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Thread: Planning in GA vs. Planning in CA

  1. #1
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    Planning in GA vs. Planning in CA

    Hi Fellow Planners,

    A bit of background: I recently graduated with a Bachelor's in planning last May and have been working at a transportation consulting firm for a year in California. I will be a grad student for the next two years specializing in transportation planning. My BF recently moved to Atlanta, GA for an 8-year medical school program, and I'm debating whether or not I should move there after I graduate. My professional networks and local/regional knowledge are all centered around CA.

    I do not know what the job market for planning is like in Atlanta, GA. I'm specifically looking for transportation consulting jobs there. I've always thought that companies and agencies would prefer to hire students and professionals that live in the local area rather than all the way in CA. This is one of my concerns, but is it true?

    Furthermore, I was wondering if someone could help me gauge what my prospects are like if I move to Atlanta. I've done a bit of job searching online, and it looks like the overall pay is relatively lower in GA than in CA. But this is probably because the cost of living is lower in GA. Has anyone had experience in both states or in Georgia in general?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Tenjee

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by tenjee View post
    A bit of background: I recently graduated with a Bachelor's in planning last May and have been working at a transportation consulting firm for a year in California. I will be a grad student for the next two years specializing in transportation planning.
    While working full time for your current firm? You'll have three years of experience when you graduate?

    Quote Originally posted by tenjee View post
    My BF recently moved to Atlanta, GA for an 8-year medical school program
    Emory or Morehouse? Both are very good.

    Quote Originally posted by tenjee View post
    I do not know what the job market for planning is like in Atlanta, GA. I'm specifically looking for transportation consulting jobs there. I've always thought that companies and agencies would prefer to hire student and professionals that live in the local area rather than all the way in CA. This is one of my concerns, but is it true?
    For entry-level or junior staff? Pretty much - no one is going to pay relocation for you. Experience with GDOT is a key factor.

    Quote Originally posted by tenjee View post
    I've done a bit of job searching online, and it looks like the overall pay is relatively lower in GA than in CA. But this is probably because the cost of living is lower in GA.
    Um, duh. You're in San Fran. That ain't the real world.

    Quote Originally posted by tenjee View post
    Has anyone had experience in both states or in Georgia in general?
    Some thoughts:

    - Atlanta is the hub for dark side transportation planning in the southeastern states - lots of firms to consider if you want to stay in the private sector. Back in my ground transportation days, while based here in Atlanta, I worked projects in multiple states.

    - Go here: http://www.dot.ga.gov/PS/Business/Pr...ualConsultants Scroll down to Consultant Info, and then click on Prequalified Firms by Area Class (PFAC). Pick your area(s) of interest from the drop down menu at the top of the page, and that will give you the list of firms to start considering.

    - Your current firm - how large are they? Do they have an office in the Atlanta area? If not, would you considering jumping ship in your current area for one that does? Eventually transferring to Atlanta might be an option to consider.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    My advice: Try to do your summer internship in Atlanta. Spend your summer getting a feel for the place, learn the planning scene, and network. It can't hurt, only help. See if you like it. At the same time, keep in touch with your California network as a fall back. When it comes closer to graduation, apply in both states and evaluate your offers then.

    Good luck! Coming from someone in a long distance relationship with a non-planner myself, 8 years is a looong time to be in a long distance relationship, and flying back and forth all the way from California is not easy :-0

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Learn to chew tabacky

    Here are the networking tools you will need in Georgia:



    with



    and

    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Here are the networking tools you will need in Georgia:
    That's Alabama, fwiw.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Georgia Tech

    Also, have you thought about going to Georgia Tech for grad school? I've heard that their Transportation Planning focus is very strong.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by tenjee View post
    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Tenjee
    Pro Tip: If you are going to ask questions like this, you might want to actually come back and look at the answers. Thanks for wasting my time, kid.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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