Is "Urban Planner" One of the Best Careers of 2011?

Once again, US News and World Report singles out the world of planning as one of the best careers for the coming year. But the online comments tell another story.

As one planner puts it, "Why are you doing this to us???

Every time you people at US News and World Reports rank this career in your top 50, I cringe. I wish you would stop telling all of these young people that this line of work is so freakin' great, with lots and lots of future job opportunities."

The comments are thoughtful and detailed, as in this writer:

"As a practicing planner for five years I am lucky to have gotten through grad school and locked in a position before the bust. That said, there is a lot of anxiety in the public sector with budget cuts and the younger planners on the chop block as the last in the door. Some places are better than others, but especially on the coasts and the rust belt, today's grads will find a very challenging environment."

Full Story: Best Careers 2011: Urban Planner



Ha!!! I've been a

Ha!!! I've been a multi-specialty (land use, transportation, strategic and neighborhood/community planning) planner for over ten years with dual masters degrees and experienced at the local/regional/state level (plus consulting) in the US and abroad and I've been out of work for a year. Give me a freaking break!!!

Very Challenging Indeed

As a recent graduate (MPA, focus in Metro Planning), one year later and still under-employed, it is a little funny to read these articles. By all means Urban Planning SHOULD be a growing field but it will not experience the growth it needs for some time to come. Especially since the public sector is about to get hit hard once the many insolvent municipalities officially go bankrupt... or is that view too pessimistic? Will this lead to privatized/ outsourced Planning Departments?

US News & World Report Best Careers 2011 - Urban Planner

US News and World Report must think that an Urban Planner and a Financial Planner are one and the same profession. First of all you need combat pay to be planner these days. I know. I've been in this business for 20 years. Anytime someone speaks in favor of zoning residents rally and yell, "Lock and Load! I find the article a joke since most americans today are totally fed up with government. It will take 7 to 10 years for the proverbial pendulum to swing back. Until then, jobs as an urban planner will be like 'hens' teeth. Just not there.

Is Urban Planner one of the Best Careers of 2011?

I think that they may have meant CHINESE urban planners, or some folks in Dubai, or other places with both phenomenal growth and no real formalized planning process yet. Me? I am working in a planning department for free right now just to broaden my experience. Few people can actually do this, but we have been relocated so much and the job market is so tight that there is nothing to lose by looking at all ways to gain experience right now.

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