Editor's Note

Hey there, urban thinkers! Planning Times is back this month with another issue to keep you on the hook for some fascinating concepts and developments in the planning fraternity! The last time we released an issue for the new planners in India. If you didn't get to read that, you can read about A Guide to B.Planning in India.

This time, we are still revolving around the planning education system, but for Masters in Planning. So in this issue, we will be talking about the very commonly asked questions by students who are confused about the career and job prospects of choosing M.Plan in and outside India. Kindly share the link with our potential and budding planners or anyone whom you feel will be benefited from this information.

In this issue

We have picked up four of the most common areas of discussion about M.Plan. We've tried to briefly capture all the points you need to know about each question and have also linked some detailed articles within each answer. These questions include:

  1. Master of Planning in India
  2. Why should you pursue M.Plan in India?
  3. Career Choices after M.Plan
  4. Master of Planning outside India

We hope this issue adds clarity to your knowledge about the Masters of Planning in India and abroad. And do not hesitate to tell us your views about the newsletter, the content, and our mascot Terra the Turtle.

Hope you enjoy the issue and stick with us till the very end!

Karthik Girish  

Theme of the Month

Master of Planning in India

While students are generally unaware of the field of Planning when they enter the undergraduate program (B. Plan), Master of Planning is a comparatively better-known course. The reason being knowledge and awareness that is gained by the students during their graduation. Master of Planning is a two-year full-time post-graduate course that offers specialization in various fields including Environmental Planning, Housing, Regional Planning, Transport Planning, Urban Planning, etc.

Master of Planning is the perfect course to pursue if the Planning field interests you and you wish to get specialized in this field of knowledge. It gives you a chance to streamline your expertise in a more desirable way because taking up a master’s degree in itself is an investment for your future which offers long-term benefits in numerous ways besides improving your market value as a Planner.

Though admission procedure generally varies across the colleges, GATE Architecture is an exam that tests the students in all theoretical and analytical aspects of subjects related to Architecture and Planning. Clearing GATE (AR) is mandatory for getting into some colleges as it might be included as one of the eligibility criteria, however, it does not hold true for all. So, you just need to check the admission procedure, eligibility criteria, and selection process and prepare accordingly to get into the college you desire for. In India, M. Plan is being offered by a number of colleges that are affiliated to the Institute of Town Planners of India (ITPI) and/ or All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) or state departments.

Nancy Grover  

Why should you pursue M.Plan in India?

Pursuing a Master’s degree in Planning after graduation may seem daunting for you right now but do remember that it’s doable if you are interested in pursuing your career in the Planning field. After completing your Master's, you’re guaranteed to reap the benefits of your hard work in the future.

If you are still searching for the reasons to take up M. Plan after B. Plan, then the following points might be of help to you.

  1. It’s an investment for your future – Taking up a master’s degree in itself is already an investment for your future as it offers numerous benefits. All the other benefits are eventually the result of this investment made at the right time.
  2. It increases your market value – You may get a job after your graduation but the chances would definitely increase after the completion of a master’s degree. The efforts and experience that you gain during these two years help in giving you an edge over others.
  3. It gives you more than just the minimum qualifications – Masters help you to exceed the minimum standards by streamlining your knowledge in a better way. It is beneficial when you’re working in important sectors of society related to Planning.

It is interesting to know that students from various fields other than Planning are eligible to apply for this Post Graduate course as well. For instance, students with bachelor’s degrees in Architecture, Civil Engineering, Architectural engineering, Environmental engineering, Building Science, or master’s degree in Geography, Economics, Sociology, Environmental Science, and Environmental Management are eligible to apply for Master of Planning (Environmental Planning) in SPA, Delhi. Similar is the case for M. Plan in other colleges also.

Nancy Grover  

Career Choices after M.Plan

Once you’ve reached the master’s degree level, some of you might be interested in going for a doctorate degree if you wish to further narrow down your area of interest to become more focused and get the specialization done. This helps a lot especially in research-related projects or if you aim to be a Professor in this field in the near future.

Apart from this, there are numerous work opportunities varying widely in private, government, and non-government organizations. The working area for a planner varies greatly on the basis of location and specialization. The annual package differs with the size of the firm you’re working with and the city where you’re posted, the project on which you’re deployed in addition to the position you hold. For a postgraduate with an M.Plan degree, your salary could be anywhere between 4.5 LPA - 10 LPA. As you add on 1-2 years of work experience to your CV, the market value graph generally remains the same; however, it levels up as soon as you complete 3 years of work-ex, as many government orders (GOs) stipulate M. Plan with 3 years of work experience as the minimum experience for ‘Urban Planner’ or ‘Architect cum Planner’ based positions.

Nancy Grover  

Master of Planning outside India

Master of planning courses outside India is a very different scenario. These courses are usually very specific to a particular region as planning policies differ for each region. Urban planning policies and practices in India are extremely different from the ones in the EU or the US. Several universities offer courses in urban planning or sustainable urban planning that helps in evolving practices that can be developed and molded for the Indian context.

There are many accredited courses for Masters in Planning available in countries like UK, USA, Australia, Canada, etc. During your master’s degree program, you will learn how to draw up policies that meet people’s needs. You will also learn how to plan urban spaces. The master’s program allows you to choose an area of concentration like environmental planning, community development, or housing and real estate.

It is very competitive to get into the top universities and they need a high average in undergraduate studies to get an offer at the Master’s level. Because of its good pay and promising professional prospects, people do not aim for higher studies after becoming a professional planner. This happens mostly in the developed countries where city planning is a highly valued profession, including the USA, New Zealand, Canada, which also has an accredited system.

Most countries offer a wide variety of topics and prospects that you can choose from. If you want to pursue planning or are considering it, then a Master of planning outside India can also be a good option. It is positive if you are looking for a stable job and want to earn a good living. For many, resource consenting is not the best job they would like to do for a living, so you will also need to think about what suits you best and what your main goal of finding a job really is.

Karthik Girish  

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