I've worked as a Transit Planner for a year, and as a county planner for a little over two now. Recently I've started to become more restless at my job. Like most people I want better opportunities and I feel like I'm sitting around waiting for others to retire. Even with moving up in the department, I'm largely uninterested in the mostly short-range planning that we do. Being that work for a county, the vast majority of our workload is not the kind of exciting projects that draw many to planning. While some unincorporated parts of the county are suburban, most of our work centers around small subdivisions in rural areas for mobile homes etc. Our county has a separate department that administers most of the grants and a quasi-public agency that does economic and industrial development. While I know this isn't the case for other planners, I feel like I'm just processing paperwork at my job.
After recently not getting a job I interviewed for because I simply didn't have the long range planning experience the position called for, I've been looking at a change of pace. I know that the grass is always greener on the other side, but I feel like getting into the Economic Development side of things would be exciting. I really have not been able to find a concrete degree requirement to get into this though. I did micro and macro in undergrad, but my BS was in Political Science and Masters was in Public Administration. Do you need a Masters in Applied Economics or similar field to get into this kind of job? How does the job differ from planning? Is it accurate that Economic Developers are largely administering grants, recruiting businesses, and analyzing the local economy?