Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. I am a sophomore at a small liberal arts college in the Chicago metropolitan area. Right now I am doing a lot of career exploration, and I am considering a career in urban planning. I have gone on a lot of websites about the career, but i think it would be best to talk to people who are actually in the field. I have a few questions:
1.) From what I've read, urban planning is just a general term for people who can end up doing a lot of different things. The urban studies major at my college includes a few classes in urban design, history of cities, city government, as well as possible courses in economics, sociology, etc. What courses would be beneficial besides the "core" urban history, urban government, and urban planning courses?
2.) Would this course of study be good for a job?
Originally I was a double Spanish and English major, and a double French and Business minor. If I do Urban Studies, I would then major in Spanish and Urban Studies, and minor in French, GIS, and English. Would this double major and triple minor be good for the profession? I love languages--right now I speak almost fluent Spanish, am starting French, and do very well in composition classes. I also have a passion for geography--I love looking at maps and seeing how the metropolitan areas radiate out from their cores--SO FASCINATING! I may also spend some time abroad in Valdivia, Chile; Madrid, Spain; and Paris, France (speaking foreign languages and experiencing the cities, of course). Would these skills/interests be applicable?
3.) How hard is the job?
I'm not afraid of working, but I don't want a job that would consume my life. There were days in high school that I went to bed at 11 and woke up at 5--not fun. College isn't as bad, but I still have to keep on things or I can easily fall behind. I have a 4.0 GPA and I'm in the honors program, so I excell academically. However, I do like to do non-academic things, too. I go to the gym 4-5 times a week, I like to go out on Friday and Saturday nights, and I would like to get a good 6-8 hours of sleep every night (but that rarely happens, lol). Would I still be able to have fun on the weekends, workout in the morning, and just in general not be exhausted at the end of the day? I've read that urban planners spend a lot of time in community meetings outside of regular work hours. How much time is meant by "a lot"? Do all urban planners do this?
I do not want to be poor. Will I be poor? Also, I'm not sure where I want to live--either the city (north side of Chicago) or the suburbs. Can I get a job almost anywhere as long as it's not in economic stagnation?