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Going Back to School, Online Options?

MV1138

Cyburbian
Messages
30
Points
2
I've been interested in planning for a while, but sort of moved on from it as an option over the last couple of years. I've recently swung back around to it but I've got kind of a unique set of circumstances that sort of hurts my dream of planning.

Short story: I'm 33, have a Master's in History and I live in a geographic area with very little opportunity of any kind. I work full time at a job where I work basically 8-7 every weekday. Which really hurts my ability to volunteer anywhere. I also have kids so quitting/relocating/etc isn't really an option. Now, I also don't live near any universities that offer degrees or certificates in planning. So in my mind, since moving to a new city with no great skillset, savings and with kids and a wife with an okay job isn't really an option, I need online.

Has anyone ever succeeded at finding a planning job after taking online courses only? Is this a dream I'd just have to give up on? Since I already have student loan debt I don't want to take more on if it's not going to go anywhere. It doesn't do me any good to get a degree and be dead in the water in the job hunt. Most of the people on here seem to be trying for the big name universities, which makes sense. But if I'm not trying to be Robert Moses, and just want a decent career in a mid-size town or city, does it truly matter where I go?

Anyway, I appreciate any of input.
 

gtpeach

Cyburbian
Messages
1,934
Points
14
It sounds like if you want a planning job, you'd have to relocate regardless. There are accredited on-line schools - Arizona State has a program where you receive an identical degree as if you attended residentially. My secretary is doing that now.

I'd say as long as you're willing to move to where the job is, there will be an opportunity for you. We're definitely starting to see the "silver tsunami" wave starting to take over, so there are a lot more opportunities than there have been recently in my experience. Most likely, you'd start in a smaller, more rural area, but if you're willing to do that for a few years to get some experience, you shouldn't have any trouble moving into a town or city eventually. It's really just a matter of how flexible you're willing to be on the location.
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
4,974
Points
21
I don't know where you live, but my degree was not in planning. I have a BS in geography, with a minor in Anthropology and an emphasis in planning. Of course, I was able to intern for not a lot of money and get some practical experience to help me land that all-important first gig. That would be admittedly tough in the circumstance you've described. Maybe try to find an opportunity tangentially like code enforcement, and use that to further your experience, and combine that with your existing degrees to get a foot in the door? Just spit-balling....
 

MV1138

Cyburbian
Messages
30
Points
2
Thanks for the suggestions, folks.

EDIT: As for relocating, I'm not against relocating for a job, I just can't justify relocating for classes or unpaid internships.
 
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