters degree. it also varies from jurisidiction.. Experience is weighed heavily, along with your ability to perform the job at the current city i work for. more education is always a plus though!

    Ha. I know you

    See you on Monday. Java Bean?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian yesteryear's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    No Cal
    Posts
    40
    i would say get a masters if you have the ability, but in my opinion 2 years of work experience is almost always going to be more valuable. if you're having a hard time deciding, look for a paid internship, a 'trainee' level position, or a very low-level first-rung job, and rather than accruing more debt for the next 2 years, try to survive on the low pay and when you're done you'll have real world experience AND an education.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian MM1648's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally posted by yesteryear View post
    i would say get a masters if you have the ability, but in my opinion 2 years of work experience is almost always going to be more valuable. if you're having a hard time deciding, look for a paid internship, a 'trainee' level position, or a very low-level first-rung job, and rather than accruing more debt for the next 2 years, try to survive on the low pay and when you're done you'll have real world experience AND an education.
    I must agree.

  9. #9
    Thank you all for your perspectives.

    I share much of the same understanding as what many of you have stated. I also think that, in terms of a typical job in X field/discipline, experience could really make up for or even be more valuable than a Master's. For me, I still intend to pursue a Master's which would also give me a reason to go out on my own and just explore elsewhere for a bit.

    I think I had another question, but forgot what it was....but in the meantime, here' something to think about.

    In some cases it might be wise to get a Master's in a certain field after having done a Bachelor's in another certain field if you are pursuing a particular type of career. What would be some good match-ups with an undergrad and grad degree (either in the same kind of field, or something else that may be different)?

    Opinions...

  10. #10
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,567
    Quote Originally posted by Gkorstad Staegenheim View post
    In some cases it might be wise to get a Master's in a certain field after having done a Bachelor's in another certain field if you are pursuing a particular type of career. What would be some good match-ups with an undergrad and grad degree (either in the same kind of field, or something else that may be different)?

    Opinions...
    Bachelors Urban & Regional Planning
    Masters in Public Administration
    (policy evaluation or planning emphasis if you can swing it)
    Very well-rounded education with applicability in upper-level planning positions. You can also occasionally find a dual-degree MPA/JD.

    Bachelors in Computer Science
    Masters in GIS

    The GIS field seems to be moving in a new direction. The days of GIS tech "mapmakers" are likely to disappear in favor of GIS techies that write code & such for laypeople to use GIS functions.

    Bachelors in Planning
    Masters in Architecture
    (including landscape architecture)
    or vice-versa
    Just a good combo, especially for the private sector design firms.



    Going for a masters is a personal decision for everyone. I happen to like learning in a college environment and get tuition reimbursement, so it was kind of a no-brainer for me. Almost every job posting I've seen mentioning a masters also allows for an equivalent based on experience. I'm doing the BURP to MPA route and should finish the MPA this fall.

    "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)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,606
    Blog entries
    1

    Yes.....

    In my case it was

    B.A. Geography
    MURP

    Working out great for me.....

    Unless you plan on getting a PhD, it is a good idea to switch gears in the masters degree.....
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Clayobyrne, CB
    Posts
    2,580
    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    In my case it was
    B.A. Geography
    MURP
    I would also suggest my track: B.A. Political Science and M.C.P. (acquired part-time while working as a planner)

  13. #13
    Cyburbian RubberStamp Man's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever mediocore planning lurks
    Posts
    99
    In answer to your first question - not much. But when you are in a grad program you would ideally have more informed discussions - think about what you knew when you were in 1 & 2 yer vs 3 & 4 year and which time period would have given you more in depth abilities to discuss and learn? Your peers would be in the same boat and would also enhance your discussions. Also grad programs usually have a research component such as a thesis which are very good skills to learn even if you may not use them in the future. But some undergrads also require a thesis and offer similar project courses.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 2
    Last post: 23 Feb 2013, 10:47 AM
  2. Replies: 9
    Last post: 10 Oct 2010, 10:37 PM
  3. Replies: 22
    Last post: 20 May 2010, 10:51 PM
  4. Bachelor's vs. Masters
    Student Commons
    Replies: 19
    Last post: 28 Oct 2004, 12:17 PM
  5. Bachelor's vs. Masters
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 12 Aug 2004, 10:39 AM