I'm an international relations major who speaks a few lesser-known languages with several years in management consulting under my belt, and I'm planning to apply to urban planning/public policy programs this fall. I'd like my classes to have a strong international focus as well as give me a solid understanding of quantitative (statistics) skills and technical (GIS, data management, data visualization using R, Python, etc) skills, as I didn't get these in undergrad either because they didn't mesh with my qualitative studies or were too stovepiped at the time in the engineering/math departments to be widely applied to political science/international development.
I've considered a public policy master's, but urban planning seemed like a great fit for my creative interests in design and interests in working on international issues where my language and cultural knowledge could be put to use. Sound logical, or too romanticized for someone with no experience in the urban planning field beyond some GIS work?
Beyond grad school, I'd like to be competitive at either an international development group in the private sector (tech startup?), international finance (World Bank), or NGO sector. Here's my list of schools:
Columbia GSAPP/SIPA (Urban Studies concentration)
And a few others with less of an explicit Urban Planning emphasis:
UChicago Harris/Computational Analysis
A few questions on both grad schools and careers:
1) Any schools I'm missing that I should check out? I've heard the Ivies may not be as important with their brand-name as say for business schools, but the programs look interesting. I'd like to be in a major city for networking purposes as well as to get some exposure to local infrastructure/planning programs, even though I don't see myself working in local or state government long-term. This list was also put together to give me the most flexibility in terms of career options in the field.
2) What are some urban planning jobs outside of local or state government that do work or plan internationally? I'm aware of a few civil engineering or international development groups like AECOM or Louis Berger, but welcome any other suggestions.
Thanks for any advice you can provide!