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yo wrote:I think it could definitely be a fit. An in between option would perhaps be being a ME at a more strategic design firm like frog where the MEs are often time doing more high level thinking collaboratively with the design team. When the rubber hits the road you would still be deep in ME stuff, but a lot of times the engagements are more high level and front end. It is possible to eventually transition into an interaction designer in such a roll, or even a director. One of the ID directors at frog at the time (since left) had an ME background.
If you really want to go hardcore ID though, yes, going back to school is going to be the most reliable path. With an ME degree and work experience in a design firm you should be able to do the degrees in less than 3 years (the school will probably try to say 3-3.5, but realistically I would think 2.5 if you push on them). SFSU isn't bad, and I think if you know what you want out of the experience you will be fine. Maybe you can even work part time as an ME at a firm during?
bepster wrote:This might be a controversial thing to say here, but I am not even sure you would necessarily have to finish your ID degree.
What you need is a good design foundation but given the fact that you are a little bit older than the typical student and have relevant experience, I am not sure you would need an ID degree to land a good ID position.
Especially since you already have a college degree. So start the bachelor's yes, but maybe drop out if you feel ready.
In my opinion, what you would need is a good portfolio, which can absolutely be compiled in less than 3 years if you are diligent about your work and plan for an early departure from the program.
I dropped out of my ID bachelors a year shy of graduating because I had a previous degree and with all due respect to the program, I didn't feel like I would have gotten a lot out of the final year after looking at the syllabus.
The fact that you have such a strong engineering background, coupled with a passion for design, makes you a super interesting candidate.
However, I would make sure that later on you make crystal clear that you do not want to be pushed into a engineering role but want to be a full-on industrial designer.
Good, keen design engineers are hard to come by and I can totally see employers trying to nudge you away from ID. This is why your design portfolio should have a very strong design pov and you might have to resist the temptation to push your engineering skill too hard, which would finding a job probably quite a bit easier.
Generatewhatsnext wrote:Similar to what bepster said...I don't think school & another degree is a must-have, we have hybrid guys on our team...some are ID guys who got heavy into CAD...some are MEs who love and have a passion & talent for ID. Sometimes it's a perfect combination for our smaller projects, where budgets can be tight and we need the widget to be both appropriate/sexy and it has to work.
ralphzoontjens wrote:I agree, instead of obtaining another degree you can focus on developing a small portfolio targeted towards ID, using some of your past work and current ideas. See if you can create some interesting sketches showing you can also handle the creative process to some extent. Then with your current degree and with a clear story of what you want and some good ideas and abilities regarding design, you could definitely land an ID job.
I know several people who have shifted from ME to ID and it works nicely. These people can be a very valuable addition for example in small studios where products have to be both conceptualized and prepared for manufacturing, the collaboration is very fruitful and they are not that separate of a discipline as you describe in my experience.