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Thread: Entry level with geography BA, is it even possible?

  1. #26
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by kpoles View post
    I have a B.A in geography , B.A in sociology and a A.S in political science ... i have been working in customer service, property management( my families business) and as socio therapist at a center for trouble youth ,but my true passion is in planning and development . That is what i want to do. I looked around for a wile after graduation but i didnít see anything in my area. So i took the job at the youth center (got to pay the bills ok job as well). At this point i want to get back in the game and Iím willing to go anywhere unlike in the past... any suggestions or ideas

    Young and ambitious
    If your passion is planning, then you might consider pursuing an education in planning. During your pursuit, you will likely serve an internship and meet people who can help you with your career search...after you complete your planning degree. With the ever-tightening job market, a bachelor's in geography and passion won't do much for you. Education, experience, and credentials will. Even for entry level positions, you're competing against people who have all of those things.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian
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    Are you people serious?

    Resumes with masters degrees in urban planning - resumes with MULTIPLE master's degrees are being chucked left and right and you want to debate a BA in geography vs. a BA in planning? Get real.

    My advice to the OP is to do ANYTHING but think about getting an entry level planning job. You need a master's at least to get an unpaid internship anywhere and even then you are on the road to nowhere.

    And someone said go back to grad school to wait out the current job market! Brilliant! Pay 70 grand to re-read Jane Jacobs.

    That is INSANITY. Get as far away from planning as you can and explore your options, while you still have them.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    MA Urban Planning can get internships, don't let him fool you. In much of the Midwest you don't even need an MA to get a planning job.

    That was a little harsh but I think the point is planning isn't all it's cracked up to be. If I had to do it all over again I think I'd do RE development or some sort of design- they actually make decisions that stick.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    BS in Geography with emphasis in Urban Economic Systems and GIS. I started my career in 2000 and was able to get a job rather easily (it was 2000). I had two internships under my belt with two different communities (one of 150k, one of 40k). I had also worked in the private sector for about 6 months before going to public sector work.

    A Bachelors in anything is a tough sell nowadays. The only aspect lacking from my geography degree was law history of planning. Location theory, land use planning, transportation planning, technical writing, market analysis/economic theory, research, GIS, and other skills were provided by my degree. I passed AICP on my first shot despite having my lowly Geography degree from a non-accredited, non-planning school. My first job thrust me in to Historic Preservation. I studied the law and SOI standards, I learned historical architecture and development patterns, I read code and statute until I fully understood process/procedure. The education is only part of it. Sell your drive and your commitment to excel. If you are not already, get comfortable with public speaking. Get comfortable "teaching" others. Learn effective negotiating techniques and project management skills.

    You can find something in planning, It will be hard, it will require an internship with a planning division. It will take time. I believe this to be the same whether you have a Master or Bachelor degree and whether it is in Geography or Urban Planning.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Kingmak's avatar
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    We're actually looking to hire a planning tech in my department. Associates required, Bachelors preferred. Doesn't pay too much, but you get experience and it beats working for free. I'll post it when its up on our site, but contact me if you want more info.

  6. #31
    Member
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    Very conflicting opinions in this thread, but I'm glad some people have the same questions. I've posted my inquiry on the student lounge before - I'm halfway done an MSc in resource management but I just find my field dry and dull and the field of planning, urban design and the built environment infinitely more interesting. At every opportunity I can in my coursework I will seek out and write about planning issues within a city, while I begrudgingly continue to finish my master's degree in a field I have little love for. I will take some of the advice here to see if I can ever push my transition into more of a planning role. My goal is to get into a municipal department in more of an environmental / GIS role and see if I can take on any planning work from colleagues and slowly gain some experience and credibility in this sector. Will stay on the forum for the next few years to update on how this progress is coming along.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by crummmountain View post
    Are you people serious?

    Resumes with masters degrees in urban planning - resumes with MULTIPLE master's degrees are being chucked left and right and you want to debate a BA in geography vs. a BA in planning? Get real.

    My advice to the OP is to do ANYTHING but think about getting an entry level planning job. You need a master's at least to get an unpaid internship anywhere and even then you are on the road to nowhere.

    And someone said go back to grad school to wait out the current job market! Brilliant! Pay 70 grand to re-read Jane Jacobs.

    That is INSANITY. Get as far away from planning as you can and explore your options, while you still have them.
    No, it's not "insanity." I have a BA in Geography (GIS) and Community/Environmental Planning. I got an internship at a local transit agency and was able to work for them full-time temporarily after that as a planner. While I don't have a graduate education, I now have actual planning experience. While I have yet to secure a permanent position, I have been offered interviews on two of the four positions I've applied for (the two I interviewed for were transportation, the other two rejected were land use/environmental-- so woop, big surprise), and I can bet that the vast majority of other interviewees all had masters degrees. It IS exceedingly difficult, don't get me wrong...but not impossible as crummmountain makes it sound.

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