I am an undergraduate student who will be graduating with a B.S. in City and Regional Planning, a Minor in Environmental Studies, and a certificate in GIS in April. I am in the process of finishing up my graduate school applications and I am currrently having an issue deciding which way to go with my graduate study.
1) I have had three internships in both the private and public sector with another possible internship this summer working on a BRT project.
2) I originally was only looking at MURP programs, however, in light of how terrible the economy still is, I am looking at diversifying my background and education. The MPA came into mind as prior to enrolling in my undergraduate school, I looked at public administration as an option because I was interested in city management and/or being a parks and rec director.
3) My understanding is that smaller municipalities and even larger towns that do not have planning departments usually have the city manager or assistant city manager doing zoning administration and planning work.
4) I do not want to over-specialize and educate myself out of other fields.
5) For every job posting I have seen, public administration is almost always listed as one of the required degrees, along with planning, geography, etc.
6) The MPA programs I am looking at have an emphasis in urban planning and policy as well as city management etc.
7) I have met several planners who have obtained only public administration degrees and no formal planning education.
8) From my own research an MPA seems to be very marketable for a variety of careers.
Any suggestions or others that have done this? I love planning but the job prospects are scaring me away from a MURP. I would rather not be stuck unemployed with graduate school debt.