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Thread: Best-fit careers for undergraduate urban affairs/planning

  1. #1
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    Best-fit careers for undergraduate urban affairs/planning

    Two years ago, I graduated university with a Bachelor in Urban Affairs and a concentration of Land Planning and also received a certificate in G.I.S. In addition to this, I achieved a minor in German but as I have yet to find a job in the field, I am considering other fields.

    Unfortunately, when I made the mid-college decision to buckle down so-to-speak and choose a career, I had it in my mind that urban planning would be more about the actual architecture and building structure/form than what I found, but found out that it was more politically intense than I enjoy, yet decided to push through anyway. The G.I.S. aspect of the field was most interesting but am yet not able to find a job there either.

    Does anyone know of any really good transitional fields where I might be able to use a passion for building/ancient history/foreign languages and an urban planning degree (found out my school's program isn't accredited as well)? Any help is appreciated and I do understand that this is an odd question, not meant to be insulting to the planning profession.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    First, no offense taken. Planning attracts - and repels - all kinds. G.I.S. or design work for an architecture/planning firm, maybe a special district or non-profit (historically significant architecture, etc.) might be good transitions but from your post I gather you've been looking at those.

    I would focus on those less "public" options since you dislike the politics, and keep trying. With that said, have you thought about teaching? I know it's not a viable option for everyone...
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  3. #3
    Urban planning is political by nature, since it involves public spaces and/or often a large scope of development that requires decisions by politicians, such as land annexations and expanded service provision. A strict urban design/architecture firm will place you further away from the politics, but you'll also be that much further away from seeing anything you work on built.

    In any case, your last paragraph leads me to think you're leaning more toward anthropology, maybe cultural anthropology. Anthropology is very often a graduate-level endeavor, and I know many anthro departments accept students from different undergrad degree backgrounds.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MrHobbit View post

    ...

    Unfortunately, when I made the mid-college decision to buckle down so-to-speak and choose a career, I had it in my mind that urban planning would be more about the actual architecture and building structure/form than what I found, but found out that it was more politically intense than I enjoy, yet decided to push through anyway. ...

    Does anyone know of any really good transitional fields where I might be able to use a passion for building/ancient history/foreign languages and an urban planning degree (found out my school's program isn't accredited as well)? Any help is appreciated and I do understand that this is an odd question, not meant to be insulting to the planning profession.

    Thanks.
    Yup. Planning is problematic. Nonetheless, I agree with the cultural anthro or some specialized sociology or even just history, and you can already leverage your planning degree to enter these fields wrt the built enviornment and human interactions.

    There should be lots of encouragement to chart your path with an idea in mind to combine two disciplines, and if there is not that is a strong signal that school is not for you.

    I don't see a problem here at all and I don't blame anybody for avoiding this profession - but you'll find later that the education and profession combines well with others and it will all work out.

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