It’s never too early to start researching career options, making connections with alums and other professionals, and developing materials to promote yourself. By starting early, when you’re ready to pursue opportunities, it won’t seem like such a daunting task.
At CED, you're already surrounded by a vibrant community of design and planning firms, many with ties to the faculty and alums. While many of our graduates work in design and planning, others have gone on to develop careers in areas such as medicine, law, real estate development, acting, and teaching. There's no limit to what you can pursue as a CED graduate.
Explore Career Paths
- Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning
- City & Regional Planning
- Sustainable Environmental Design
Architects plan and design houses, office buildings, and other structures. Architects work in the construction industry and are involved with designing new buildings, extensions or alterations to existing buildings, or advising on the restoration and conservation of old properties.
They can work on individual buildings or on large redevelopment schemes, and can be responsible for the design of the surrounding landscape and spaces.
The role of an architect is varied and can range from freelance and small-scale project work to employment with multinational organizations working on iconic landmarks.
Job and Internship Opportunities
- American Institute of Architecture
- AIA East Bay and AIA San Francisco
Architecture News and Community
Licensure and Career Development
Landscape architects design gardens, public parks, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, and public spaces to be functional as well as beautiful and harmonious with the natural environment. Landscape architects also plan the locations of buildings, roads, walkways, flowers, shrubs, and trees within these environments.
Landscape architects use several different technologies in their work. For example, through the use of computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software, landscape architects prepare models of their proposed work. They then present these models to clients for feedback to demonstrate the final look of the project. Many landscape architects also use geographic information systems (GIS), which allow them to present data visually as maps, reports, and charts.
Landscape architects undertake projects that seek to enhance the natural beauty of a space and provide environmental benefits. They may plan the restoration of natural places disturbed by humans, such as wetlands, streams, and mined areas. They may also design “green roofs” or rooftop gardens that can retain storm water, absorb air pollution, and cool buildings while also providing pleasant scenery. Managing storm water runoff is another important part of many landscape architectural plans because it protects clean water sources and natural ecosystems from pollutants. Landscape architects also play a role in preserving and restoring historic landscapes.
Job and Internship Opportunities
Landscape Architecture News and Community
- World Landscape Architect
- The Dirt – Information and discussion on uniting the built and natural environments
- The Field – Professional landscape architect network
- The Cultural Landscape Foundation – Stewardship through education
Planners advocate the best use of a community’s land and resources for residential, commercial, educational, and recreational purposes. Some planners work on broad, community-wide plans; others focus on specific issues. When beginning a project, planners work with public officials, community members, and other groups to identify community issues and goals.
Using research, data analysis, and collaboration with interest groups, planners formulate strategies to address issues and to meet goals. They also may help carry out community plans, oversee projects, and organize the work of the groups involved. Projects may range from a policy recommendation for a specific initiative to a long-term, comprehensive area plan.
Planners use a variety of tools and technology in their work, including geographic information systems (GIS) that analyze and manipulate data. GIS is used to integrate data with electronic maps. For example, planners use GIS to overlay a land map with population density indicators. They also use statistical software, visualization and presentation programs, financial spreadsheets, and other database and software programs.
Job and Internship Listing
- American Planning Association: Jobs and Careers
- Northern California American Planning Association
- UC Berkeley Planning Jobs listings
- Careers in Government
- Bay Area Progressive Database
- Planetizen | Jobs
- Streetsblog Jobs
Local Bay Area Organization
- Association of Bay Area Governments – The regional planning agency for the Bay Area
- SPUR – A San Francisco– and San Jose–based public policy think tank whose mission is “to promote good planning and good government.”
- Urban Ecology – San Francisco organization dedicated to using planning, design, and policy to create sustainable and fair neighborhoods.
- Urban Habitat – Oakland organization dedicated to empowering low-income communities through research, advocacy, and coalition building.
National and International Organizations
- American Planning Association – APA brings together practicing planners, citizens, and elected officials who are committed to making great communities happen.
- Project for Public Spaces – a nonprofit dedicated to promoting community-building public spaces
- Urban Institute – an economic and social policy research organization
- Urban Land Institute – The Urban Land Institute provides leadership in the responsible use of land to enhance the total environment. Issues include finance, housing, transportation, and urban revitalization
- United Nations HABITAT – The U.N.’s Human Settlements Program. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities, with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all
Protecting the environment is an important goal for many organizations. A way to achieve this goal is to pursue sustainability, which is using resources to meet present needs without compromising future resources. Although sustainability most often is associated with environmental protection and conservation, it also has social and economic impacts. In fact, many companies adopt sustainability strategies to increase profits, and the environmental aspects become an added bonus.
Sustainability professionals help organizations achieve their goals by ensuring that their business practices are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. Sustainability is a diverse field that includes a wide variety of professionals. Sustainability professionals can be business managers, scientists, or engineers, or they can come from other backgrounds. Although their specific career paths might differ, sustainability professionals promote environmental protection, social responsibility, and profitability.
Job and Internship Listings
Local Bay Area Organizations
- SPUR – a San Francisco–and San Jose–based public policy think tank whose mission is “to promote good planning and good government”
- Urban Ecology – San Francisco organization dedicated to using planning, design, and policy to create sustainable and fair neighborhoods
- Urban Habitat – Oakland organization dedicated to empowering low-income communities through research, advocacy, and coalition building
Meet with a Career Counselor
Search for Internships or Jobs
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The biweekly Architecture, Planning & Environmental Design CareerMail newsletter includes relevant career insights, upcoming Career Center events, opportunities beyond the Career Center, employer info sessions, and job/internship postings. Follow the steps below to subscribe to the newsletter:
- Sign in to Handshake
- Locate “career interests” under your name
- Scroll down and choose which careermails you want to subscribe to
- Click “save”