Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale Opinions?

I have a B.S. Degree in a Engineering related field and several years of experience, but I have come to terms with the fact that I don’t want to do or wish to continue on my chosen path for too much longer and have looked at the possibility of going back to school for Industrial Design since that is what I’ve always had an interest in and see positions where I have some of the experience but not the degree side of it.

Due to my current location, I only seem to have limited choices one being The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale.

Can anyone give me their opinions on the program and the school in general, what is their job placement ratio in the marketplace? Do they just have the Bachelor’s Degree program, no Associates and do they have classes for working professionals since I work a full-time job now?

Thanks!

The program is solid and vastly improved from where it was 6 years ago. The program was a “typical” Ai program and only a two year school then. Now it is a 4 year BS and is based in the real world. The faculty is diverse and strong. Many sponsored projects, good process and technology.

As with any school that you are considering, you need to go check it out. Talk to the chair. Talk to students, and look at work.

The Ai schools are big on “selling graduate placement” to potential students. This is not a good way to sell…look at the specific program.

Recent Grads work on this Site

Thanks for info, looks like a small % of the listed graduates have positions, not very motivating but for South Florida and Florida in general that’s typical so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Jobs and good ones at that, are very hard to find if not impossible in some fields here.

Unfortunatley, if I can’t take night classes then this will not be possible at this time. I can’t quit my current job and go to school full-time wish I could, so it looks like I have no options at this time.

What industry are you in currently?

I think part of the lack of placement of recent Ai grads may have something to do with the tendency to want to stay here in South Florida. There are a limited number of full-time ID jobs in the area. The corporations with potential for larger staffs tend to outsource to consultancies rather than build internal teams.

As far as the night class issue, I think you’d be hard pressed to find any design program with enough night classes to make it worthwhile. Design school tends to be comprised of a lot of 3 hours studios and outside-of-class time committments. Both of those factors make for an uncooperative moonlighting gig…

I’m currently working in the Aerospace industry, but I’ve worked in other sectors as well.

Yes, that’s the thing not too many people are willing to relocate from here, can’t blame them, the lifestyle, weather and beaches is hard to pass up. With the rising cost of living, CEO’s of some companies are already complaining that it’s hard to get people to move to South Florida due to this. Job growth is hurt because companies won’t relocate here because they can’t afford to or afford to pay high salaries. In the end, this is a domino effect. For example when Motorola pulled out of Boynton Beach a few years ago, I know of several companies that went under.

Hot jobs here are not in Manufacturing, if your a Civil or Structural Engineer, jobs are easy pickens and demand is high. You don’t have to worry about relocating.

Sometimes you have to relocate to make it happen or to get that dream job or just settle for what you got. If you freelance and can pay your bills, then you don’t have to worry about it. Then again you’ll have to contend with the outsourcing factor, both China & India are quickly learning and will offer more then just a cheap manufacturing solution.

avoid the Ai of Ft. laud. school is way overpriced and most design firms turn there noses up to it when reviewing resumes. Job market suks now don’t change careers you will regret it.

808,

What you are saying was true 6-7 years ago. The program has become strong and real world based.

Portfolio is the Key to any job.
Current companies who have recent AiFL grads working for them.

Sea-Ray
Office Depot
Reflex Design
Publix (Design)
Sunbeam
Caliper Design
Redline
Group 3 (Swiss Army Bags)
Blackhagen Design
Foreward Industries
Product Architects
Brown Jordan
BBC International
Snap Toys
Motorola
Design Synthasis
Urbanus Furniture
Otabo Shoes

Might have missed some…but this was quick.

Well as it stands now I won’t be going there anytime soon but it not based on their stance in the industry, looks like they have a few well placed alumni in various industries.

My dilemma is the fact I work a full-time position now and can’t just drop it and go back to school. Wish I could but until I win the Lotto I’ll be stuck in my current situation, can’t say I hate it just getting a little tired of the slide rule mentality.

The job market in South Florida is not too bright period nor is the pay. I can’t speak for ID people but I don’t see many jobs listed in Engineering unless your Civil/Structural. Orlando has more to offer, but I’m not moving there for now at least.

I had an internship at Caliper Design. Nice guys. Mostly SCAD grads.

I checked out that list of companies, quite a few in Florida. Suprised not to see Robrady listed, I was very impressed with their website and work.

The Art Institute of Fortlauderdale is NOT NASAD accredited. Check out:
http://www.arts-accredit.org/intro.jsp

If you look at the top art programs rated by U S News and World Report,most of the top rated schools ( in fact, I think all of the top 50) are NASAD accredited. I would think long and hard before going to a non NASAD school unless I was studying painting or sculpture.

Why not go to Ringling School of Art, which has a great reputation?

Ringling that’s in Sarasota or Tampa area right? I’ve seen the Florida Tag, say’s Ringling School of Design, guess it’s the same place? Like I said before, I won’t be going back to school unless it’s laid out like a Professional MBA program and has weekend or off hour times, that appears to be a pipe dream due to my current situation.

The Art Institute of Fortlauderdale is NOT NASAD accredited. Check out:
http://www.arts-accredit.org/intro.jsp >

If you look at the top art programs rated by U S News and World Report,most of the top rated schools ( in fact, I think all of the top 50) are NASAD accredited. I would think long and hard before going to a non NASAD school unless I was studying painting or sculpture.

Why not go to Ringling School of Art, which has a great reputation?

you acredidation guys have lost your mind. You’ve never been to the school, Blaster guy just gave you 2 long lists: one with recent grads and one with companies who’ve recently hired recent grads. What employer is going to care if the school you went to was NASAD acredited??

and now you want the guy to go to ringling, they didn’t even have ID last I knew (2002). Maybe he can go to for sculpture, and then since Ringling is accredited, he’ll get an ID job right away, cause accredidation is all that matters right :laughing: :laughing:

[quote=“Taxguy”]The Art Institute of Fortlauderdale is NOT NASAD accredited. Check out:
http://www.arts-accredit.org/intro.jsp

If you look at the top art programs rated by U S News and World Report,most of the top rated schools ( in fact, I think all of the top 50) are NASAD accredited. I would think long and hard before going to a non NASAD school unless I was studying painting or sculpture.

Why not go to Ringling School of Art, which has a great reputation?[/quote]

The Ai of FL is accredited by ACICS and the state of Florida.
Accredidation is good, but it is hard to say which accrediting body is the best. There are several.

Take NASAD for example. The ID requirements were written in 1984. To get accredited, a school does not have work reviewed. It is a ciriculum outline they have to meet. X amount of hours in art history, Y amount in Design, Z anount in drawing and the outline goes on. If a school meets and continues to meet the outline, they remain accredited.

So, there is not a “sure thing”. With any school, you have to do your research. Meet with students and look at work.

Your portfolio speaks volumes at an interview. You either have it or you don’t - wherever you graduate from.

The Art Institute will give you the tools but you have to bring the creativity.

I’m not really sure what NASAD accreciation is, but I go to The Art institute of Philadelphia, and they are accredited, but i’m not sure about NASDA. 100% of the grads from my school got a job in the industry with in 6 months after graduation; and getting a job is the only thing i’m worried about.