Hi, posted this in the student lounge but haven't received a response so far. Hoping there are some Australian planners here with the time to answer some questions. Apologies if this is an inappropriate forum for these queries.
Its always been a dream of mine to move to Australia ever since visiting family friends there a few years ago. Doing a masters degree there seems to be the most feasible way for me to do so. At the very least I'd like to pursue my interest in a lovely place before returning home. 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 unrelated to planning 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 programs (which are 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 less expensive and I haven't been able to find out much about their reputation online. Are admissions to these programs highly competitive?
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 Australia?
Many more questions, thought I better keep to the basics for now. Loving these forums, hope to be a regular in the future.