Decisions on schooling!!!

Hey I’m new to the board but I am in desperate need of some guidance!

I am a graduate from and American university with a BSc Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and International Business. I have studied abroad twice to both England and Germany and I am now looking at going back to school for Industrial Design and I wouldn’t be opposed to moving abroad.

I am a self-taught woodworker, I like to work with my hands, and I have made most every piece of furniture in my house, but sadly I have no formal design background. I really want to pursue a career in industrial design and using it to design products, packaging, and solving problems.

Currently, I am living in Colorado but I am willing and able to move anywhere in order to get a great education.

A few things I’d like to know are:

Should I go with a Masters in ID or should I get a bachelors? Also, what are the pros/cons to doing each?

Should I stay in the US or should I go abroad for a degree?

Are the design programs in Europe more theory or application?

What type of program should I be looking for?

What are everyones thoughts on “The Art Institute” programs?

Could I use my furniture in a portfolio?

What does a portfolio to apply to a school usually entail?

Any good schools that ya’ll would recommend?


THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH and I look forward to hearing back!


nice to see yet another 2nd degree seeker. i’m a mechanical engineer, going into ID for fall 2011.

i can’t comment much on most of your questions, but regarding masters vs. bachelors, in my research the consensus was that a bachelors serves you better if you are switching careers and intend to be a designer. you learn the core skills more thoroughly. masters degrees are designed primarily for those who already have these skills, or people looking to diversify their careers towards design.

that’s why i decided to do another undergrad degree.

i’d definitely recommend searching for info about different schools on these forums. and decide whether you want to design furniture more specifically. there are furniture design programs and schools with that focus that you would serve you well if that’s the case.

Browse through the old topics and start to get a feel for this. This has been debated a lot. As to your specific questions, they are impossible to answer by anyone but you. Everyone needs something different. I’d recommend you post your work to further the discussion.