This is my first post, and I've been appreciative of the descriptive feedback provided to career "challenged" individuals like myself. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I'm currently a civil engineer (3 years exp.) getting an MBA part time in the evenings at the University of Illinois. I am about 50% through the degree. I'm very interested in urban planning, particularly Local and Regional Economic Development (one concentration) and Sustainable Design and Development (another concentration). One option I have is to turn the MBA into a dual masters degree with urban planning. The problem with this option is it requires full time schooling (urban planning classes are only offered during the day). While the tuition costs aren't awful, the idea of paying a mortgage etc. without full time work is daunting. I would be interested to hear how involved typical assistantships are, or success on valuable part time work while going to school full time.
I've been doing research on scholarships with little success. Fastweb and the FAFSA are steps in the right direction, but providing supplemental income, not just tuition, looks difficult.
My second question lies in the area of urban planning concentrations. Local and Regional Development peaks my interest because a substantial portion of my work experience is in residential and commercial land development. Sustainable Development is also interesting, because I believe with time this will become more and more valuable to engineers/planners.
With a local and regional development emphasis, in tandem with an MBA, do you have recommendations for ideal places to work? With sustainable development, will that anchor me to an engineering position, because I will already have an engineering degree? Do planners in sustainable design and development spend much time reviewing plans?
I'm in consulting now, as an engineer, and its gratifying, but at this point career wise I do not have input in the planning stages. I have seen what intelligent planners can do in the early stages, and it looks exciting and satisfying. My greatest interest lies in the ability to design a set of plans, plan its location, and finance its funding. Thanks very much for your advice, questions, or any recommendations.