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Thread: Timeframe for when one should have a planning job after school

  1. #1
         
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    Is there a general time frame for when a person should have a planning job after getting out of school? And if so would taking refresher classes be a good investment?

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Both times I graduated (undergraduate and grad school), it took me about six months to land a job. After grad school, I had the experience of my first job under my belt, and I did get offers early on, but that time I decided I wanted to get a job someplace where I wanted to live, rather than someplace where I merely endured until my resume got good and fat.

  3. #3
    While in college, you should pursue internships, even if they are unpaid. The experience really gives you an edge over other people competing for entry-level positions. At entry-level, every bit of experience you can show on your resume gives you the edge over someone with no experience. It's tough to work and carry a full load of units but it pays off in the long run. Most agencies want an intern to put in 10-20 hours a week. My employers were really flexible with hours, especially during finals. I wouldn't pursue an internship until after completing your first year of undergraduate work.

  4. #4
    Just keep up in the field. Journals, articles, books, etc. Especially legal interpretations. It took me around a year, even longer, to land a job in the field after grad school, despite myriad positive internships. Few entry level positions, and massive budget cuts in the Pac NW. It really depends upon the area of the country - the field of planning goes through ups and downs in terms of how hated it is in certain states. I'd be careful of going into the private sector, especially the development arena, until you've been able to get your feet wet in the public sector - especially in the current planning arena.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I had a job in the field a month before I officially graduated in Dec. 1998. This was the semester I was working on my "thesis project", and had actually completed it by the time I had acquired the position.

    I had the internship experience however, and this most likely helped when I began looking for 'real' employment. Also, the job market here has been good for planners lately. I have quickly progressed through the ranks (essentially to keep me from accepting employment elsewhere). I've had three job offers in the last couple months. When my employer realized what could happen. They prompted me to keep me.

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