Do Employers care from which school you came?

Since I pretty new to this field I wanted to clarify some opinions I heard on the Design area.

I know it is important to choose well the ID programme I want because ID is a vast field and so in different schools I probably get different specializations, but in the end if I run for a place in a company do my interviewers care about the origin of my education? If so, how important is that factor in the decision?

I could be wrong, but to me the only sectors of the design industry that care where you went to school are fashion and transportation, transportation more so.

For instance if you want to be a car designer you really have to go to one of a handful of schools here in the US and around the world like Art Center or CCS Detroit.

I work in product and p.o.p design and we could really care less, we are more skills driven and just want to see the goods. I have actually worked with a lot of successful designers in recent years who never even went to design school, or college, and they are making nice salaries in the range of $60,000+

It all comes down to output. If I’m a creative director and have the choice between a kid with no degree who has blistering skills and speed versus someone with a Masters from RISD in “design theory” but no practical experience, I’m gonna take the kid with no degree.


It’s thge ugly truth… It’s not in your face but it’s definately there. If you have the opportunity to go to a recognized school, do it… The networking alone is worth it.

Do the employers care? Like was mentioned earlier your skills and personality are at the top of the list. It certainly helps getting your foot in the door if you’ve at least attended an accredited design school certainly.

Some fields like transportation as was already mentioned helps to go to a bigger school, but I know several people who’ve gotten interviews at car companies and didn’t go to Art Center or CCS. Typically though the Industrial Designers from other schools lean more towards interiors than exteriors though.

Obviously though you want to go to a school with a good program for your own good, but you don’t have to be at Art Center to get a job in ID.

What if the guy with no degree (or half of one), has limited skills and is a pompous blowharding windbag gladhanding showboating poser?

What then?

This is the question I pose…think about it…what then?

Attending a name school might get you in the door for an interview better than attending a no name school;however, it will be your portfolio and networking skills that will get you the top jobs.

As for transportation design, clearly, Art Center is most well known. However, also well known for both transportation design and industrial design is University of Cincinnati.

If you apply with an alum of your school, you can count on an interviw, if only to talk about profs.

However, if you have skills, no one will deny you. Much more important than schools is where you had internships. I was forced to go through school quickly and did not take any internships and it is my greatest regret. (If you don’t count that drifter in Reno.)