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Thread: Masters in Australia and other ruminations

  1. #1
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    Masters in Australia and other ruminations

    Hi all..
    I have a few questions about urban planning masters programs in Australia. Its always been a dream of mine to move there (original, eh) and doing a post-grad degree there seems to be the most feasible way to do so. Presently I'm in my fourth year of a BA majoring in econ and geography at my hometown uni in Canada. I've done internships with the provincial government and hope to do more after I graduate, so this is all a few years off. Unfortunately, planning-specific internships here are limited to those in urban planning degrees (not offered at my school).

    I'm wondering about a few things:

    a) Which two-year masters programs in Aus have the best reputation? So far I get the impression that the University of Melbourne is tops, but I'd like to hear from those with experience at La Trobe or Adelaide's schools - they're cheaper and I haven't been able to find out much about them online.

    b) I've noticed that many planners in Aus begin there careers right after finishing their undergrad degree. Would my lack of planning experience prior to starting a masters hinder my chances of finding a job?

    c) I'm considering getting a GIS diploma after I graduate and working a year or two in that field. Is GIS considered a valuable skill in the planning field in Aus?

    Loving these forums, hope to be a regular in the future.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Oct 2004
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    New Orleans, LA
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    I did my masters at Uni of Melbourne. Thought it was a very good program. Some of the faces have changed since then. You might also look at RMIT; I worked with Mees at U Melb, but he changed to RMIT on account of a bit of drama. Great teacher, somewhat frustrating to work under, controversial. I can't speak to Adelaide. Iirc, La Trobe, while a good program, is suburban with no transit, which will affect your daily transportation costs - that might have changed since 2007, I can't say. It was a deal-breaker for me. Uni Melbourne is near the core along a trolley line with a decent selection of housing nearby, and RMIT is in the city core.
    The planning profession has specific twists and quirks in Australia, and more specifically in Victoria. I wasn't there to work, so I didn't track them, but there's a particular bit of legal obligation stuff in Victoria that pushes the planning field, seemed like.
    GIS is like being a draftsman, from all i've heard and seen. Everyone needs a GIS monkey, but as a rule, if you get too good at running GIS, everyone will start going out of their way to try to keep you in the GIS room for the rest of your life.

  3. #3
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    Interesting to hear about GIS. For a lot of people here its the go-to program after a geography BA. Did you return to the US immediately after completing your masters? Did having a foreign degree give you an advantage or disadvantage for finding a job?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Oct 2004
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    I was on the plane back to the US within a week of getting all my grades in. It seems like it was a plus, people were universally very impressed by it and I could talk about 'broad horizons' and the like.

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