Master's Degree in Urban Planning for a JD: now, later, or never?
November 23, 2007 10:29 PM Subscribe
Master's Degree in Urban Planning: now, later, or never?
I'm in my third year of law school, and I've realized (after taking on a pile of debt) that I don't really want to practice law. I think urban planning is the right field for me. Should I rush to get applications in now to start a program next fall, or should I enter the workplace and try to apply next year? Or should I skip the urban planning degree and start applying for planning jobs with my JD?
posted by stopgap to education (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I think I'm not being naive about the field of urban planning. I'm not interested in it because of any dreams of top-down dictatorial imposition of the "right" planning model. I don't think that's possible, and I'd be more interested in organic-growth planning through economic incentives or zoning. I'd be interested to know if any particular schools' programs emphasize this approach—but maybe that's the standard? I figure schools that offer dual-degree with their own JD program would be a better fit because they'd know what to do with me.
If this is something I could get a career in with just the JD, I'd be glad to be done with school and get going, but I don't have any job prospects at the moment and I'm not sure what kinds of jobs I could get. Can I get a job as a planner without a planning degree?
If I took a year off and applied next year, what should I be doing in the interim? Keep in mind that I'd need a real income because I would have to start making loan payments.