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Thread: Job market for city planners

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Dec 2008
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    CHICAGO, IL
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    Job market for city planners

    Hey All,
    I was wondering if anybody who has recently gained employment could help me learn more about the Job Market for City Planners.

    My Bachelors Degree is in Urban Planning, UIUC and I'm currently pursuing a MS in Real Estate, Urban Planning concentration. (Completion: June 2009) I have had an internship at a Chicago suburb, and private sector experience at a development company. I'm currently 1.5 years out of college.

    BA Urban Planner GPA: 3.4 MS Real Estate GPA: 3.2

    - Did you find it difficult to find opportunities/career openings?

    - What undergrad/grad degree combination did you have when you applied?

    - How heavily did the employers weigh GPA/School Prestige?

    - What were the skills that municipalities most wanted?

    - What were the skills that private consulting-planning firms wanted?

    - How would you summarize "what exactly got you hired?"

    Thanks ! Please feel free to ask me any questions about RE Dev. in the private sector. Have a Good Holiday!

    Sincerely,

    AJ

  2. #2
    Cyburbian azmodela's avatar
    Registered
    May 2007
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    Arizona
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    What job market?

    There isn't much of one out there, and when you find a job opening, expect a minimum of 50-100 applicants. Of course some are underwater basket weavers, but a good majority will be qualified!

    If you're interested, you're better off waiting out this down turn in a stable position that offers you experience. Once you gain that, and things improve, then go for it.

    There are tons of laid off and out of work planners out there. These people followed the boom in housing, and are now positioning themselves for the boom in CIP and infrastructure planning. That's where things will probably be for awhile, especially if the new administration gets things going like they promise.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    If you are willing to live anywhere and do anything then you should be able to find a job. You might also want to look at city and state "internships," like the Presidential Management Fellows Program. The deadline for this year has past but several other states and cities offer them. I was a Capital City Fellow with DC. Many other fellows were planners. Granted, DOP rarely if ever took fellows but DDOT and Parks did.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Nov 2008
    Location
    Dorchester, Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally posted by azmodela View post
    What job market?

    There isn't much of one out there, and when you find a job opening, expect a minimum of 50-100 applicants. Of course some are underwater basket weavers, but a good majority will be qualified!

    If you're interested, you're better off waiting out this down turn in a stable position that offers you experience. Once you gain that, and things improve, then go for it.

    There are tons of laid off and out of work planners out there. These people followed the boom in housing, and are now positioning themselves for the boom in CIP and infrastructure planning. That's where things will probably be for awhile, especially if the new administration gets things going like they promise.
    I kind of feared someone would say something like this. I previously wanted to become a librarian but got scared stiff of the profession after reading several online message boards talking about hundreds of library science graduates unable to find work. Now that I am hoping to get into planning school next year, I plan to wait out this downtown while in school and hope that planning picks up again by 2011. Luckily there is a side to urban and regional planning that is all about conservation and smart growth, so there probably will still be demand for experts in these.

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