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Thread: M.U.P / M.B.A. combination?

  1. #1
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    M.U.P / M.B.A. combination?

    There are obvious benefits of holding an M.B.A by itself in any job market, especially now with the challenge of cutting costs and becoming more efficient of every aspect of business and government, however I am not sure of the exact benefits of going an extra year to gain an M.B.A along with an M.U.P.

    The program I am interested in (at the University of Michigan) describes careers in urban economic revitalization, something that Detroit is in dire need of. I was wondering if anyone could provide some insight into whether or not obtaining a dual degree in business and urban planning would ultimately be beneficial. As well, if anyone knows about other dual degree programs around the U.S. that I could compare to that would be great.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    What are your career goals? What is your previous academic and professional experience? What do you want to be when you grow up?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    I'm not personally familiar with it but it would seem to be beneficial if you're interested in working with private sector real estate development. There are several Planning/Law dual degrees out there as well. Now that I am pigeonholed as a municipal planner I would seriously consider some sort of dual degree.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    When I was in graduate school for planning, I knew a few students who already had their MBA and decided to go back and get the MUP. Generally, there seemed to be two reasons for getting their MUP: A) They wanted a pretty drastic career change because they were tired of the corporate grind, or B) They felt that MBAs were a dime-a-dozen and were having a hard time finding satisfactory employment and wanted to try another route altogether - maybe something closer to their heart. I never ran into another student who felt that an MBA/MUP combination would make them exceptionally more marketable in the world of planning.

    If your long-term career goals involve working mainly in the public sector or in some sort of policy capacity and you wanted to supplement the MUP with something, there is always the MPA.

    If you want to make yourself a bit more marketable in both the public and private sectors, personally, I would suggest something a bit more focused than the MBA and go for a straight-up Masters of Accountancy, Masters in Tax, or Masters in Finance and avoid the generalized MBA. If you don't have enough accounting credits from undergrad to go with either of these routes, just having a second bachelor's degree in accounting to supplement what you already have would be just as useful IMO (this would be my route if my position were ever eliminated). After I was hired, I was told by my supervisors that just having a few undergraduate accounting courses helped me stand out above the other candidates for my position who didn't (I work in a planning department, but on the economic development side of things).

    In the private planning world, I can see how the more specialized knowledge of development financing and/or accounting rules and regulations would be especially useful.

    Even if you are interested in not-for-profit work, knowing the accounting regulations specific to community development agencies or large grantmaking foundations combined with having the ability to know the planning side of things could be an asset as well. I've seen some pretty interesting job descriptions at large foundations where they want you to know the planning or social policy but they also have listed that their ideal candidate be a CPA.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Have you considered the MPA instead of those two?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    UNC Chapel Hill offers that combination

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally posted by The District View post
    What are your career goals? What is your previous academic and professional experience? What do you want to be when you grow up?

    I will graduate this year with a Bachelors in Political Science and minor in Economics. For the past 6 months I have been working on a political campaign for the Michigan Senate, 29th district. I mainly got into urban planning through various political events/fundraisers where I was able to communicate with many people who held positions that involve development and planning in the Grand Rapids area. The candidate I am working for was a former City Commissioner of Grand Rapids and he has given me some excellent insight into what community development is about.

    First working for a public or private sector planning group is the goal. Eventually, I would really like to start my own economic development company. For this a degree is not needed, just the proper resources, contacts, and knowledge. It is more of a long term goal than an immediate, however it may ultimately be what I work towards.

    I guess I am still trying to fine tune my exact interests in planning, but then again thats part of what school is for.

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