going in at 23 y/o, anything I should think about?

Hi guys

Made it to the final round in the application process for a bachelor in industrial design at a reputable university. Starting to toy with the idea for real and what I would do if I got accepted.

Short backstory. Graduated high school at 19 (which you do in my country). Worked for a year, studied pre-engineering, got accepted into engineering, hated it. Friend began studying industrial design at the same time and I got real jealous, because I realized that’s what I wanted to do.
Gave the work samples my everything and well here I am, one step closer.

While being 23 and beginning a bachelor is nothing out of the ordinary in my country I know it’s different around the world. And I kinda have an ambition to get out of here once I’m done with my studies, so I wanna know how far behind I would be, and what I could do right now to mitigate my “handicap”. Say I’d be 26 with a bachelor. Is that a bad thing? I’m already proficient in 3dsmax, zbrush, v-ray, photoshop, and will keep on improving my skills outside of school in order to stay competetive/broaden my skillset. But anything else I could do?

And what about a master degree? Here it seems to be mandatory, but again, not looking for a future in my country. Internationally, is a master degree a must to get a foot in the door or is it worth trying the waters with a bachelors only and perhaps going back to school for a master later? (thinking alot about this one since I feel I’m already on the back foot of things) Being 28 sounds super old when there could be people my age out there with a bachelor+master.

Would appreciate input whatever it might be. Will definitely stick around, this seems like a cool place.
thanks in advance and all the best

I’d say only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the people in my program are fresh out of high school. One guy who just finished first year is in his mid-30s. This is at Carleton University in Canada.

Really? Cool. Is going to college right after high school the norm in Canada as it is in the US?

Thank you for your reply, appreciate it.

Generally, yeah, people tend to go right after high school.

Hi Stellatela,

I have only worked in the US, but working with people who are also junior level but older gives them a little different perspective, and some diversity in ideas is a good thing. Since you would have graduated at an older age, but graduated recently, I don’t think employers here would have an issue and would understand your background (versus graduating at 22-23 but not working or practicing design for a couple years after that).

I’ve also never seen postings here where a masters degree is a requirement. The Core77 advice I usually see is that getting the bachelors more useful if you come from a non-ID background anyway, so your choice seems good.

Good luck!

Alright, good to know. Thanks.

Hi Robbie!

That’s a really good point I hadn’t really thought about. When I was fresh out of high school I had a lot of ideas of going to law or business school, and as you may be aware of already it’s a bit different there. A lot of “cut off”-ages(not sure if this is the right expression) for internships and junior positions. If you are above a certain age you just won’t be considered no matter what your experiences and qualifications are. Guess that coloured my impression of breaking in the job market a bit more than I expected haha. It’s very refreshing to hear that the design industry might be a bit more considerate when it comes to these things.

Very happy to hear that a master degree requirement doesn’t seem to be the rule but rather the exception. I…didn’t think of looking through postings myself to form my own opinion on the market. Will definitely do that now.

Many thanks for your reply, really appreciate it. You sent me in the right direction. Good luck to you as well.
All the best

No problem. Good luck with the final round!

Thanks mate, appreciate it :slight_smile:

It’s no big deal, I think. If you’re going in with some modelling skills than that’s more than you could say for a lot of students. It will serve you well in that you can focus on the design aspects, and not compromise in the modelling. Last week I heard a talk from some designers at Logitech in Lausanne. They had both taken winding paths to get to where they are, not starting in design until much later than you, and still having fairly impressive careers, interning at big firms in SF and ending up playing a hand in the design revolution at a huge tech company. Have fun!

That’s the impression I got too. My buddy has no clue about the 3d-aspect of design yet, and the same apparently goes for most of the students with him. And that’s a year in. It may not be all that much but I guess it can’t hurt having a bit of an edge in some areas. Best case scenario it’ll speed up my design development a bit.

Sounds great. Thank you for your reply, appreciate it alot. :slight_smile: