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Thread: Fresh graduate, what to do?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2011
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Fresh graduate, what to do?

    Hi guys,

    Just graduated with an Urban Planning and Studies degree last week and was wondering what the next steps are. I am aware that jobs are scarce. I have very little experience. Worked for a nonprofit organization that campaigned against the region's transportation plan. Didn't do much but research and file documents.

    I am considering:

    Taking GIS courses and getting certified to round out skills

    Get a masters degree... MUP or MPA?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    As far south of SoCal as I Will Go
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    Quote Originally posted by jabba rookie View post
    Hi guys,

    Just graduated with an Urban Planning and Studies degree last week and was wondering what the next steps are. I am aware that jobs are scarce. I have very little experience. Worked for a nonprofit organization that campaigned against the region's transportation plan. Didn't do much but research and file documents.

    I am considering:

    Taking GIS courses and getting certified to round out skills

    Get a masters degree... MUP or MPA?
    Welcome. First thing first, what kind of job do you want, i.e. career path. What kind of skills do you bring to the table? Do you want to be a planner or something else? Do you want to Stay in California? What kind of course work can you parley onto a resume? What exactly did you research at this non-profit?

    Wasting money on certs or additional education is a waste if you can't answer these simple questions.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Welcome. First thing first, what kind of job do you want, i.e. career path. What kind of skills do you bring to the table? Do you want to be a planner or something else? Do you want to Stay in California? What kind of course work can you parley onto a resume? What exactly did you research at this non-profit?

    Wasting money on certs or additional education is a waste if you can't answer these simple questions.
    That said, if you are sure you want to go into planning, I would suggest you strongly consider more time in school getting additional education and credentials. This will make you more marketable at the time you graduate and look for work. It will also keep you from having to compete in the current poor job market. Hopefully in two years when you graduate with a masters degree the market will have improved and you will be a stronger candidate. Lastly, use your time in grad school to get a good internship, perhaps where you can work for two years while in school. This will also help you to compete.

    Many people want to get an advanced degree, but go out into the workplace right after getting the bachelor's degree. A few years later when they might want to go back they 1) have a family that also competes for their time; 2) are not living/working near a university with a program in their field; 3) can't schedule the classes they need because they are only offered during the day, or because of evening meetings for work; or 4) can't give up the regular income to which they have become accustomed, in order to go back full time. Some people manage to go beack for that advanced degree, but a greater number never do. If you feel a strong urge to get a masters, that is one more reason to get it done now.
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