About two years ago I decided that I wanted to become an industrial designer. The problem was that at this time I was in my third year of a psychology degree (now completed). At the time I was reluctant to switch thinking the mature thing to do was finish my degree. Upon finishing I began looking for work in ID. After many resounding nos, I approached a small firm and offered to work for free. This worked and I got my first yes (subsidizing this by working nights at a bar). My employer reassuringly suggested that there is a lot I can learn on the job.
I have been way over my head but so far i’ve been able to keep up. I have learned a lot about the the design/manufacture process and have become familiarized with solid works. Pro e, ashlar vellum graphite, and adobe CS. My drawing (already better than most) has also come a long way. I gather things are going well as my employer has suggested that in a month if things are still working out we may be able to negotiate a salary.
i think the work experiance has taught me a lot and I think I can count on a decent reference but still the fact remains. I have no formal training what so ever. I have heard from varied sources that design education mostly serves to develop a students portfolio.
I am considering going back to school but It seems like a massive investment of time and money.
Is it possible for me to continue working and gain the skills and portfolio I need on the job to be able to work in the industry and be taken seriously as a designer? I would like to make a career out of this but I don’t want to go back to school unless I have to.
What can I expect if I continue on this path without going back to school…