Degree???

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.

Question:

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…
Anyone Please?

don’t use ashlar vellum. concentrate on solidworks.

Are you serious? Ashlar Vellum is awesome. It will give you the understanding of how surfaces are put together. I mean it is a litlle outdated but it’s a good program to have in your arsenal. It used to be that Ashlar was a very good substitute for Studio Tools, but I guess now you can get Studios learning edition, which is pretty cool. Still though, Ashlar is very easy to learn and fluid. You can rapid visualize anything with ease. The only thing I’d say is use it as a stepping stone to understand the terminologies and processes. I went into an interview a couple of weeks ago, and they said they had never heard of ashlar. lol. But they did like the samples I showed from it.

It would seem to me that your new-found focus can be a good stepping stone if you allow yourself to embrace the methodologies behind design. If you build up a nice portfolio and shake enough hands along the way, it might pay off. Although a degree in design is intensive and laborous I’m sure that your sideways approach to learning will be recognized…Oh! and by the way, your psychology degree is something that could provide that extra stepping stone into a design field as well. Have you thought of that?

Good Luck and kudos for sticking with the psych thing! :wink:

Didn’t you already ask this in another thread, you got tons of answers. Get on with life already.