Urban and Regional Studies Program Career Information

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1 Urban and Regional Studies Program Career Information What can you do with a degree in Urban and Regional Studies? Skills and Abilities Researching Interpreting information Strong interpersonal skills Organizing projects and programs Analyzing components of complex problems Designing programs Synthesizing complex issues Understanding planning research Analyzing policy Creative thinking Making decisions Facilitating group dialogue Presenting ideas and information clearly, both orally and in writing Managing people, processes & projects A Sample of Related Employment Fields Real Estate Education Public Policy/LawEnvironmental Policy & Planning Non-profit Management Urban Planning and Design Historic Preservation Economic Development International Development Neighborhood/CommunityDevelopment Healthcare Housing Advocacy Social Services Public Administration

2 Sample Job Titles Urban/Regional Planner Code Enforcement Planner Land Management Planner Research Planner City Manager Natural Resource Planner Residence Counselor Director of Accessibility Services Policy Director Senior Planner Director of Community Development Historic Preservation Specialist Sustainability Planner Economic Development Administrator Principal Planner Transportation Planner Community Environmental Health Specialist Project Development Officer Facilities Development Specialist Project Evaluator Urban Renewal Administrator Land Development Coordinator Real Estate Analyst Zoning Administrator

3 Urban and Regional Studies Program Career Information Using Your College Coursework, Internships, Academic Service Learning (ASL) and Community-Based Research to Enhance Your Career Goals EMPLOYMENT SECTOR: GOVERNMENT/PUBLIC SECTOR Demography Social Statistics Public Administration Policy Analysis Research Program Development Human Services City Planning Politics Federal departments and agencies such as: Departments of Agriculture, Education, Interior, Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Drug Enforcement Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, Veteran s Administration, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Aging Peace Corps State and local government Planning and development commissions National, state, or local parks or recreation departments Housing authorities Social service agencies Transportation departments Take courses in statistics and social research. Develop your computer, communication, and research skills. Gain work experience through government internships, part-time jobs, or summer work. Develop an area of special interest such as historic preservation, real estate, aging, family, poverty, or healthcare. Learn the federal job application process. Obtain a graduate degree for advanced positions. Consider obtaining a minor in political science, public administration, economics or other relevant fields.

4 EMPLOYMENT SECTOR: URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING Transportation Demography Housing Historic Preservation Urban Design Urban Renewal Environmental/Regulatory Issues Economic Development Land Use Research Design Program Development Architecture firms Engineering firms Local planning agencies Real estate and development contractors Investment companies Transportation agencies Zoning administration Federal, state, and local government Utility companies Non-profit organizations Historical restoration or preservation agencies Neighborhood revitalization initiatives International development organizations Select courses in social sciences, economics, management and statistics. Earn a graduate degree in urban or regional planning from an accredited planning program. Find a urban and regional planning internships, part-time, or summer jobs. Build up your computer skills, including knowledge of GIS software. Learn another language to communicate with diverse community members or to work abroad. Be able to work collaboratively with diverse individuals in professional and community settings.

5 EMPLOYMENT SECTOR: HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES Counseling Case Management Advocacy Rehabilitation Counseling Mental Health Services Programming Administration Community service agencies Advocacy groups Federal, state, and local government Local branches of national non-profit organizations Religiously-affiliated service organizations Private foundations Adoption and child care agencies Nursing homes and retirement communities Hospitals and wellness centers Halfway houses Vocational services Educational information services Gain experience and develop social assistance skills through internships and volunteer positions. Spend summers working at camps or social service agencies. Participate in experiences working with diverse populations. Develop inter-personal communication skills. Concentrate course work in an area of interest such as sociology, psychology, health services. Learn a second language in order to interact with non-english speakers and increase your range of skills. Serve as a peer mentor or other student leader. Earn a master s degree in social work, counseling, or other related field to increase employment opportunities.

6 EMPLOYMENT SECTOR: PRIVATE SECTOR BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT Real Estate: Construction Management, Development, Sales, Leasing Management Human Resources Sales Real estate firms Rental properties Construction and development companies Insurance firms Retail stores Banks Staffing agencies Manufacturing companies Credit management companies and organizations Service industries Healthcare organizations Earn a minor in management or supplement curriculum with courses in general business, accounting, and finance. Gain business experience through part-time jobs, summer work, and internships. Become expert in basic business-applications software programs (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint for example). Focus attention on increasing your written and oral communication skills. Join related professional associations. Seek leadership roles in student organizations.

7 EMPLOYMENT SECTOR: EDUCATION AND RESEARCH Teaching Research Community Colleges Four-Year Colleges and Universities Research Institutes Plan to continue on to earn a Master s degree and a Ph.D. in order to teach at the college and university-level. Assist a professor with research. Take extra courses in research methods and statistics. Develop exceptional written and oral communication skills. Focus on your course work and treat your undergraduate research projects and papers as an apprenticeship (training) for your graduate school studies. Secure strong personal recommendations, particularly from professors. EMPLOYMENT SECTOR: SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH Data Analysis Demography Market Research Information Sourcing Universities Government agencies Research institutes Non-profit organizations Private industries Advertising and marketing firms Consulting organizations Newspapers, magazines, news agencies Focus on taking courses using quantitative methods, statistical applications, and researchbased writing. Become proficient in the use of statistics software packages (including GIS). Take several community-based research courses. Take an independent study course on a topic with which you want to gain deeper understanding. Intern with nonprofit research-based organizations. Volunteer to help a professor with a research project. Obtain an advanced degree for research administration positions. Network with professionals working in areas of interest. Gain experience working on teams.

8 GENERAL INFORMATION Many transferable skills such as analytical, organizational, research, interpersonal, computer, leadership, teamwork, and oral/written communication are associated with the urban studies degree. Internships, part-time jobs, summer jobs, and/or volunteer experiences are critical for gaining experience and developing a career path. An undergraduate degree is sufficient for many entry-level positions in business, industry, and government; however, a graduate degree is likely to be more desirable in a competitive market. An undergraduate degree in urban studies is good preparation for graduate or professional education in law, business, and other related fields. In this case make sure that you understand the prerequisites for graduate or professional programs in these fields. To enhance graduate or professional school opportunities, maintain a high grade point average, secure strong faculty recommendations, join student or professional organizations, and gain relevant experience outside of the classroom through work, internship, volunteer, and research opportunities. A Ph.D. is required for teaching at the four-year university level. For human or social service positions, gain experience with a population of interest (i.e., children, college students, elderly adults) and develop multicultural sensitivity and understanding. Plan to earn a graduate degree in counseling, social work or related field. Conduct informational interviews with professionals working in areas of interest [Adapted from Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville posted on:

9 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SOURCES Print Resources The Complete Guide to Public Employment. Manses, CA: Impact Publications Profitable Careers in Nonprofit. New York: Wily & Sons Management Consulting Career Guide. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press Careers in the NonProfit Sector: Doing Well by Doing Good, Washington, DC: Office of Personnel Management Almanac of Government Jobs and Careers. Woodbridge, VA: Impact Publications International Careers. Charlotte. Charlotte, VT: Williamson Publishing Occupational Outlook Handbook. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office United States Government Manual. Washington DC: Federal Register Publications. The National Ad Search - The National Employment Business Guide. Milwaukee, WI: National Ad Search, Inc United States Office of Personnel Management Listings. Indianapolis, IN: Indianapolis Service Center Community Jobs - The Employment Newspaper for the NonProfit Sector. Boston, MA: Access. Web Resources Cyburbia, is the Web s longest-running discussion and social networking site for urbanists, planners and citizens interested in cities, design, social issues, economic development and the built environment: Salary Information and Employment Projections American Planning Association: (select - "Jobs and Careers" and then select "salary survey" - U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook: Urban and Regional Planners (http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos057.htm)

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