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Thread: Thoughts on job market in China?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Thoughts on job market in China?

    I'm interested in getting a job in planning/real estate areas in China after getting the masters in urban planning...is there a big demand to hire people with such degree in China (or other countries in Asia)??
    I've always been interested in working abroad in China...I've also studied mandarin throughout college years and I plan to keep it up....

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Hi

    I think that there is a certain demand for real estate in China, particularly the larger cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, etc. I have a couple of friends who are there at the moment working in property management, development and research roles.

    You will also have to realise that "planning" in most of Asia equals to physical planning / master planning / urban design. Part of the reason stems from the fact that you will likely be building new cities / expanding suburbs from scratch, rather than work within existing urban spaces. The other part is mostly due to the political climate and the way things are done in Asia.

    In chinese, planning is called "shi4 qu1 gui1 hua4", which literally translates to city improvement / beautification. So as a planner, you're called a "shi qu gui hua shi", meaning a city beautification professional. As such, you need to have autocad/photoshop/design and, the latest trend, 3d visualisation skills to work as a planner. And it's likely that you will work in the private sector in an international consultant based in China. Check out some of these international practices' websites to see what sort of projects they do and whether you have the required skillsets they want.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    thanks for your input

    Quote Originally posted by joshww81 View post
    Hi

    I think that there is a certain demand for real estate in China, particularly the larger cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, etc. I have a couple of friends who are there at the moment working in property management, development and research roles.

    You will also have to realise that "planning" in most of Asia equals to physical planning / master planning / urban design. Part of the reason stems from the fact that you will likely be building new cities / expanding suburbs from scratch, rather than work within existing urban spaces. The other part is mostly due to the political climate and the way things are done in Asia.

    In chinese, planning is called "shi4 qu1 gui1 hua4", which literally translates to city improvement / beautification. So as a planner, you're called a "shi qu gui hua shi", meaning a city beautification professional. As such, you need to have autocad/photoshop/design and, the latest trend, 3d visualisation skills to work as a planner. And it's likely that you will work in the private sector in an international consultant based in China. Check out some of these international practices' websites to see what sort of projects they do and whether you have the required skillsets they want.

    Hope this helps.

    So.....would you say that it's better to get a planning degree with design focus?
    I don't have any background in design...and I don't think I'd be that good at it (not artistically talented lol)....

    if you don't mind, could you name a few of those international practices' websites? thanks!!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I agree with everything Josh says. He has worked for a big planning/design firm in Oz and Singapore. Its pretty easy to get a work visa in China my Chinese friends tell me. SOM and HOK have been setting up shop there and they havent seen the massive layoffs like their offices in the US and UK.

    I would say at least learn the design programs (sketchup,autocad, adobe suite). No need for an urban design or LA degree. There is a book called the "Concrete Dragon" by an American planning professor that offers a glimpse of the massive development going on in China. ULI also has an Asian division set up. Check into them.

    Urban Planners/Designers (masterplanners) get paid big $$$ in Asia/Middle East markets when times are good. Housing can be quite expensive though in these regions depending on your lifestyle choices. I can only see the Asian market getting much larger in the future considering Obama and Kevin Rudd owe them some serious dough.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    krbxtigerz, you may wish to check out some of these wiki pages for general information:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_Planning_in_China
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_p...g_in_Singapore

    I'm aware that EDAW and AECOM is active in China. Other design/engineering consultants like ARUP and GHD and architecture firms like Sasaki and Foster are there too. You can google for their respective websites.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by joshww81; 16 Oct 2009 at 5:18 AM.

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