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Thread: Entry level job with only a B.A.

  1. #1
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    Entry level job with only a B.A.

    Hi, I'm currently a undergrad Jr. and am debating whether I should apply to grad school or get a planning job after college. I live in California and I am very interested in working somewhere within the state. I basically have two questions:

    1. What is the chance of getting a decent planning job straight out of college with a BA in California?

    2. Is going to grad school worth the time/money and effort or is it more important to just get experience in the field?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Suggest you start looking for jobs as though you have the BA and are looking. There's probably a state assn website and a few others that post openings. (Here we have a township assn, a former quasi-private entity, and many local papers with on-line classifieds.)

    In my view, grad school (and to some extent undergrad) provides a set of initials and networking. Everything I've actually used on the job has been learned there. Not surprising considering that my instructors were entrenched academics with no immediate real world experience.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    1. i was able to land a decent job straight out of my undergrad. but it wasn't in california. don't know how things are there. having several internships during school was instrumental in getting the job.

    2. i assume you mean a masters in planning? you're probably going to need both experience and the degree later to climb the ladder. i think some work experience before getting a masters makes you more competitive during the admissions process, and even more valuable once you've completed your masters.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by razgriz View post
    Hi, I'm currently a undergrad Jr. and am debating whether I should apply to grad school or get a planning job after college. I live in California and I am very interested in working somewhere within the state. I basically have two questions:

    1. What is the chance of getting a decent planning job straight out of college with a BA in California?

    2. Is going to grad school worth the time/money and effort or is it more important to just get experience in the field?
    1. Depends on where and what you want to do with a BA. Is it a BA with something related to planning? Is it a BA not related at all? Do you want to work in private and public sector? You can get a public sector job with just a BA but climbing up the ladder as stated may be harder, but i do think possible with AICP. I landed a private sector gig here with just my BS.

    2. Depends again. Private sector doesn't necessarily need a masters degree, but it is great if you have it. As stated earlier, go to work first than to the masters. It looks better on your application and in the long run you are probably better for it.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  5. #5
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    I will be graduating with a BA for Environmental Studies and Planning with an urban and regional planning concentration. I would like to work for the public and hopefully make a difference. I'm still young and idealistic and i hope to, as one of my professors put it, "Save the world one community at a time"

    Thanks for all the input. It definitely sounds like a lot of the real learning goes on in the field and a Masters in Planning is something more necessary to move up than actually necessary to do a good job as a planner.

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