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Thread: Recent grad: should I get my masters?

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    Recent grad: should I get my masters?

    It has been one year since I graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BS in City & Regional Planning. Like many others, I have had no luck in landing a job in planning or related field. Should I go back to Cal Poly and get a Masters in Planning? Does anyone know how long it would take to get a Masters? Since I received my undergraduate degree in planning, is it possible to get a Masters in Planning in one year?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Planning graduate programs are two years. I would go for it. The job market has to improve in that time, and you will have better credentials.

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    Are you sure the masters programs are two years if you attend the same university as you did for a undergraduate in planning. I believe many of the classes I had during my junior and senior years had grad students in them.

    Thanks

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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    You could get on the Cal Poly planning program web page, or you could take the word of someone in Kansas who has never been to California.

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Planning graduate programs are two years. I would go for it. The job market has to improve in that time, and you will have better credentials.
    There is mounting evidence we may fall back into another recession soon similar to the 1980/1982 double recession. Personally I don't think the planning profession is going to rebound for another 3-4 years. I would either earn your planning degree at another school (for variety AND to expand your network even more) or I would go in to another related field (architecture, policy, finance, etc.) to diversify your transferable skills. Regardless, now is the time to be earning and working on those internships to beef up your portfolio.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  6. #6
    Cyburbian LTKS's avatar
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    I did undergrad (not in planning) at Cal Poly and started the Master's planning program there immediately thereafter. I left that program after a year - wasn't for me. I imagine you'll find a lot of that program repetitive and could really benefit from a different perspective. Do research and find out what programs best suit your interests and what you want to get out of the program.

    I don't think it is a bad idea in general, although if it is just to hold out until the job market gets better, that might not be the best solution. Is there another degree, somewhat related or transferable to planning, that you'd be interested in (design, transportation, public policy, business, etc)? That might be a better direction, as you have the core planning skills and may somewhat be repeating what you already studied. If you could expand on your interests, that might be more worth your time and money. Otherwise, find an internship until you can find something permanent and for pay.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    There is mounting evidence we may fall back into another recession soon similar to the 1980/1982 double recession. Personally I don't think the planning profession is going to rebound for another 3-4 years. I would either earn your planning degree at another school (for variety AND to expand your network even more) or I would go in to another related field (architecture, policy, finance, etc.) to diversify your transferable skills. Regardless, now is the time to be earning and working on those internships to beef up your portfolio.
    Agreed. And I chose not to go to SLO for my planning grad as I didn't think the program was all that hot, and the relative isolation made for few grad internships. If you must incur more debt, plenty of other quality places on west coast. But to repeat, IMHO I think we are starting to understand that the economy is in transition, and that transition might mean fewer planners for a while, maybe 4-7 years. 7 being quite pessimistic (and my glass is half full, but half full of tainted groundwater from big ag...)

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