A Comment on Grad School

I always thought that after I finished my undergrad, I would be whisked off the magical land of Graduate School and life would be good. At the time, I was younger, and had basically no concept of money or time. Nowadays, I would just be happy finishing my undergrad degree and landing a semi-solid job working in the design field. With the way the economy is now, I would be very okay with even a part-time job in design, and then another part-timer somewhere else—hell, getting a waiting job at a restaurant is even hard for young people right out of college. That being said, it would almost make more sense to head off to grad school and forget the worries and bothers that the real world has to offer.

I am lucky, as once I graduate I will have no loans to pay off. Thank you Mom and Dad, that was awesome of you guys. One more reason that grad school should look appealing. But here’s the rub: graphic designers do not necessarily need a master’s degree; or so I’ve thought and been told. What’s more important is having a solid portfolio or body of work, communication skills, and experience at a well-known firm. Therefore, my plans for the future include moving to the Pacific-Northwest, getting a job, experience, some money, a marketable portfolio, and only then, after a few years, if I am getting bored and want to spice up my design life, only then will I really think about graduate school as an important option.

As far as right now, I am interested in interactivity—both social and digital (or digitally social). Also, I would be more interested in a Master’s of Science, as opposed to an MFA. If I really had to pick particular grad school programs that seem feasible, my list would look like such:

  1. The NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
  2. Carnegie Mellon Interaction Design Program
  3. Interactive Design at VCU / Design at Virginia Tech
  4. Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology
  5. Human-Computer Interaction Design at the Indiana School of Informatics
  6. Interaction Design at the University of Kansas

Another option I might consider is going the route of the MBA instead of MS or MFA. The MBA in Design Strategy at the California College of the Arts seems to be a rather interesting program. Well, for now, this is all just speculation.



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