Considering a Career in Urban Planning

Choosing a career can be a difficult decision to make, especially as the cost of education has increased quite drastically both at home and abroad. Today, when you pick a course of study and a career path, one of the major questions you have to ask is whether or not the educational investment is worth it, and luckily there are still some great courses that provide graduates with a high return on their investment.

With worldwide development constantly increasing, along with population, the need for more and more urban infrastructure means that one of these lucrative and popular careers is urban planning. If you’re thinking of starting a career in this field, here are a few things you should know.

Education to become an urban planner

Urban planning is both a technical and a political process that concerns itself with architecture, urban design, public consultation, policy recommendation, implementation, and management. In order to gain technical understanding of this complex set of skills, urban planners go through a variety of levels of education.

There are more and more universities beginning to offer undergraduate courses in urban planning, and this green collar job has grown significantly in popularity. These courses give students a platform to work in urban planning or to do graduate coursework in law, public policy, economic development, architecture, and more.

For those  looking to improve their long-term career prospects, it is worth looking into a master of urban planning programs, especially as these higher degrees tend to open up the possibility of work to an international scale. The prerequisites for a master of urban planning are usually a sound background and understanding in economics, and microeconomics. These programs will also allow students to specialize their studies, opening career paths and leadership roles at both private and public firms, as well as with the government and non-government organizations.

Urban planning careers

One of the advantages of a career in urban planning is that it allows for a variety of unique paths and specialties, including transport and planning, economic policy, business management, environmental protection, built environment, as well as landscape architecture.

For those looking to maximize their job potential, it is great to look for both work and studies overseas in countries that are going through a rapid growth in urbanization and development. A great example of this is in the Middle East, where cities like Dubai have gone through exponential growth over the last few decades and promise to continue building and developing at a high rate.

Whether you’re entering urban planning because you enjoy the technical, political, or environment aspect, you will soon find that a diverse skill set is required, and a quality education in this field of study will go a long way to helping you achieve the successful career you’ve always desired.


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