A rare slow day after a nasty storm has allowed me to exasperate my usual internet time killing and move into design BS mode. Looking for some input here from other professionals. I have been working in the industry for five years now, finding success, and thoroughly enjoying what i do.

I have reached a new phase of my carreer however, and it has left me debating what the next plateau is. Daily, i seem to be typing more emails, writing more schedules and giving more orders, than i do designing. I have little desire to move into a role of manager at this stage in my life. Though, the other side is equally frightening. I have worked at numerous different firms and seen the washed up veteran production designer in the corner struggling to put up better work that the intern. It seems like a designer’s career parallels that of an athlete in that you either, retire and become a coach, or you move onto other things.
Please dont write responses in anger, i know there are many exceptions to this. I am merely one mans opinion.

My point is; im wondering if anyone after five or six years, has gone either back to school for a secondary undergrad, or moved into graduate school. My experience with masters degrees in industrial design has been they are of little help if you already have a bachelors. Im not sure what else i could pursue however; marketing, advertising, soc?. What grad degree could let me move ahead, utilizing my design degree and experience, while opening up opportunities for my future?


If you don’t like the off-the-board design stuff, why would you want to get a Masters? That will just solidify your place as “management material.” …Or are you suggesting that you’re just bored and need more stimulation?

Many enlightened companies offer their designers or engineers “technical tracks” instead of managerial tracks. This avoids brain-drain, keeping the talent doing what they do best while giving them greater responsibilities and compensation.

After 8 years in the industry, I also ended up with my time spent 95% admin and 5% design. 3 years ago I chucked in my job and went full time masters student. It was the best thing I ever did, the solution to my mid career slump… I would really recomended it. Design is a thing of passion for me again!


Thanks for the reply. I would be curious to know, did you get your MB in industrial design or a related field? How did the move reinvigorate you? Was it the freedom to design for an ideal instead of a manufacturing line? Was yur MB pursuit a technical advancement or a more design theory? And finally, did it seem to further your carreer as to opening doors at companies you wanted to work for, or allow you to demand more money?
I’d like to hear about yur experience if your’re willing.


Hey PDS,
I did my masters in design at an Italian design school, after working in an Anglo saxon design scene similar to New York it was great to experience the Italian approach to design, they are much more involved with it on a cultural level, a real cahnge from the ‘get it out the door’ approach that I was use to. For them its not just about pleasing the client, but to see design in its widest possible context.

So you can see, it stirred me up a bit, it made me see something I had loved in a new light. Did it get me a job with more bucks… not really. Did it make me love the job I have…absolutely. After all if we all want to be rich… why arent we working at the stock exchange?