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Thread: GIS before planning?

  1. #1
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    GIS before planning?

    Planning seems to have everything I want in a career; dealing with infrastructure, systems, people and their interaction. Everything except for available jobs, especially for those just entering the profession. As I'm just beginning the process of being educated with regards to planning, are there other skills to develop or avenues of education to pursue which would better equip me for the planning profession? I'm thinking in particular of GIS but I would be grateful for any advice for someone looking to enter this field.

  2. #2
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    There are lots of different niches in planning that you could have some experience in... real estate, public administration, economics, geography, the list goes on. The truth is that we are a jack of many trades. If you like GIS, in most programs you can take classes in GIS while getting your degree. Depending on what position you take, GIS could be a large or small part of your daily tasks.

    In the end, get a background in what you like. If you like planning get that degree and figure out what you want to go with it, when the time comes. Good luck.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally posted by Gravyboat View post
    Planning seems to have everything I want in a career; dealing with infrastructure, systems, people and their interaction. Everything except for available jobs, especially for those just entering the profession. As I'm just beginning the process of being educated with regards to planning, are there other skills to develop or avenues of education to pursue which would better equip me for the planning profession? I'm thinking in particular of GIS but I would be grateful for any advice for someone looking to enter this field.
    I don't know how it works in the states but here in Turkey, GIS helps a lot. I'm still an undergraduate student and very interested in GIS. ( We only have 1 class related to GIS in my department) This interest kept me learning the advanced techniques that a GIS software can provide and now even before I finish my school I got a well-paid job. I work for 2 days / week and get more of those people who works 5/week in under-paid jobs.

    I believe that GIS is one of the most powerful tools that a planner can have on his/her side.

  4. #4

    Skills

    Planning consists of an appalling amount of practicum. GIS is a no-brainer. I've found Adobe to be handy, as well as graphic design skills. Expect a lot of meetings, so getting good at PowerPoint is not a bad idea. Excel has paid high dividends. Google Earth is worth becoming familiar with.

    Things I wish I'd known more about: Graphic design, Microsoft Access, VBA scripting, or SOME programming language for integrating scripts into GIS. Google Sketch-Up is handy if you are FAST at it.

    If you are going to work with engineers, familiarity with MicroStation or TransCad are handy. If you are going to work with traffic modelers, familiarity with Synchro, Vissim, or CubeVoyager are all good.

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