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Thread: Public policy = urban design job?

  1. #1
    Sep 2006
    Twin Cities

    Public policy = urban design job?

    Yes, the stone age dilemma and debate around what types of degrees can be utilized for positions in planning.

    Haven't been around the forums lately, but as some of you know I am a police officer that has deeply and extensively questioned the possibility of moving into a career in planning.

    My current program - Master of Public Policy - is more conducive to my current position in terms of being able to promote, change positions (federally, etc.), and/or probably most importantly, lead towards a PhD in Criminal Justice or related field to teach in the future.

    However, (of course there has to be one!) my underlying passion keeps coming back to Urban Design. My fear being that I graduate with a degree that opens more doors to my current career field, but would close others (planning) to a position that I would desire.

    Yes, I am still at a crossroads. I know with my current program I would not be certified. The MURP program looks much more interesting, but is much more focused in that it might not be as useful to my current career field. I have entertained the possibility of obtaining the Public Policy degree and then grab the Planning degree afterwards; though I am not a millionaire.

    Easy solution would be to just decide to change career fields or not. Wish it was just that easy.

    Thanks for the help, advice, and/or suggestions!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
    Jun 2007
    You can pretty much have any degree and be a planner. In my opinion (and you know what they say about those) the most important thing is common sense. I have known successful planners with pretty much every imaginable degree, and some without a degree. After all, you know the other acronym for AICP is: Any Idiot Can Plan!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    Currently, but not for too much longer, working for a PP/UD Dept and all I have to say is that as long as you can explain what you see in your head and how/why something works you shoudl be OK. The only problem may be that you lack the fundamentals of design theory and the language associated with design.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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