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Thread: Planning related jobs with just a BA

  1. #1

    Planning related jobs with just a BA

    I will graduate in a month with a BA in psychology and a minor in sociology. While pursuing my minor in sociology I discovered I was interested in planning the end of my sophomore year but not enough to transfer with 3 semesters to go before graduating.

    I am now very interested in it and would like to get some kind of planning experience to see if it is really something I want to pursue. I was wondering how I could do that without having a BA in urban studies/planning.

    Are AmeriCorp and PeaceCorp good/the only options? As I would like to have, you know, some money.

    In addition my GPA is slightly below a 3.0 right now (hoping to get that fixed with my last semester as my first year wasn't so hot), so that would be another reason I would like planning experience as I believe I would need that boost to get into grad school with my lackluster GPA.

    Thanks for any advice.

    P.S. I am new to the boards so, hello!

  2. #2
    I would suggest pursuing an internship with a planning department. That way, 1) the degree won't matter as much as long as you're really interested in the field, 2) you'll gain experience, 3) and most importantly you can see if planning is a field you really want to be in.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    I think you are going to have a tough time breaking into the field. You will be competing with people that have Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in City and Regional Planning. Even an internship will not replace the in class knowledge that these individuals will have. If you pursue the internship, you will realize if this is the right career for you or not. Then, I would recommend you go back to school and get your degree.

    I know some will disagree with my comments, but as a hiring manager, if I have a choice between a person with an interest in planning and a person that has invested time and money into getting acquainted with a discipline, I will choose the later person almost every time.
    Satellite City Enabler

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2007
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    find a large MPO and get an internship

    as I am learning apparently the masters is your more certain foot in the door, but really necessary to being a planner. But it may be necessary to getting a job inn planning. Welcome to planning.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Dec 2006
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    midwest
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    I've been working as a planner for 3 years now with a BAUP. You can practice planning with just an undergrad planning degree, but it is becoming more and more difficult to move up the corporate ladder today without a masters. I am starting to interview for public sector positions, and have learned that I really have to know EVERYTHING about the community, and set myself apart from graduate students with 0 years of experience if I want to be shortlisted for a second interview. The job search almost seems like an re-election campaign: and that I have to win over the right people to move up. It is tough, but it can be done

    Personally, I still think it's a bunch of BS: planning doesn't have licensure requirements (with the exception of NJ) and the profession is not as highly regarded by the outside world as engineering or architecture, so to compensate the entry planning degree is typically a masters. I dont have any intention of going back for a second degree in planning: I really wasn't impressed with the first degree and I do not want to deal with 2 more years of theory after I have been practicing for a few years.

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