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Thread: AICP...the good, the bad, and the ugly

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    AICP...the good, the bad, and the ugly

    Not sure if this is the right forum for this, but here goes....

    Since EMU does not have an accredited grad program, I've had to wait three years before I could take the test. Now my time is almost up, and I have to figure whether or not I should do this.

    Here's my question...why, or why not, should I (or anyone else) become AICP? Does it help you get a job? Here in MI, probably 99% of job postings that even mention AICP say 'AICP preferred'. Hardly any require it, and it's doubtful that that your starting salary would be higher as a result of being AICP.

    What about other states? Are there any benefits to doing this? I honestly don't feel that I get much out of the APA, so don't know how/why this would be different.

    Gracias!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    In Wisconsin, few communities require it, but some positions will pay better if you have it. Aropund here, ya do it for the "professional development" and sense of achievement.

    I've applied and been eligible for the exam for several years, but time constraints and lack of motivation have prevailed in keeping me out of the testing room.

    Good luck if you go for it!

  3. #3
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    I did it because I thought it would help the resume. I think it does that even if AICP is not required. If I were the one hiring it would show me that you cared enough about planning to study for months for a big, pain in the ass test. It does say that you have some sort of commitment to the field.

  4. #4
    I took it because it seemed like a logical thing to do at the time, plus "Obtain AICP Certification" was part of my performace review criteria for 2002. Now if my employer would only pay me the $$ that they said they would reimburse me for the exam fees I would be happy...still waiting after 6mos.

    I have heard of only a few instances where communities require AICP certification for a job. However, I have been told that there was one community in SE Wisconsin that used AICP certification as the first criteria for eliminating candidates. Any applicant that didn't have it wasn't interviewed. I think communities that require it as a prerequisite for employment are really doing themselves a disservice, since it has no real bearing on whether you are a good planner or not.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  5. #5
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I'm doing it because my degrees are in geography. I came late to planning and I want to legitimize my standing as a "planner." I also enjoy learning and the study prep is somewhat enjoyable - Yes, I know this is sick. I also have about 20 -30 years left in my career. Maybe this AICP gauntlet will help - It won't hurt.

    After the AICP I plan on running thought the Klingon Pain Stick Ceremony.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    AICP is sometimes required by private sector planning and engineering companies, but is rarely required by public sector employers. However, as giff said, it does show a commitment to the field, which could paint you in a positive light to potential employers. I took the AICP because I was spending a lot of time in current planning at the time and I wanted to take the exam while a lot of my long range planning knowledge was pretty fresh in my mind. I'm really glad I took it, as the reciprocity agreement with CIP in Canada gave me enough leverage to wiggle my way into the Canadian system and get a job (they take accreditation much more seriously up here).

    If you have the time and inclination, I think AICP is worth it, if only to give you an additional edge in an increasingly competitive job market.

  7. #7
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Christine:

    I'd recommend it for all of the pros you've heard from the others. I took it for showing commitment to the profession, increased opportunities in the future, and for the satisfaction that comes with having 4 initials after your name (just kidding on the last reason).

    I really think in the future more states are going to head towards licensing or certification, and many may simply require AICP. I think it bodes well for my professional future to be certified at my relatively young age (passed at age 27).
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  8. #8
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Re: AICP...the good, the bad, and the ugly

    Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    Since EMU does not have an accredited grad program
    Off-topic:
    Boo! I just realized you were a MAC conference rival! Go Cardinals!

    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  9. #9
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    What brought a New Hampshire boy to Muncie IN?? Did you like Ball State? Did you guys stomp us in sports, since we SUCK! (But I still loved it there!)

    Coldwater is ten miles north of the Indiana border, so we head down to Fort Wayne when we want to go shopping and eat at some real restaurants. Central IN - whoah hoah!

  10. #10
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    What brought a New Hampshire boy to Muncie IN?? Did you like Ball State? Did you guys stomp us in sports, since we SUCK! (But I still loved it there!)

    Coldwater is ten miles north of the Indiana border, so we head down to Fort Wayne when we want to go shopping and eat at some real restaurants. Central IN - whoah hoah!
    Off-topic:
    A scholarship that paid half of my tuition. I was going to go to Penn State, but got notification on my scholarship right after I sent a housing deposit to State College, PA....I ate the 300 bucks in lieu of saving about $7000 a year in tuition.

    It ended up being the best thing for me...I was going to BSU for architecture...discovered I hated models and drawing....couldn't declare a major until after my first year, and after the PLAN 100 class I was hooked on being a planner. I loved the campus, and the college. Muncie, on the other hand, is a sprawling mess of a city.

    In terms of sports, we played in 3 Bowl games in football and made the NCAA Basketball tournament 2 times while I was there. A couple of NFL players were there when I was (Blaine Bishop and Brad Maynard). I was fortunate not to have been there recently during the "thin" years for the football program.

    I only made it up to Ft. Wayne a couple of times, and was less impressed with it than I was Muncie...as sad as that sounds. I enjoyed my 5 years out there, made a few very good friends, but I could never live in the Midwest permanently.....I need topography and the QOL that I find in New England.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  11. #11
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    My sister went to Eastern too and she had a class with Charlie Batch. Was with Lions, and lost track of him after that. Our b-ball team was always the best of everything we had, and even that hasn't been great either Got the NCAA tournie a couple times while I was there.

    I started out in architecture too, but HATED cad. I liked the drawing part.

    Fort Wayne isn't bad, but then again where we are at, it is an hour drive in practically any direction to hit a mall. There aren't too many options too many options and so we can't be too picky.

    I'm sorry you didn't like the midwest - I personally love it, and would never want to leave.

  12. #12
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    I'm sorry you didn't like the midwest - I personally love it, and would never want to leave.
    It's not that I didn't like it....the people are absolutely great....I just have no desire to live in the flatlands. I like the midwest in doses, but I'm a New Englander at heart, and always will be.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

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