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Thread: Urban planning future outlook

  1. #1

    Urban planning future outlook

    Hi,

    I am interested in a career in Urban Planning but was wondering by the time I graduate with a Bachelors in 2018, will I be able to find a job? I'm in Toronto, Canada and as I was looking at the statistics the government posted they combine urban planning with architecture and other thing.

    So does anyone have any insight?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    I am also graduating somewhere between 2017 and 2020. Also in Canada, in the West though (hope to stay here). I don't think anyone will be able to give you a clear answer because the future of the economy holds so much uncertainty at the moment. We can only hope that the time we have before we graduate will yield positive results.. as far as I can tell, bottom was a couple years ago for the profession? I'm crossing my fingers that it's "only up from here." If you are worried, be as competitive as possible in your schooling. And ofcourse, it never hurts to learn Chinese haha

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  4. #4
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    We should have hoverboards in two years, so anything is possible.
    That is some optimistic thinking... how unlike you...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    My suggestion is to look at what kind of impact technology will have on urban planning. Particularly how changes in technology will make to not only different travel modes, but to the need for travel all together.

    Much like how technology transformed architecture 25 years ago, things such as smartphones, GPS, and ITS are now changing how planners work and what they do.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    It has been and will always be feast or famine. Someone mentioned on a previous thread the pendulum swings may be more extreme, with deeper recessions and bouts of white hot activity. Right now, I am working nearly seven days a week. Two years ago I was going through my second layoff (3 total over 3 years). I enjoy the work but I am seriously tired and looking to switch careers soon.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by unkownFuture View post
    Hi,

    I am interested in a career in Urban Planning but was wondering by the time I graduate with a Bachelors in 2018, will I be able to find a job? I'm in Toronto, Canada and as I was looking at the statistics the government posted they combine urban planning with architecture and other thing.

    So does anyone have any insight?
    There will probably be jobs out there, just not in urban planning. Have a Plan B.
    The content contrarian

  8. #8
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    there are no guarantees in life

    my daughter is in colelge right now and I told her, study what you love, learn to learn, understand how much you don't know, know how to look stuff up - and don't go to college to get a job (but recognize you have to go to college to get a job)

    so to you I say, if you love urban planning, then study it, work hard, get an internship in your summer (s)

    plan b is always nice if you are a worrying sort but to me one of the problems in US post grad education is it's too focused on jobs - it should be about learning

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    plan b is always nice if you are a worrying sort but to me one of the problems in US post grad education is it's too focused on jobs - it should be about learning
    Interesting, my take is exactly the opposite. Grads are studying what they love but they are not taking a realistic look at the job market within their field. For the record, I studied what I loved and found a planning job that I really enjoy. I was lucky, considering the job market. I still have a plan B (right-of-way acquisition) just in case.
    The content contrarian

  10. #10
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    notto hijack this thread,but...I will

    Quote Originally posted by OfficialPlanner View post
    Interesting, my take is exactly the opposite. Grads are studying what they love but they are not taking a realistic look at the job market within their field. For the record, I studied what I loved and found a planning job that I really enjoy. I was lucky, considering the job market. I still have a plan B (right-of-way acquisition) just in case.
    ah yes, but there is a difference between job training (ROW Acquisitions) and learning

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    ah yes, but there is a difference between job training (ROW Acquisitions) and learning
    Fair enough
    The content contrarian

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    I'm trying to diversify myself as much as possible. My undergrad is in Environmental Science, so I have that hard science background. I'll be starting grad school in the fall and will be focusing my attention on Environmental Planning and primarily coastal planning and watershed management. The programs will still offer me a solid generalist planning education, however.

    I'm setting myself up where:

    1) I can hopefully find something in the environmental planning realm of things
    2) if that doesn't work, then try and find a more generalist planning role
    3) if all else fails, go back to my environmental science roots and hope to work my way into enviro planning over time.

    Is this a crazy way to think? I know nothing is guaranteed, but I feel like this is a decent way to look at things and I'm not throwing all my eggs into one basket.
    Last edited by Boot; 22 Feb 2013 at 3:37 PM.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Boot View post
    I'm trying to diversify myself as much as possible. My undergrad is in Environmental Science, so I have that hard science background. I'll be starting grad school in the fall and will be focusing my attention on Environmental Planning and primarily coastal planning and watershed management. The programs will still offer me a solid generalist planning education, however.

    I'm setting myself up where:

    1) I can hopefully find something in the environmental planning realm of things
    2) if that doesn't work, then try and find a more generalist planning role
    3) if all else fails, go back to my environmental science roots and hope to work my way into enviro planning over time.

    Is this a crazy way to think? I know nothing is guaranteed, but I feel like this is a decent way to look at things and I'm not throwing all my eggs into one basket.
    I would not spend too much time over thinking this or obsessing about it. Start your program, get all you can from it, seek internships or part time work OUTSIDE of the school, and build your network since that's how many jobs are obtained these days. There are no guarantees what the job market is going to look like 6 months from now much less than 2 years from now. There are a number of us here that have been laid off, downsized, positions eliminated, etc. and even with experience it's not been easy finding a new gig.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Boot View post
    Is this a crazy way to think? I know nothing is guaranteed, but I feel like this is a decent way to look at things and I'm not throwing all my eggs into one basket.
    That's basically the line of thinking I used when going through school. Although I was fortunate and had my internship turn into a job so employment wasn't an issue after graduation.

  15. #15
    Well, what are most people's "Plan B" if they don't get an urban planning job? Since, I haven't done my undergrad yet, I still have the option to switch around.

  16. #16

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Perhaps because I'm no longer in planning...?

    What do you do now?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by Vancity View post
    What do you do now?
    County administration. Loving it so far... lots of diverse projects and responsibilities and I still get my hands into planning issues, but from a CAO office policy perspective. It's a good fit, and I finally see a future for myself, so I'm happy. Part of my job is to be the CAO liaison with the planning department, so I can speak their language and approach matters with some background knowledge.

  19. #19
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    County administration. Loving it so far... lots of diverse projects and responsibilities and I still get my hands into planning issues, but from a CAO office policy perspective. It's a good fit, and I finally see a future for myself, so I'm happy. Part of my job is to be the CAO liaison with the planning department, so I can speak their language and approach matters with some background knowledge.
    I am glad to hear it. I hope it brings you some career fulfillment and general joy. Good luck!!
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  20. #20
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by unkownFuture View post
    Well, what are most people's "Plan B" if they don't get an urban planning job? Since, I haven't done my undergrad yet, I still have the option to switch around.
    Since you haven't even completed your undergrad and looks like you haven't started........

    Take as many different kinds of courses in as many disciplines that you can, even ones that you think that you might not be interested in. You may figure out that you dislike what you thought you were interested in and become interested in something you never expected. Most people don't find it particularly useful to have a BS/BA in Urban Planning + a MCRP/MURP due to the redundancy.

    Stop thinking about your higher education as a linear experience. It rarely turns out that way and that's not a bad thing.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  21. #21
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by unkownFuture View post
    Hi,

    I am interested in a career in Urban Planning but was wondering by the time I graduate with a Bachelors in 2018, will I be able to find a job? I'm in Toronto, Canada and as I was looking at the statistics the government posted they combine urban planning with architecture and other thing.

    So does anyone have any insight?
    About 4000 threads on this board have insight. All of them apply to your question.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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