I will be graduating with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning in the spring of 2008, and focused my coursework in Neighborhood and Regional Planning. As graduation is a mere two semesters away, I'm starting to think more seriously about the career. I am interested in doing research work on neighborhoods and regions, and am particularly with a non-profit or educational institution.
I hear from various people (both within and outside) of the planning profession that a Ph.D. might make a long-term research career in urban issues a possibility. However, I'm reluctant to jump into this track so quickly, especially since I'd be unable to pick up any relevant work experience that would make teaching credible. Plus, I'm not all that thrilled about teaching, and would rather have a more hands on work for a career.
I would enjoy any advice that the folks of Cyburbia nation might have to offer. If you prefer, send a PM.