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Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby FH13 » February 23rd, 2016, 1:09 pm


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iab brought up a good point. Maybe designers should be required to get a license. Some engineers do, architects do as well, even real estate professionals. So why not Industrial Designers?
Maybe this will give our career more credibility and stop people and clients from thinking that anybody can do it and it can be done in a couple of weeks...after all "it's just design right".

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby yo » February 23rd, 2016, 1:44 pm

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iab wrote:Will anyone on these boards claim they learned more in their 4 years of college than they did in the first year of their job? So why exactly is learning on the job worse than getting a BS, BA or BFA?


Oh for sure. I think school just gets you ready for your real education.

You are right and I should clarify. Not saying it can't be done, I just feel like I can't recommend it based on the probability of getting a traditional design job. If that is not your goal, have at it. I have a young guy here who came in through brand management but I realized that at night he was doing graffiti and what paste street art. We encouraged him to bring that into the office and in addition to brand management he has done social media, marketing graphics, web design, and packaging design. So we utilize him as a bit of a hybrid clutch player. He mainly has gone back to brand management but at least I know he can make a killer point and I don't have to have one of our graphic designers redo it.

anyway, it is all possible, but I think you need to begin with the end in mind. OP, what job do you want and what is the path that is most likely to guarantee success that is viable given your situation... in essence, this is a design problem.

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby iab » February 23rd, 2016, 2:12 pm


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bepster wrote:I did an ID masters and I have been frustrated with students that jumped in without proper design training.


That is the problem of the program, not the students within the program.

bepster wrote:To work your way up is a different story and I can definitely see that happening but it seems like a hell of a hill to climb.


We are in agreement. But I'll take the guy who had a hell of a hill over a guy with a silver spoon.

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby iab » February 23rd, 2016, 2:22 pm


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FH13 wrote:Maybe designers should be required to get a license. .


I don't know if that is possible.

The objective of accreditation to create a quantifiable standard. I wouldn't know where to start with ID. Architects need to know building codes. Engineers need to know ANSI standards. Lawyers need to know statutes. I don't know what would be on my ID exam that would reduce malpractice. Do you have any ideas?

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby bepster » February 23rd, 2016, 4:53 pm

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iab wrote:
bepster wrote:To work your way up is a different story and I can definitely see that happening but it seems like a hell of a hill to climb.


We are in agreement. But I'll take the guy who had a hell of a hill over a guy with a silver spoon.


For sure but I wouldn't call a design education a "silver spoon" exactly. I am sure we all fought hard to get to where we are :wink:

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby yo » February 23rd, 2016, 5:24 pm

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iab wrote:
FH13 wrote:Maybe designers should be required to get a license. .


I don't know if that is possible.

The objective of accreditation to create a quantifiable standard. I wouldn't know where to start with ID. Architects need to know building codes. Engineers need to know ANSI standards. Lawyers need to know statutes. I don't know what would be on my ID exam that would reduce malpractice. Do you have any ideas?



I remember we hashed that accreditation topic pretty heavily a few years back. I think the resolution (or my interpretation of) is that the field is so diverse you would be accrediting the bare minimum.... of course brain surgery is pretty different from foot surgery.

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby yo » February 23rd, 2016, 5:25 pm

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bepster wrote:
iab wrote:
bepster wrote:To work your way up is a different story and I can definitely see that happening but it seems like a hell of a hill to climb.


We are in agreement. But I'll take the guy who had a hell of a hill over a guy with a silver spoon.


For sure but I wouldn't call a design education a "silver spoon" exactly. I am sure we all fought hard to get to where we are :wink:


some of us have been paying rot those silver spoons in decades long installments!

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby FH13 » February 23rd, 2016, 7:27 pm


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I guess it all boils down to:

Yes, anybody can get a Masters in design and probably get a job, but it is not the traditional way of doing it. And it seems it would be an uphill battle competing with the other designers that spend 2-4 years to get their BAs or BSs.

Yes, you can get an apprenticeship but I don't know of anybody going that route.

Yes, you can learn on your own but you will be learning in a vacuum never knowing what you are doing right or wrong. Again, don't know anybody that went that route.

I guess they see it as an MBA in a way. What they haven't experienced or understand is the importance of your portfolio. What makes your portfolio is what you learn over the years and the thousands of ours spent doing different projects and learning from other people. Like everything it will depend on the individual his/her determination and the people around providing guidance.

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby choto » March 9th, 2016, 6:11 am

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There's a great podcast from Feng Zhu on self education for people trying to get into Concept Art.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3Al7QAS89s

Not directly ID related but a lot of similarities.

My 2 cents on the topic: I think there are a lot of ID programs that are graduating a lot of students that are ill-prepared for the industry. A degree does not guarantee a job by any stretch.

That being said, I do not think I could have come even close to achieving the same growth over 15 years of self education as I achieved in 5 years of in school/internships.

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby Sketchgrad » March 14th, 2016, 5:44 am


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I'm going to throw something in to the mix that often seems to be forgotten when we talk about not going to university, both for ID and also for any other subjects:

University helps you grow as a person and you learn a lot more than just what subject is printed on your "certificate"

If we're talking about 18 year olds skipping college and going straight in to an apprenticeship then the pure logistics of it just wouldn't be feasible. For starters unless you were raised in an area that has good ID firms close by then realistically you're going to have to move away from the nest and figuring out what it takes to be an "adult" whilst giving it your all to be valued and the firm.

With college you have a safety net, you're living in dorms, those around you are all in the same boat so it is easier to make friends, there are people on campus to provide help, in some places you don't even have to cook for yourself as there is a canteen - you can even get your laundry done for you.

I'll happily tell the new person what areas not to get an apartment to live in and I'll even go so far as to help them move their stuff up 3 flights of stairs in exchange for a couple of beers. But if I had to start babysitting them then because they got drunk and lost their keys......yeah thats not for me.

Also, at university you get to meet all sorts of people from different backgrounds and cultures that broaden your horizons more so than if you'd just moved away from mum and dad. Most of us can say design is our biggest passion but if it hadn't have been for university then my world would have been a lot smaller.

Re: Is it realistic to skip the BA?

Postby yo » March 14th, 2016, 10:51 am

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True, the network of contacts I developed was great. I still keep in touch with a lot of folks.

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