Sustainable metropolitan development, land use, and land use regulation have become issues of growing public concern. Urban planners play pivotal roles in addressing these issues and improving communities, often working with residents, local business owners, and other professionals to implement policies and programs. They are trained as problem solvers and frequently draw on knowledge of economics, architecture, real estate, sociology, finance, politics, history, and law. Urban planners understand the complexities of cities and recognize the short- and long-term impacts of policies.
In 2009, U.S. News and World Report chose urban planning as a top career with high job satisfaction. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that "employment of urban and regional planners is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations," they also note that funding issues affecting current employment of planners "should improve over the coming decade."
The UPD program at Saint Louis University teaches students the essential knowledge, skills, and values central to the planning profession. Graduates who actively searched for work in the field and maintained contact with the Center for Sustainability have reported a 98% employment rate within one year of graduating. The Center and its faculty prepare students for employment in (1) the public sector, where they can enter city government, (2) the private sector, where they can work with real estate development companies, and (3) the non-profit sector, where they can work with community development corporations or economic development organizations. They also can be entrepreneurs, building non-profit organizations and development companies.
The Center for Sustainability provides a network of alumni to help students obtain internships and develop their careers. Graduates have been employed by organizations in various fields.
Alaska Department of
Citizens for Modern Transit
Dutchtown South Community
East-West Gateway Council of
Great Rivers Greenway District
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group
Park Central Development Corporation
Partnership for Downtown St. Louis
Regional Housing and Community
Southwest Garden Neighborhood
Washington University Medical Center