I am an undergraduate student scheduled to graduate next Spring (2015). I am very confused on what I should do after I graduate. Do I want to go to graduate school? Yes. Do I want to begin working in a full time planning position? Yes. As you can read, my indecisiveness knows no bounds.
Nevertheless, I am hesitant to attend graduate school because of the 1.2 Trillion dollar student loan bubble that will likely burst sometime in the near future. The graduate school I would attend is fairly inexpensive (350 per credit hour - graduate); and the total 42 credit hour program will cost me about $28,000 and take 2 years to complete. I want to get a MURP degree with a concentration in Transportation. I believe transportation is the best concentration field for urban planning; I can explain why I believe that later, if you want me to.
Additionally, I want to begin working immediately in order to pay down some debt that I have already amassed. I am really nervous and excited to begin working in the planning field, even if I am reviewing and making site plans, or zoning ordinances, all day. I've started applying to positions posted on governmentjobs.com, planning.org, and planetizen.com 9 moths in advance.
What would you do? I realize that to be a professional planner, you have to have a MUP, MURP, or MCP degree, or a BA, and a ton of experience. However, I don't want to be $60,000 in student debt, and only get job offers only $40,000 per year. I realize planning won't make you rich, but I don't want to be "barely getting by" with a MURP degree, especially when I could have gained two years of experience and made a decent salary during that time spent in grad school.
Lastly, a degree does not equal a job; and you will only be paid what you are worth to an employer (private sector). Employers compete for labor, but if there is an over saturation of laborers in the labor market, which some could argue there is, then I should probably be happy with what I get. I am anxious as HECK Please help, all comments are welcome