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Thread: Job opportunities for graduates of masters of planning (Canadian degree) in Australia

  1. #1
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    Job opportunities for graduates of masters of planning (Canadian degree) in Australia

    Hello!

    I will be graduating with a M.A. in Planning next year and will be moving to Australia (area to be determined). I was wondering if it is difficult for a recent foreign (Canada) masters graduate to get work in Australia?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    It really depends on where you lob up and their needs at the time, but generally speaking, there is a shortage of planners nearly everywhere in Australia. There should be plenty of opportunities for you to look at.

    You have some working OS and immigration advantages compared to US Cyburbians too (sorry non-Commonwealth types). There are some good job links on the Western Australian thread if you want to check those out for the range of opportunities available.

  3. #3
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    hi Rem,

    thanks for your advice! I hear Perth is in great need of planners at the moment. Might check into that. However, I am finishing my M.A. in the summer of 2009 so the demand might change by then?

    Is there any skill set, aka urban design or GIS that is particularly in demand within planning in Australia? In other words what skills will make me stand out from the rest when I move over there and apply for work!

    Thanks~

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    martinplanner there is a very wide range of shortages. I guess the most accute is in development control, but I don't suggest you start trying to learn Western Australia's statutory planning regime (unless you have a deep and abiding love for that area of planning). Development control expertise probably needs to be learnt on the job to a large extent, so if you like that area of work - be prepared to take an entry level job (which you will win based on your enthusiasm, good grades and pre-graduation work experience ).

    The advice I give to anyone thinking about career choices is to pursue what really turns you on first and worry about career opportunities later. If you are excited about a particular speciality, motivation, self-development, enthusiasm, knowledge etc. take care of themselves. Because of the shortage over here, the opportunities will take care of themself as well.

    You mention Urban Design as an option for selling yourself. If that is an area you can devote the energy to, UD is in short supply. Hailing from Vancouver gives you the opportunity to sell yourself around the successes of that city in new urbanism, transit (it is called public transport in Australia BTW), regeneration, consolidation (densification/intensification) and so forth. Some Vancouverites have a reputation in the profession over here. Gordon Price and Joe Hruda certainly do (at least on the East Coast) and new urbanism is alive and well in WA. If you can show some work experience on high profile projects or with high profile profesionals from Vancouver, that would be a pretty good selling point IMO.

    GIS does not yet the same profile or level of application in Australia as it does in the US. GIS remains largely a presentation tool (though analytical tools are not uncommon) and tends to be run by GIS techo. experts rather than planners. It may be due to the absence of some of the rich data sources you have availabe in North America. If that is what floats your boat however, WA is a land of opportunity and maybe you will be the person to open the eyes of the profession to its possibilities.

    I don't think there is too much likelihood of the boom being over in WA before you get there. Even on our current parlous economic times, WA enjoys a resources boom fuelled economy supplemented by a beneficial national tax regime (basically they get much more back in Federal tax spending than is generated in receipts). The tax benefits are set in legislative stone and the resources boom is fuelled by asians that want to eat and own as much as Americans. Neither will change in the short term.

    Australia has a skills shortage and a particular problem with the scale of our baby boomer bubble. There is no shortage of work, even if you end up picking fruit until the right planning job comes along - you won't have to live on the street or starve.

  5. #5
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    Hi Rem,

    Thank you for the in-depth explanation of the situation in WA and Australia in general. I fully agree with what you had to say. I definitely want to go into land use planning. So an entry level job will have to do. I am trying to diversify my experience in my Masters program so at least I have some current work experience. I actually em doing a internship with the City of Vancouver looking at best practices in commercial streetscape design and em working and will be working for a professor for over a year on a project as a researcher (lots of transferable skills). So yes, I hope taking courses from all these planning gurus and in the city of Vancouver will be an advantage. Also, I am banking on having an M.A. will give me some sort of advantage. GIS is just a skill I picked up along the way that is on the resume.

    Now its just finishing up and getting over there. I was toying with the idea of completing my Masters professional project in Auzzi. Have to contact someone over there soon though if I want to plan for this for next year. Also waiting to hear back from immigration. My gf (soon to be wife) is a civil engineer so I am just going to be the dependent on the app. I dont see why we wont get it? A young planner and engineer....seems a given?

    Anyways thanks for all your info. Keep in touch, gregori8@interchange.ubc.ca

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    Goood luck - you can PM or email me (see member list for info.) if you want any off-board advice.

    PS. I'm not sure it is wise to put an email address into your post - may lead to lots of incoming emails for you that you didn't want.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    We don't encourage users to post their email addresses in public. However, the Forums incorporate a hack that converts a posted email address to an image, so it will less likely to be grabbed by address harvesting spiders and bots.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    GIS is a joke in Oz. Planners dont do it.

    They can have people with TAFE degrees do it for 40k a year. That is why.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by expat123 View post
    GIS is a joke in Oz. Planners dont do it.

    They can have people with TAFE degrees do it for 40k a year. That is why.
    Planners dont get properly trained in GIS. I did one subject in my 5 yr uni degree and somehow managed to pass without knowing much at all. Its only been from now and then using it on the job that i have some clue how to use it.

    Plus GIS officers get paid crappo in planning. You have to be in geology or something like that to get decent money as a GIS officer.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

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