I am currently completing my bachelors in Geography and am applying to graduate programs in urban planning. I have lingering doubts about future career possibilities. These questions assume acceptance into graduate schools (PennDesign, Cornell, Virginia).
First, I should say that I am specifically avoiding government work for what I see to be an extremely limited role: planner as city agent. I would like to work in the private sector and/or the non-profit sector and see my designs actualized and built or bad policies made better.
My undergraduate training is a concern, however. I know it is traditional to list geography among the fields that urban designers matriculate from. However, I am wondering if these individuals are filling predominantly GIS roles (I don't want to be the GIS guy that creates the computer model of someone else's design). Is there a desire/need/opportunity for human geographers within urban design or is the absence of formal architectural training an immediate hindrance career-wise? Will design roles in private firms be filled exclusively be architects? Will I be able to make substantive design contributions within a private firm or advocacy group?