Hello Cyburbia members. This is my first post on Cyburbia and it is to help my girlfriend who recently graduated with an Masters in City and Regional Planning degree. First, I apologize for the long post but would really appreciate your help. As many of you are aware, looking for planning jobs is almost impossible right now especially for someone fresh out of college without couple years of job expierence. My gf has been trying very hard for a year now to find a full time job, but she hasn’t been able to land one except for several paid/unpaid internships she has been doing. It’s been tough for me to see her struggle so much especially since she wants to work not to make money (although she needs to, to pay off her loans), but because she loves her field and wants to make a difference.
As a backup plan and since she wanted to study urban design, she applied to couple of one year MUD programs. And she recently found out she got into a program. Now my question to you is…should she attend the MUD program?
Her main goal even before doing her Masters in City and Regional Planning program was to do MUD. However, since her bachelor degree was in business which doesn’t have anything to with MUD, Arch, or LA, she couldn’t do a masters in Arch, LA, or urban design. Therefore she took the route of Masters in City and Regional Planning which she loved and tried to focus on urban design classes instead.
To help her with the decision she has ahead of her, I came across Cyburbia. I used to search function and came across several old posts from 2007 and even 2002 with information about the MUD program. From what I have been reading in these old posts, it seems like MUD program is not really a Masters but more of a certificate. One of the members quoted the following…
“I asked him about the career prospects in urban design with a dual MUP & MUD background. He told me bluntly that I would need an architecture background to deal with real urban design. Of course, he also told me not to discount urban design as a career - an MUP is valuable in the sense that I can help communities draft urban desgn guidelines. If you love policy, then stick with the MUP. But if you want to do the real sketching/rendering/drafting/CAD, then you need more than an MUD.”
The quote was from 2002. Does that still hold today? My gf is not really into the policies but more into the designing aspect such as sketching/rendering/drafting. My first reaction when I found out she got into the MUD program was total excitement because I knew that’s what she wanted to do. However reading posts on Cyburbia, I am not so sure anymore if she should spend $50k for a degree that might not even help her with what she wants to do.
I know those quotes are old, but does it still hold weight now? If she has both her Masters in City and Regional Planning and MUD degree, can she apply for Urban Design jobs and do the actual design work? Or would she be in the same boat right now looking for planning jobs and losing out on urban design jobs to MArch and MLA students even though she has a degree in MUD? Or with the MUD degree, can she go out and really do urban design jobs and work for urban design private firms?
I know the easy answer might be for her to go get her MArch and MLA degree if she really wants to do design, however that’s another three years (plus one year to apply) and probably 100k+ in more loans that will be already added on to her current debt from school.
Any help and insight will really be appreciated.