From what I see here, consulting work seems to have been hit as hard if not more than public sector work. I would like to explore consulting work after 5 years in the public sector, as I really enjoy project management and feel enthusiastic when I am able to move forward on projects. I am trying to determine specifically if pursuing an MUD is a good path to get into consulting. It would take me 1 1/2 years (part-time) and cost me at least $25,000 in tuition and lost wages going to part-time work.
Elsewhere in this forum, I have read mixed reviews of the value of an MUD for a non-designer. I.e. one year won't make you a designer; LA's and arcitects will do the design work anyway, etc.
It seems to me many of the areas I am interested in - particularly sustainability of urban areas; infill, redevelopment and TOD; walking and cycling; area and neighborhood planning - have a strong design element. As a policy MA, I do not have skills in drawing and design, but find myself thinking very spatially, enjoy GIS, and managed a form-based code update with design support. I also found I had a better grip on the holistic elements of downtown design (retail market viability, design of vibrant public space, how parking functions, infill opportunities, etc.) than did a professional designer we hired. All of this led to an interest in urban design.
That said, I particularly like working with people, like the charette process, and don't have the intent to be a design technician at a computer all day (even if I could).
Will the time, money, and late nights at a computer be worth it if I pursue an M.U.D? And will there be relevant jobs in the next couple years? I'd appreciate perspective from consultants in particular.