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Where do students plan to work?

monkeyflower

Cyburbian
Messages
58
Points
4
Having recently started the planning master's program at Michigan, I'm amazed at how few of the students plan to stay in the area after graduation. Out of about 50 students in the 1st-year class, there are only three or four (besides me) that I think intend to stick around (and all of us are locals). Everybody else is intent on fleeing to the coasts upon graduation.

At the open house for prospective students, one of the visitors asked a panel of current students, "How many of you are planning to get jobs in the area after graduation?" After a few seconds of silence, one of the panelists said, "I can't really think of anybody who is."

Considering that, in the "which school" threads, the most common answer has been, "go to school where you want to work", what's wrong with this picture? Is Michigan high-status enough that it draws people despite their not wanting to stay in Michigan? Is Detroit bad enough that it scares everybody out of the state after graduation?

Of other planning students, how many of you/your classmates intend to stay and work in your region after graduation?
 
Messages
8
Points
0
Wow, this all seems very familiar. I'm an incoming urban planning grad student at Michigan and was at the open house in March(we probably met). And I remember when that question was asked. I'm from San Francisco and can see staying in Ann Arbor after I graduate, or at least in the midwest. Anyway, I'm excited about the program but am nervous about all of the out-of-state debt I'm about to incur these next couple of years. Are you feeling good after your first year in the program? Are you optimistic that urban planning jobs are plentiful for MUP graduates?

monkeyflower said:
Having recently started the planning master's program at Michigan, I'm amazed at how few of the students plan to stay in the area after graduation. Out of about 50 students in the 1st-year class, there are only three or four (besides me) that I think intend to stick around (and all of us are locals). Everybody else is intent on fleeing to the coasts upon graduation.

At the open house for prospective students, one of the visitors asked a panel of current students, "How many of you are planning to get jobs in the area after graduation?" After a few seconds of silence, one of the panelists said, "I can't really think of anybody who is."

Considering that, in the "which school" threads, the most common answer has been, "go to school where you want to work", what's wrong with this picture? Is Michigan high-status enough that it draws people despite their not wanting to stay in Michigan? Is Detroit bad enough that it scares everybody out of the state after graduation?

Of other planning students, how many of you/your classmates intend to stay and work in your region after graduation?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,929
Points
57
Let me give you my perspective as a UM BA undergrad, recent MUP grad and Michigan native:

My wife (who is also a UM undergrad) and I decided to leave for the Chicago area, because it was important for us to move to a place that has more job opportunities and a place were a less auto-oriented lifestyle is actually feasible, plus my wife is attending Law School here.

We actually talk about going back to Michigan if the option presented itself, but it would be confined to very few places.

UM is a major national and international draw, so you shouldn't expect those people to stay in Michigan. As for the Michigan natives, well it might be a factor of them wanting to see other parts of the nation or feeling that Michigan has no real opportunities for them, especially the really capable grads.

Also, Michigan is a big place with a diversity of localities, so when you say "Detroit is scaring them away" (I paraprhase), I think that's not really the issue. Detroit really has no bearing on those from Traverse City or Sault Ste Marie, or Coldwater.

I am glad that you have a dedication to Detroit though. That's admirable.

BTW, how's everything in the MUP program? Any interesting changes or developments?
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
When I was a student, I had absolutely no plans to remain in the Ball State area after graduation. I was a New Englander, and since there weren't any Planning Programs in the area, and since BSU gave me a scholarship....I went out to Indiana for my five years, and then came back home with my two degrees.
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,169
Points
24
I'm a Master's student at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I think that a lot of people would like to stay here and be a planner after graduation, but the problem is that planning jobs are in too high demand in Madison. I heard that for an entry-level job, the city received over 100 resumes. There are about 30 people in my class. I'd guess that about 8 expect to stay here, maybe another 8 will go somewhere else in WI or MN and all the rest will go elsewhere in the Midwest or the Coasts. I'm from New England and expect to be going back there when I'm finshed in May (though if I got a good job offer here, I'd consider staying longer... it's a nice place.)
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
I have an associate's from the state I live in and a certificate in GIS from the state I live in and I am pursuing a bachelor's from the state I live in. I have picked out a master's program about 45 minutes up the road from where I live. I expect my future to be in this area for "the foreseeable future" -- perhaps "for life", but my ability to see the future isn't that long range and "never say never". :-D
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,816
Points
61
monkeyflower said:
...I think intend to stick around ....
Everybody else is intent on fleeing ...upon graduation.

"How many of you are planning to get jobs in the area after graduation?"

... how many of you... intend to stay and work in your region after graduation?
:-$ Sorry Don't count on me for as good example or for a supportive answer.
HS - NJ
BS - UT, never worked in my degree field, unless you count the different states lived in as practical Geography.
MURP - CO, out of touch with most from my class, no supportive network.
Current Employment - IN
 

monkeyflower

Cyburbian
Messages
58
Points
4
mendelman said:
Also, Michigan is a big place with a diversity of localities, so when you say "Detroit is scaring them away" (I paraprhase), I think that's not really the issue. Detroit really has no bearing on those from Traverse City or Sault Ste Marie, or Coldwater.
I think that your options (my options?) in Michigan are 1. Detroit area, 2. small city (Ann Arbor/Ypsi, Jackson, Lansing, Kzoo, the Soo), or 3. completely rural. I think a lot of the planning students I meet want a CITY city larger than Grand Rapids or Lansing, cutting out Michigan locales #2 and #3, and Detroit just doesn't fit their dreams.

That's what I meant about Detroit scaring 'em away. (or failing to reel 'em in, I guess. The students who are interested in Detroit are interested in a "Holy ****! A train wreck! Let's roll up our sleeves and look for survivors!" sort of way. A different kind of draw than Portland and NYC, which seem to be the most popular destinations.)

howiekarp said:
Wow, this all seems very familiar. I'm an incoming urban planning grad student at Michigan and was at the open house in March(we probably met). And I remember when that question was asked. I'm from San Francisco and can see staying in Ann Arbor after I graduate, or at least in the midwest. Anyway, I'm excited about the program but am nervous about all of the out-of-state debt I'm about to incur these next couple of years. Are you feeling good after your first year in the program? Are you optimistic that urban planning jobs are plentiful for MUP graduates?
Is your real name the same as your login? It sounds moderately familiar. My real name is Murph--I was the first-year posing as a prospective since I missed the open house last year and wanted the experience. :)

UMich out-of-state debt is definitely high in many students' minds, and people fight tooth-and-nail for the departmental assistantships that are available--if you can get a teaching assistantship (either in planning or in whatever subject you got your undergrad in--lots of departments at UMich are swamped with undergrads), it'll take a nice bite out of your tuition.

In general, I'm pretty happy with the program: I like the students, I like the faculty, I like the classes. Not so much some of the core classes--if you have any experience whatsoever in any topic that could be considered "quantitative methods", get yourself the heck out of that class--but anything taught by Jonathan Levine or Joe Grengs is worth taking.

As far as planning jobs go, I think they exist around here. I expect it'll take me a while to find The Job (and I half expect I'll end up in a consultancy or coming back for a PhD), but if you take an interest in the area, go to local planning-related events, and meet the people who are doing the planning, you'll find a job. That's one of my frustrations with planning students not intending to work here after they graduate--a lot of them don't seem to know (or care) what's going on in local planning issues.
 
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Messages
8
Points
0
My real name is the same as my login; although some people also call me Howard. I think I remember you being the one who took a few of us on a tour. (You may have been wearing a black leather jacket? It's funny what we remember sometimes.) I appreciate your thoughtful advice. I will definitely get involved as much as I can in Ann Arbor/Michigan planning issues( I'm already browsing related sites) and look into teaching assistantships.

monkeyflower said:
I think that your options (my options?) in Michigan are 1. Detroit area, 2. small city (Ann Arbor/Ypsi, Jackson, Lansing, Kzoo, the Soo), or 3. completely rural. I think a lot of the planning students I meet want a CITY city larger than Grand Rapids or Lansing, cutting out Michigan locales #2 and #3, and Detroit just doesn't fit their dreams.

That's what I meant about Detroit scaring 'em away. (or failing to reel 'em in, I guess. The students who are interested in Detroit are interested in a "Holy ****! A train wreck! Let's roll up our sleeves and look for survivors!" sort of way. A different kind of draw than Portland and NYC, which seem to be the most popular destinations.)



Is your real name the same as your login? It sounds moderately familiar. My real name is Murph--I was the first-year posing as a prospective since I missed the open house last year and wanted the experience. :)

UMich out-of-state debt is definitely high in many students' minds, and people fight tooth-and-nail for the departmental assistantships that are available--if you can get a teaching assistantship (either in planning or in whatever subject you got your undergrad in--lots of departments at UMich are swamped with undergrads), it'll take a nice bite out of your tuition.

In general, I'm pretty happy with the program: I like the students, I like the faculty, I like the classes. Not so much some of the core classes--if you have any experience whatsoever in any topic that could be considered "quantitative methods", get yourself the heck out of that class--but anything taught by Jonathan Levine or Joe Grengs is worth taking.

As far as planning jobs go, I think they exist around here. I expect it'll take me a while to find The Job (and I half expect I'll end up in a consultancy or coming back for a PhD), but if you take an interest in the area, go to local planning-related events, and meet the people who are doing the planning, you'll find a job. That's one of my frustrations with planning students not intending to work here after they graduate--a lot of them don't seem to know (or care) what's going on in local planning issues.
 
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