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Thread: What type of education and career?

  1. #1
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    What type of education and career?

    Hi. I'm currently in high school and soon I will be applying to university. For a long time I wanted to be an urban planner but I'm not interested in policies and things like that. I'm more interested in redevelopment/renewal, historical preservation, transportation, and development. I'm also strongly interested in the design aspect and aesthetics of streetscapes and buildings. I heard that a lot of planners mainly do policy work which is a bit of a turn off. I want to work on design aspects but also the planning aspects such as development, etc. Is there a career that focuses on both of these aspects?

    Additionally, I heard that jobs for planning are scarce so should I get a degree in Architecture or Landscape Architecture to make myself seem more attractive and versatile. If I were to get an Architectural degree, should it Landscape or just Architecture? Which would be better? Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Welcome to Cyburbia. We are glad to have you. As for your question, Urban Design sounds much more like what you are interested in. Many people who go into UD start with a degree in Landscape Architecture. It helps get a foundation for plantings and urban / rural environments. It sounds like if you want to stay completely away from policy that public sector work isn't for you. Stick with the designed based programs and find something that makes you happy. When you are done with school in 4-6 years, the market will be different, and who knows what jobs will be available. You may even find that you enjoy policy more than you thought.

    Keep an open mind. I would find a school that allows you to live in both the design and policy worlds. Check out other threads that touch on this topic. Search for Urban Design.

    Again, we are glad to have you.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
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    Hi. Thank you very much for your reply, it has been very informative. I've been reading around the forum and I think I might pursue a degree in Landscape Architecture but are the any planning aspects to it such as site planning? Also, where I live there is only one university that offers a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture so instead I plan to get my masters in it instead because I don't like that particular university very much. Any suggestions for my undergrad if I want to get my MLA?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Yes, welcome, you seem to already have great knowledge about your interests - great start.

    I would second the interest in urban design. Keep in mind however, this is still a relatively new profession. Some programs are starting to offer a Masters in Urban Design, however for your undergraduate studies you'll probably need to focus on either architecture or landscape (then specialize in urban design).

    Maybe sharing my experiences could help. I started my undergraduate in Architecture, then switched into Landscape in after pin-ups (second year review). Like you, my interests were more in the public aspects, not so much the buildings themselves. Therefore, landscape was more appealing and I ended up getting my Master's in Urban Planning after working a few years as an urban design/landscape architect.

    So, I would say you're doing the right thing. Keep with your design interests and as your career develops those interests might change (maybe even into policy as was the case with me).

    Best of luck!

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