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Thread: Planning career and travel/living abroad questions?

  1. #1

    Planning career and travel/living abroad questions?

    Dear All,

    I am considering a career in planning - However, there are certain things that I value in a career and I'm not sure planning meets my requirements. I hope you could help me;

    1) I would prefer a career that is global and mobile; I would like to experiencing living in other countries/cities, for example London, England, etc.. Given planning is a licensed profession, how difficult would it be to transfer and aquire jobs in foreign countries? Basically, I want to know if planning is flexible enough when it comes to travel and living abroad. Do you know if it would be better to gain a planning degree abroad or here in the US given my interests?

    Does one need to be licensed to find work abroad?

    2) I'm wondering if a career in planning would allow me to live in the NYC area, as I have family there and I would prefer to live here. Are jobs plentiful in the area? Or is it a difficult matter to get a job in the private sector there?

    3) I would like to travel abroad on business to other developed cities - not develping countries. Does planning offer any opportunity for international travel on the job?

    4) I would prefer to work in the private sector rather than the public sector -- I also would like to do work involving urban design in a private company rather than with a city council, etc.. Given that I would like to stay in the NYC area, what are the possibilites of getting a job in the private sector?

    Where can I get some information on what an average day is like for a private sector planning professional?


  2. #2
    Someone must have a little insight for me, no?

  3. #3
          bluehour's avatar
    Jul 2006
    Northern Ireland
    There are many large scale architecture/environmental/planning/engineering firms that would be able to provide you with a mobile global career. In my experience UK firms tend to be more globally focused than US firms; that said, I would bet US firms are better at many Asian markets (save China and Shanghai, which the brits continue to remain active in). Business ties remain to an extent linked to Empire, so the British have their hands in many pots.

    The way planning is done in the EU and UK is very different from that way it is done in the USA, generally [zoning vs policy focus, EU legislation, value of job to wider society, Climate change legislation etc].

    If you have an accredited Planning degree in the US you can transfer this to UK, by becoming a member of the RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute). Full details on their website.

    All of that said, there is not much demand internationally for planners per se, as planning systems vary widely, but specific skills sets are of more value. IE, urban design or environmental planning. If you want to travel to exotic places but still work in the built environemnt, you should become a (civil) engineer. There's always a Sultan or two looking to build an airport or bridge or megacity.

    You're on your own for the NYC questions.

  4. #4
    maudit anglais
    May 1997
    Quote Originally posted by bluehour View post
    If you want to travel to exotic places but still work in the built environemnt, you should become a (civil) engineer. There's always a Sultan or two looking to build an airport or bridge or megacity.
    Private-sector transportation planners can also easily pick up work abroad, depending on the firm they are working for.

  5. #5
    Thank You. You mentioned differences between the US and the EU in planning - could you describe a little these differences?

    You mentioned urban design - is there a route through urban design without being an architect?

    Mathematics aren't my strongest point == civil engineering is probably out for me.

    I'm still wondering about the job situation in NYC.

  6. #6
    Tranplanner, can you pont me in the direction of some resources that describe the day-to-day lifestyle of a transporation planner, typical duties, etc? There are few resources available. Also, do you know how I could shadow a transportation planner for a day in the DC area -- what companies should I look out for?

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