Very new to planning and any advice about how to break into the field is really appreciated. I just finished my bachelors in geography at the University of Washington in December and had been planning on applying to their mup program to begin my education. Felt I was very well qualified for the program other than my lack of experience. Took as many classes in related areas as an undergrad as I could, but it is no bachelors in planning (alas!). I just assumed that the two years of debt was the admission price to this career.
I spent about 6 months trying to find an internship in the area, and the near universal response was incredulity, that internships were gone, and that I was competing with people who had been in the field for years, who were laid off, etc. I eventually had to take an unrelated job to pay the bills but still thought I wouldn't have much of a problem getting in.
So of course, I didn't get in. If I weren't married, and if I weren't already 28, I would love to join peacecorps or even the navy to gain some experience. But as it is I'm here while husband completes his PhD, hence the reason I only applied to this program.
I'm still driven to make this my career, and I plan on taking some GIS classes and continuing to look for an internship. So my question is this: Is a master's degree in planning a necessity to work in the public sector? or rather, do any jobs exist that I will only need a bachelor's (not in planning) for? Or, do these jobs exist and are being taken by imminently more experienced planners in this economy, and should I expect that this will be the situation for years to come, so
just suck it up and apply again next year?
Any other advice about this would be great.