A quick question for those in hiring positions

All others feel free to chime in with your 2 cent.

Here is my question, I realize it is kind of foolish but I will ask it anyway, How much does the reputation of the school that a designer went to precede said designer. For example people believe that students from the art center are usually great with style and flair renderings and believe that students from RISD are usually more “technical.” In other words are design students sometimes “labeled” or categorized by the reputation school(pre-portfolio viewing)?


Absolutely. And why shouldn’t it?

The student had choices in what school to attend, so their choice in school reflects upon them. Of course, if the student didn’t have much of a choice (ie. goes to ITT tech or something) then that says a lot too.

YES, i might even like you more if you graduated from the same school i did.

whilst I disagree with your examples, yes.

Even though it may sound short-sighted by an employer to screen based on a design school’s rep, it’s really a convenient tool.

Every time an ad gets posted, HUNDREDS of responses are received. It’s an enormous amount of work to even TRY to be completely objective when you’re confronted with a 6-inch stack of resumes.

Besides, stereotypes about design schools and their grads aren’t COMPLETELY based in myth. Quite often the stereotypes largely reflect the facts…and the grad.

So to clarify, ddo employers use the stereotype to decide whether to dismiss or interview an applicant in the “courting” process before they have even looked at the apllicant’s portfolio. [/quote]

The quick answer is yes.

I’d have to disagree. Not ALL students have much of a choice, have you seen how much it costs to go to school lately? It’s especially crazy if youre an international student wanting to go to school in the states. As someone looking at various schools right now, its became obvious that money makes a lot of choices. Student loans and scholarships can only go so far.

I’d have to agree with switch. There are a lot of different reasons why people go to specific schools, a choice that they had to make while in high school (for most of us). Granted, certain schools focus more in certain areas, it doesn’t mean a grad from that school went along with their way of doing things. I think the school a person attended should be asked about as a way of getting to know what experiences that person had, not what they know or how they think. Plenty of designers aren’t “typical” examples of the schools they attended.

I’m just curious…how many out there did careful research on the design school that they obtained their bachelor’s at? I don’t recall a single student out of my graduating class that had carefully studied all the design schools and chosen mine (other than that we all took one look at a potential CCS or Art Center bill and decided to look elsewhere).

Having said that, everyone is right…people screen based on school. In other words, make sure your samples blast through the school reputation.

A simple solution:

How about including your samples only. That is, after all, what you are being judged on.

Will that fly? Don’t know.

I’m just curious…how many out there did careful research on the design school that they obtained their bachelor’s at?

I have not graduated yet (only a soph in the id program) did none at all, the major kind of found me, I had always wanted to be an architect and went to school to pursue architecture, but ended up having to wait to get into the program.

This prompted me to explore, the college of art & design and the professor of the intro id class kind of inspired me to pursue design so I switched majors to Id a semester later and here I am.

The reason I asked this question was that I recently had a chance to see the nominated seniors for the merit award at my school, and was hugely disappointed by their work, it was not horrible, I just expected to see more from senior students. All I remember thinking during their presentation was “Is this the best my school had to offer and as a representative of the quality of work here?”[/quote]

So the would-be student disagrees with the seasoned professional on the reality of the hiring process…


I’m disagreeing on the fact that you said students have complete control of what school they attend.

Also, someone such as me (currently looking at schools and the costs associated with them) would probably know the realities of school choices nowadays more accuratly than a seasoned professional in the feild such as yourself (whom I assume graduated many years ago).

Do you see where I’m coming from now? I’m not discussing anything to do with the hiring process.

So the non-student disagrees with the current student on the reality of the school selection process…


I don’t mean any disrespect, I think you just missunderstood me the first time.


I wouldn’t worry much about what school I came from. All schools have good and bad designers. Actually I and I know others who aren’t interested in working with designers from certain schools which are private or cost alot. That often breeds a sense of arrogance even when the work coming from them might be overrated. I would rather hire a great student from a state school. But that’s just me.

while I fully understand the economics of paying for college, don’t forget that you are investing in your future career in design. the benefits of a well respected school (therefore a quality education - but I guess there’s a lot of room for debate here) go way past your ability to get hired initially. and if you’re good you can go for scholarships to offset some of the cost.

if you are still trying to decide what school to go to - schedule some campus visits, you’re going to be spending a lot of time there :slight_smile:

When I visited Georgia Tech and Arizona State for campus visits both guides responded to my major by saying, “We have that here?”. Both schools have good reputations from what I understand, but no one knows that other than the professors (perhaps).

samples are necessary imo. resume w/out samples goes in a special round Inbox - on floor next to desk. ID isnt a fast food job. its visual career. present yourself appropriately. want your skills to prove you are better than school reputation? samples do that.

State schools offer a LOT of majors within multiple colleges-- so it’s not uncommon for general campus guides (and most of the student body) to be clueless to the workings of each college…