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Thread: Current planning job prospects in Canada

  1. #1

    Current planning job prospects in Canada

    Hello,

    I am writing to seek some advice about current job prospects in the field of Urban Planning in Canada. I have over 10 yrs of experience in architecture/structural engineering. Interestingly, with the time; I have realized my fascination towards planning so I am looking forward to make a carrier switch by studying Masters in Urban Planning.
    However, I am unclear about current Job scenario in Canada, given the recessionary times in the market.
    Even though I have relevant industry experience, I am bit worried about having no experience in Urban Planning in particular, when I graduate, that might be required to apply for a job. It could become a demerit for me to start a new carrier with fewer job options and having no prior experience to begin with. That is why I want to take a feel of the bumps I may have to face or many might be already facing after this carrier switch. Could someone please help me make-up my mind by shedding some light on the future outlook of Urban Planning in Canada?
    Sorry to put up my dilemma, any response would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in Advance.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Eastern Canada
    Posts
    83
    There are jobs in Canada. Most of them are out West. Alberta is pretty good for jobs now. Ontario and BC seem to have lots too, but I imagine the competition for them is fierce.

    I guess the question is what level of job you hope to have coming out of school. If you go for public sector jobs I can't imagine they'll put a whole lot of stock in your previous experience. Strict HR rules mean that you might not qualify for much more than entry-level planner jobs, which could be a downer for you since you've already spent 10 years working your way up. Engineering/architecture may also not be that applicable to the heavy policy work you tend to do in the public sector. With private sector jobs I can see them being more flexible in accepting your previous experience, especially if you can convince them that you'll be able to provide good value to clients by knowing aspects of both planning and engineering.

  3. #3
    hipp5,
    Thanks for writing. Your comments totally make sense to me. Personally I don't judge myself to have a lot interest in policy making. I bend more towards design and development which can be attributed to my past experience obviously. However, I just don't want to limit myself to one aspect of planning. Given that I have an opportunity to go back to school, I can certainly work hard to add a bit of theoretical knowledge towards policy matters. So essentially I should apply for master's program where there is a bit of both specialties. Could you please point me to right school in Canada that suits my needs?
    Your help would certainly be much appreciable.
    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2011
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    18
    I'd say go for it! There are jobs out there. And if you're thinking about going into private sector work, the 10 years you already have will be looked upon very highly. I know several people who worked in engineering for many years and transitioned to planning. Yes, you may have been in a different field but as I'm sure you're aware there are a lot of overlapping concepts/theory/policy, etc. that you would have experience in. All skills are related and transferrable. And who knows, you might find a planning job in an engineering firm which would be a perfect fit!

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