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Thread: Future transportation planning director?

  1. #1

    Future transportation planning director?

    So I have never been content with the idea of being just another planner/engineer at another planning/engineering firm. I have always envisioned myself as some sort of managing partner or director and hope to be one later in my professional career (I understand that I need to work my way up).

    I have a bachelors degree in Community Development w/ a minor in Urban Planning (I also have good knowledge in building construction and architecture). After graduating from college in 2010, I found a job with a civil engineering firm and grew to love the industry. I new that I wanted to pursue engineering further but I also felt that I wanted to get some planning experience. While working at this small civil firm, I learned of larger civil firms that did transportation planning and employed individuals that were both registered PEís and had AICP certifications. I knew that would be my true calling, so in order to pursue my PE registration, I decided I would leave my job and go back to school for a second bachelors in engineering while actively pursuing a job in planning. I have been in school since last January and I am scheduled to start a FT city planning job next month in a different state. I hope to work at this city for as long as it takes me to earn my bachelors degree (Iím shooting for 4-5 years, PT enrollment). At that time I hope to get my EIT registration and possibly my AICP certification as well as making my career change back to a civil firm that focuses in transportation planning and eventually work my way up.

    I suppose I started this thread to get some assurance that my plans arenít so far-fetched and Iím on the right track to my ultimate goal. Any thoughts and advice are very much appreciated. Also, if any of you are in a similar boat as me, feel free to post your situation!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    I know where I work, they really prefer directors to have a masters degree of some sort. That's not to say you can't become a director without a masters but you won't have as easy a time.

    Honestly if I were in your shoes, I'm not sure a second bachelors would be worth it when you can skip straight to a masters. As I understand, civil engineering programs will admit you with an unrelated bachelors, it'll just take you longer to graduate. Some programs will even allow you to pair that degree with a masters in planning. Doing that seems like it'd accelerate your career much more than just another bachelors.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    The single most important thing you need as a Transportation Planning Director is the ability to work with public officials and talk to the public.

    Speaking skills and the ability to keep people happy (or at least informed) are of utmost importance, even more than credentials.

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