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Thread: How much PhD holders would earn?

  1. #1

    How much PhD holders would earn?

    I am planning to pursue a Phd after my master's degree.....But I have no idea how the job market is like for people with Phd in urban planning......
    How much the urban planning professor would earn? What about people working with reserch institution? Do they earn much higher than the people from academia? How tough is it to get a job?

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    At least from the public sector perspective, I would highly recommend gaining experience in the work force, assuming you don't already have that, while (or before) you pursue a Ph.D. The reason I say that is because it can look very odd to an employer when someone with a Ph.D. applies for a Planner I or Planning Tech position. Now, if you have some quality years of experience as a planner, led some projects, and get a Ph.D., then you've got quite an impressive resume that should enable you to apply for a senior position, perhaps even a director's position. But I can't really speak for the private sector. Perhaps someone can offer some insight there?

    As far as pay is concerned, I would think you'd be well-compensated, but don't let that be the deciding factor on whether to get a doctorate

    Oh, and don't forget about AICP If you want to continue to move up as a planner, it certainly helps to have those 4 letters behind your name.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 28 Jun 2008 at 11:56 AM. Reason: seq. posts

  3. #3
    Thanks for your reply...

    I am incoming grad student at Penn. I am deciding whether I should do Urban Development with Real Estate Certificate Program or Urban Design Concentration...

    I have a concerete plan to pursue a Phd....but what area I concentrate for my MCP will decide what area I am gonna focus for my doctoral degree. After having read some stories about unhappy planners, I am really nervous to make this desicion....

    If I happen to do Uran Development with Real Estate, I might focus on real estate development and try to get into either Urban Planning PhD program or Business School PhD program. On the other hand, my undergrad background is architecture...and since UPenn is so strong with Urban Design and have facilities to support research in that area, I feel like....I should take advantage of it.... But..I think a career in real estate development would be more interesting and higher paid than in urban design.

    What concentration area looks more promising and can offer more opportunities for PhD ppl? Although the pay is not going to be the determining factor, I really want to have a decent living....I want to be a tenured prof at school while doing some consulting work with private firms...

    Please feel free to give me any suggestions! Thanks.

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    Are there many PhDs working as everyday planners? My perception is that most are working in academic and for think-tanks.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    May 2004
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    My impression is that a PhD is needed for an academic career path, but it is contraindicated for Real World work. (All the PhDs I've ever known have trouble with basic common sense concerns, such as telling time.)

    Can't imagine the tuition dollars would pay off inside of 20 years. YMMV.

  6. #6
    Get a doctorate because you want to do research, not for the money or a private sector job. It will pay off over time, but it will take years before that happens.

    Take it from a person with a doctorate (and a professor).

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