career change

I am in technology consulting and want to pursue a graduate degree in ID. My Bachelors is in Computer Sci and I have a pretty meager design background. How do I get into a good ID school without an ID background? Is there any hope?

PS–I am looking into TU Delft, Strate, and CMU. Are my hopes too high?

There’s only like a million threads just like this.

But I’ll answer it anyways. Going for a Master’s Degree in ID without a solid foundation of the design process that you’ll get from acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree will more than likely yeild very limited results assuming that you do get accepted to an ID Master’s program.

I’ve looked into ID Masters’s programs, and typically I see a few things in common with them all:

Bachelor’s Degree in design required
Previous experience in the field beneficial
An open studio environment, where students can call crits, or students work on in depth projects for a semester or more
MUST have a strong portfolio of previous design work

I considered going for a Master’s Degree in ID right out of school, but everyone that I talked to told me that I would get more out of it if I had some work experience in the field under my belt first. Also, you will see very few, if any job listings that require a Master’s Degree. Moreoever, you’re far less likely to find a Master’s program that’s going to teach you the fundamentals of ID, it’s assumed you know these things if you’re applying in the first place.

My advice, find a good bachelor’s program that suits your budget, location, and also importantly, as many transfer credits as you can. This is how you will learn the process of design, as well as the important skills that designers use on a daily basis.

Since you’re coming from a Computer Sci background (and I know I’ve recommended this to other people before), you might want to look into design opportunities in the gaming industry. I’m not sure if you have an interest in this or a passion for gaming, but there are shorter programs at schools like Full Sail, Guild Hall, or Digipen that, coupled with your Comp Sci degree could possibly land you in that realm of design.

Hope this helps!

Interesting. Many designers don’t have design degrees, but motivation and talent. Plenty of people come out from engineering and math undergrad programs. You will probably have some catch up to do with some skills, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

If design is what you’re sure you want to do, there are a number of programs that offer spots for people without a Bachelor’s degree. They often require extra work to get some background. Some are specifically geared to people in the sciences. Do your research on schools that have the programs that most interest you, as with all Master’s programs – they’re specialized – so choose your specialty carefully.

Most design jobs don’t look for people with a Master’s but your salary often will be higher and you may likely stand out from other candidates.

Good luck!

I forgot to mention, most schools I’ve found with programs for non-designers are located in the U.S.; but Royal College of Art in London has a co-op program with the Imperial College of Science for people with engineering degrees who want to double in design. There may be others. You might also want to talk to instructors from the programs you’re interested in, and they could tell you best how likely a candidate you’d make.

Do you want a masters just because you dont want a 2nd bachelors?
Don’t get a masters to change careers, a Masters is only required for people wanting a tenure track teaching position. Some large corporations are supposed to favor graduate degrees but again, its never required.

Some schools might admit you on a probational basis, give you a year to take undergraduate classes to get up to speed, and then allow you into the grad program, but I’d be wary of that deal.

I agree with the other responses, decide what you want your new career to look like and find the best fit in an undergrad school. without Gen-Ed requirements you could be out in three years.

You mentioned a meager design background - what is it?

I have experience with graphic design, web design, and application interface design. That is what my portfolio mostly consists of.

You probably need to build a solid 3D skill-set. I’d suggest looking at undergraduate programs.

If you really want a Masters - your best bet of getting into the schools you mentioned is to do your homework: research the literature and clearly define a research agenda that would have a good chance of getting published. They might let you in without prior ID training/experience if you can demonstrate academic excellence + a liklyhood of bringing prestige to thier dept.

What kind of career in ID are you interested in?

Well this makes me think! I’m in the same boat as . forget his name now .
I have a different undergrad, and have been searching desparately for months now for a MID program that will take me.
I understand that you need a certain “foundation” a.k.a. srawing/rendering/thinking skills -
BUT I don’t want to go back to the beginning! I want to explore and set up my own series and be free of the undergrad teen-babble - so that I can learn with other people who want to learn.
Oh - I have a BFA in sculpture.
So - are you telling me not to go to grad school? Isn’t it what you make of it - whether or not I want to teach - does that matter?
Can you sense my desparation and frustration.
Oh - Pratt, they like the “switchers” - and I was planning on taking some undergrad basics before I went to catch-up.
Now I’m sad.

you can get a masters in ID without an undergraduate degree in it. I did and so have a few of my friends. We came from undergrads in premed, marketing, engineering etc and we did well. You will have to take provisional classes and you will definitely need talent and hard work to get through the program so dont start if you think for even one second that you wont be able to finish.

Decide if you are going to go for it and do it. A masters will not lead you to a life of teaching but it does give you the option to teach if you ever decide to in the future (something you will probably not be able to do if you only get the bachelors) As someone who has done what you are thinking of doing, and taught for a few years, I would say, dont bother with a second bachelors. Go for the masters. You will be a more interesting candidate to companies once youre done. Just make sure you do well. At the end of the day, its whats in yor portfolio that counts.

dear ahoha, keep in mind my advice was addressed to veener.

Your sculpture degree should translate to ID depending on your work - are you more formal than conceptual?

2nd Bachelors: You should be able to skip tons of undergrad requirements and fit in valuable coursework in Marketing and/or M+P and have a kick-butt portfolio of work and knowledge in 3 yrs.

Masters: may require up to a year of prelim work to get in (Chapmaign-Urbana’s Master’s is 3yrs regardless) will/should require a research oriented thesis (is that the basis you want for your career?).

Perhaps sf and guest could mention the programs that worked well for them, and you could compare those departments against your career goals? I’m not trying to talk you out of persuing a Masters, just want to point out it’s not nessesarily the best/only option.

are you kidding? without prior design experience…i doubt that will be the case…

I have an engineering bachelors but have been basically doing design most of my life. Work experience in research. Anyway I’m getting my MID next year and the three programs I applied to are the ID program at IIT, the IDE program at the Royal College of Art and Stanford ID program. All are geared towards engineers. IIT even forces all non design background ppl to take a year foundation course. So you should look at those programs to start.