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Yet another confused planning student

laxman33

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
I will be receiving my BA in Geography in May. I know I've been told a thousand times, the money doesn't matter as long as you enjoy your job. I will enjoy any job that relates to geography in general, not just planning! I've worked in my local city planning department for a year as an intern now and its definately leaving a bad taste in my mouth. From reading the posts on here for a few months I've learned what the salary really is, and its a shame how underpaid most planners are. Recently I've been looking at other professions I can get into with my degree. Market Research Analysis, Real Estate/Development, Business Location seem to be my top choices so far. And these professions pay a whole hell of alot more! Does anyone have any advice for me in general or advice in any of these career choices?

An MBA is probably in my near future if I choose one of these, I realize
 

troy

Member
Messages
68
Points
4
money doesn't matter?

Money does matter. It is very important to enjoy your work, but you have to be able to support yourself and your family. That's all there is to it. I love physical labor. I enjoy working up a sweat and pushing my body to its limits. However, my limits aren't particularly great, and the physical jobs that I enjoy don't happen to pay much. That is why I continued my schooling, earned a degree, and now work in planning. For my needs, planning pays enough.

Figure out what you need in order to be happy. If planning can give you that (money wise, satisfaction wise), then welcome aboard. If it cannot, then I pray you succeed in finding something that will. There is a job out there for you, but you won't recognise it if you don't know what you truly want.

Good hunting.
 

trishm1

Member
Messages
17
Points
1
Money Matters Most of the Time, but...

I have also seen/heard many planners complain about the payrate. I have also seen herds of job postings offering what I would call decent wages. I'm a poor student, so decent to me is much lower than most.

When I see the money offered in some of these job postings, I think back to 1990, when my younger sister graduated VT with a masters in Geotechnical Engineering. She started out in the mid twenties at a private firm in Cambridge, MA. She is now making in the $70k range. She loves what she does.

There is a direct line from job satisfaction to compensation. If you love your job, you work harder, you make more moolah.
You have to decide what you want to do, what your passion is...I know I sound like Oprah, sorry. It's true tho.

Another thing to consider is the environment you want to work in. If politics pisses you off...don't get into planning. If you love cubicles and number crunching, then go into finance.

Whatever you do...good luck. Love to hear what you decide.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
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9,843
Points
37
Re: yet another confused planning student

laxman33 said:
I will be receiving my BA in Geography in May. I know I've been told a thousand times, the money doesn't matter as long as you enjoy your job. I will enjoy any job that relates to geography in general, not just planning! I've worked in my local city planning department for a year as an intern now and its definately leaving a bad taste in my mouth. From reading the posts on here for a few months I've learned what the salary really is, and its a shame how underpaid most planners are. Recently I've been looking at other professions I can get into with my degree. Market Research Analysis, Real Estate/Development, Business Location seem to be my top choices so far. And these professions pay a whole hell of alot more! Does anyone have any advice for me in general or advice in any of these career choices?

An MBA is probably in my near future if I choose one of these, I realize
Don't get too discouraged by experience as an intern or from the "venting" that many of us use these boards for.

There are plenty of communities out there that value planning and provide a challenging, stimulating environment. A lot of it has to do with "paying your dues" so to speak. I spent 3 years in a low-paying Planner I job that had little to do with the overall direction of the community, but helped me to build the years of experience to land that next job that I truly enjoy.

Patience is the key. If you don't have any, perhaps planning is not the right choice.

Good luck
 

laxman33

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
Thanks people for the advice and encouragement. I've still got until May to decide where I want to go (and what I want to be when I grow up!) :) I will probably end up taking a low paying planning position and stay for three to four years, meanwhile, going after my MBA. Real Estate consulting might be where I end up. Who knows? Like the bumpa sticka, I take it one day at a time!

trishm1 and other interns: are you working for private firms or are you working for local government as well?

sean
 

trishm1

Member
Messages
17
Points
1
Not working...a student

Hey Laxman33

I am not working in the planning field right now, I'm a student at UNH, my third year. I do plan to go to grad school right after I complete my BS degree and most likely will join the ranks of the underpaid public employees.

The advice I gave is based on my many years of life experience (haha) and all the posts I've seen here and in other sites.

Good Luck!
 
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