For both prospective and current students, the question “what happens after 4CITIES?” is a natural one. Students of medicine tend to become doctors, students of law often work as lawyers, but what do students of urban studies do after graduating? Increasingly, 4CITIES graduates are making their mark in urban fields and beyond while developing a lifelong community of fellow alumni.
“4CITIES has helped me find work that has a social impact. It’s made me more aware of social inequalities and how the whole ecosystem that surrounds cities plays a huge role in peoples’ lives.”
What do 4CITIES students do after graduating?
With the graduation of Cohort 12 in September 2021, 4CITIES now has more than 275 alumni. There is no general profile of 4CITIES graduates, or 4Citizens, as the wide variety of geographic and disciplinary backgrounds, skill sets, and personalities leads to many different paths. That said, here’s a rough breakdown of what alumni have been up to:
- Approximately 90% of 4CITIES alumni are employed, with 76% of those employed having found work in six months or less.
- 81% of employed alumni work in a field related to urban studies.
- 93% report that 4CITIES prepared them well for their current employment.
- The most common employers are public sector (39%), private sector (24%), and nonprofits or NGOs (17%). Several graduates have also founded their own research, planning, or consultancy firms.
- Job profiles after graduation range from architects and planners to communications specialists and project managers, consultants and analysts, researchers and teachers, and activists and community organizers.
- 48% of graduates have continued their studies after 4CITIES, with half of those pursuing doctoral degrees and half another master’s degree to further develop specific skills.
“4CITIES has absolutely helped me pursue my career path, that is the reason why I applied and completed the 4CITIES master, because I wanted to do meaningful work.”
It is important to note that 4CITIES is an academic program in urban studies, not a professional program in urban planning. Students engage in an interdisciplinary curriculum that prepares them to be scientific generalists. While an array of skills are introduced and developed, it is common for 4CITIES graduates to build on their master’s degree in urban studies with more sector-specific education, experience, and skill certification. That said, graduates overwhelming report that 4CITIES prepared them well to:
- think analytically
- make connections across disciplinary borders
- conduct research
- quickly adapt to new challenges
- synthesize and integrate ideas and information
- speak in front of a crowd
- independently acquire new skills and knowledge
- work effectively as a member of a team
- relate well to people with different backgrounds and perspectives
- write clearly and effectively
- identify and engage social issues
“4CITIES has first of all exposed me to various academic and social environments, which has made me adaptable and agile. The intensity and interdisciplinary nature of the program has taught me how to deal with complex situations.”
4CITIES Alumni Network
As the number of 4CITIES graduates rises, an alumni network continues to grow. In-person alumni reunions are typically held annually, and several social, networking, and discussion-oriented online events are offered throughout the year. Overall, 92% of alumni report that they feel connected to 4CITIES even after graduating.
“This program helped make me more academic and think more critically, something that I didn’t get in my previous (practical) undergrad. Also, the experience of living abroad has massively widened my horizons, been helpful in making me more confident, and made it easier to build contacts in Europe.”
Erasmus Mundus Association
4Citizens also have access to the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA), which connects them to current students and graduates of all Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree and doctoral programs.