Urban Planning: MURP or CivE?!
July 26, 2010 12:45 PM Subscribe
So I think I want to radically change careers and head towards Urban Planning / Civil Engineering. Which degree should I get and how should I go about this?
posted by alaijmw to education (25 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I've decided that urban planning would be a very interesting career and unlike my current career (ad sales) it could be quite fulfilling.
Now, how to go about this? I currently have a B.S. in Business/Marketing, but it looks like you don't need anything in particular to do a Masters in Urban Planning. I do have some concerns about going for a MURP, though.
-Urban planning as a field seems pretty hard hit right now
-Salaries never seem to get very high even with a masters
I'm not in it for the money, but I've got a good deal of debt as it is and changing careers would likely entail an immediate salary hit from my current sales job.
Those concerns lead me towards Civil Engineering. I actually considered doing engineering because I *loved* physics in high school but decided against it (partially because I didn't want to take the math classes... I never minded doing math in physics, but wasn't a big fan of math classes themselves).
Advantages that I can see with engineering:
-Broader degree that would allow for plenty of jobs outside strict urban planning
-I feel like my business degree and sales experience/people skills would give me a competitive advantage in the engineering field
Problems with engineering:
-I will need a lot of pre-reqs. A lot.
-Therefore it will cost more
So here are my questions:
1. Does civil engineering make sense if I want to do urban planning? Obviously the are related fields, but is it just pointless to go CivE versus MURP?
2. Would I also need (or would it make sense) to get a MURP in addition to CivE?
And the bigger, possibly more complicated question...
3. How do I go back and do engineering? I've found a couple engineering masters programs that will admit students to their masters programs without engineering degrees - some require hard science degrees, some don't - for those that don't (that's me!) they require lots of pre-reqs. I'd need undergrad math and science and then undergrad engineering.
4. If I could do the masters program (with what would likely be a year or two of pre-reqs), would it make more sense than getting a second B.S. in CivE? Could I even get a PE with only a masters?
The engineering path would take significantly longer than a MURP, for sure (although I'd likely do a semester or two of pre-reqs before a MURP to get my GPA up, so assume a MURP with take 3 years instead of 2), but it does hold some appeal to me... but am I crazy?
Thanks in advance for the advice - the other urban planning related posts I've found have been super helpful!