I'm finishing up my B.S. in Civil Engineering within the year and considering my graduate school options. My focus is in transportation engineering, so I'm certainly interested in transportation planning at a local level, but I'm also considering an MPA dual degree to work toward planning policy analysis for a state or federal agency, not necessarily even transportation related.
I'm well aware that the planning industry for fresh graduates is currently a rough place to start, so I'm considering playing it safe by sticking with an M.S. in Civil plus the MPA. UT-Austin is really the only school that offers this dual option at a reasonable (in-state) tuition for me. I've always been interested in planning and I know that a career as strictly an engineer is not for me, but I'm also practically minded and don't want to waste money on a degree in planning if the job market is still expected to be stale within the next 2-3 years.
I've heard from engineering consulting firms that they don't like to hire people that aren't fully committed to choosing between engineering and planning, which I find ridiculous. I just wonder if that's the situation for planning firms too? I know I would enjoy pursuing a master's in planning much more than engineering, but I'd appreciate hearing some experienced perspectives on what option will give me the greatest flexibility and most value.