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Is a Geography degree enough

rocketjim

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
I'm about to graduate from Ohio State with a degree in Geography, a specialization in urban and regional systems. While I would like to go on to a CRP program, but I want to get out and work for a little while before heading back to school. Do you think a geography degree is good enough to get my foot in the door at a local planning agency ? Did anyone that you know in the field simply use geography and get a position from that. Despite being in a major city, it is very difficult to get internships for geography students, because the CRP program has a virual lock on all the internships in city planning around Columbus. I've called about a half dozen townships and they all are willing to have you come in for free, but it is mostly just sending out mailing and simple copy work. Any thoughts?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Work experience greatly helps when trying to get a job after you graduate, and in some cases is needed if you don't have a Masters degree. Work for the internships even if they don't pay you, it will help you in the long run.
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
Messages
1,827
Points
24
rocketjim said:
I'm about to graduate from Ohio State with a degree in Geography, a specialization in urban and regional systems. While I would like to go on to a CRP program, but I want to get out and work for a little while before heading back to school. Do you think a geography degree is good enough to get my foot in the door at a local planning agency ? Did anyone that you know in the field simply use geography and get a position from that. Despite being in a major city, it is very difficult to get internships for geography students, because the CRP program has a virual lock on all the internships in city planning around Columbus. I've called about a half dozen townships and they all are willing to have you come in for free, but it is mostly just sending out mailing and simple copy work. Any thoughts?
Rocketjim, First off welcome to Cyburbia.

I have a BA in Geography my Major was Environmental Resource Management yet I had a dozen or so Planning related classes ,my minor was Sociology specifically urban studies, or the study of how people interact with one another and the physical surroundings in an urban environment.

After graduation I got a entry level job with a municipality (pop. 53,000). Stayed there for 1.5 years and now I am a Project Planner with a private firm (been here nearly 5 years). I've got some management responsibilities and am project manager on several projects.

I guess what I'm trying to say, IMO, is no you don't need to go right into grad school. If you can find an entry level job and you can prove yourself you can succeed. Just don't give up. I sent out dozens of resumes before I landed my first job
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
HI and welcome!

I have my degree in Geography and poli sci. I landed a paid internship while in school and had a job right out of college.

Ive never had any problems, but Ive been planning now for a sum total of almost 9 years I guess.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,447
Points
27
I have a BS in Geography with a major in planning. Once you get your foot in the door somewhere, a good part of the battle is over. Just apply for any job you see and in any place. There are a lot of people looking for planning jobs these days. You can always apply for additional jobs once you get your first.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
No matter what your degree is in, you are going to have a tough time findng a planning job, especially right now. Don't get discouraged. The geography degree is just as good as a planning degree if I am doing the hiring. I think you are smart to try to get a couple years of experience before going on to the next degree. By doing so, you will have a better understanding of how the things you learn apply in the real world, and you will have more focus in terms of your own interests.

Many employers now give added consideration to the number of posts a planner has on Cyburbia, so be sure to stick around.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
I also have a BS in Geog with an emphasis on GIS. It actually didn't serve me well at all. I couldn't find ANY job that would hire me(maybe I'm just unemployable?;) ) without either more experience OR a Masters degree. That's why I'm in school now. And almost done. Three or so courses left, and I'm officially on the market!

My suggestion: work teh internship if you can, get experience, even if it is unpaid(maybe you talk your way into a stipend?), cause you won't get anything without the experience.
 

thewholething

Member
Messages
16
Points
1
I'm majoring in geography, and will graduate Spring 2005. But I'm going for my Master's in Planning.

Sooo, I have very little knowledge on the topic, but here are my 2 cents:

From what I've been told and what has been hammered in my brain from current planners is this: Master's degree is important...very important. It definitely opens up more doors/opportunities...


NP-F
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,447
Points
27
np_f said:
Master's degree is important...very important. It definitely opens up more doors/opportunities...


NP-F
I think they are too. But your geography also makes a difference. I think the Masters is weighed heavily on the East and West coast and the very urban areas. Out west, from my experience, the Masters is not as important. More places here like AICP (for what it's worth). This may be from the ratio of jobs and available candidates. You can never go wrong with a Master's but you also may find more of the "you have too much education for an entry level position...." Just my thoughts.
 

ben seaver

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
Interesting. I'm almost finished my BA in geography (3 more weeks!!) My plan is to search like crazy and hopefully find work that will give me some kind of experience before I eventually go on to do a Masters.

I'm hoping there will be a slight advantage to looking in January, as opposed to Spring/Summer.
 

FueledByRamen

Cyburbian
Messages
449
Points
13
Im in the same boat. The thing is...in order for my student loans to be deferred, I need a good excuse like "im in grad school."

But if you go to work right after you get your BA: you have to start paying them off in 3 months.
 
Messages
44
Points
2
I found a good job with my BS in Geography, but I also had two internships. I am currently back in school part time getting my masters in Geography. I worked for a few years and then decided yes this is the career for me. Good Luck
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
25
BA in Geography and Urban Studies landed me an intership and a spot in a MRP program. But you may want to consider some free work, but be ambitious and don't get pigeon-toed into stuffing envelopes. a good intership requires initiative and some learning! but its worth it!
 
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