Going into ID as a Mature Student

Has anyone here had experience going into ID or back to Design School as a Mature student?

After a few years of Web / Graphic design work, I’m hoping to go back to school for ID here in Toronto (or abroad, or whatever’s clever). I’m only 25 so I have no real family or property tying me down, money is not a huge issue, and the job at my firm is clearly not satisfying if I’m here looking for help to quit :stuck_out_tongue:

The only rub is that I’m entirely self-taught, having left high-school early for a record deal (which wasn’t exactly the meal ticket I’d imagined…a boo-erns)…and fell into design work.

Is it more difficult to get accepted? Do they expect different level of portfolio work from a mature student vs. a kid fresh from high school? Anyone have any first hand experience or advice in this?

Did you ever go back to get a GED? I’m pretty sure High School Diploma or GED will be required.

Other than that, you shouldn’t have a problem. You will be held to the same expectations as any applying student, but will have the advantage of professional work in your folio. Since you don’t have a previous college diploma, you won’t have double the school loans like other older students. If you push the faculty enough, they might even give you credit for some of your professional work so you might be able to skip some classes, allowing you to focus more!

Thx, Never thought about using my work portfolio for credit.

A GED in Canada is not required for any College / University but it’s up to the school’s discretion to let you in.

EDIT: AFAIK…it’s been about 7 years since I was in school :wink:

I took several years off after school to work and travel.
Schools don’t really hold you to a higher standard than younger students for acceptance, but that’s not to say that professors won’t (and that’s not a bad thing!)

I have had great professors who push me hard and expect a lot from me, but it’s well worth it.
Also, being older I am definitely more motivated, and being more mature makes my relationships (not in a creepy way) with some of the professors more of a peer to peer thing.

That’s that
Good luck!

I went to uni at the grand old age of 30 and am now working at a well known company in the UK.

I was accepted onto my course without interview or portfolio, having had little related design experience. I think the fact that I was paying overseas student fees that got me the place and I had to switch to studying part time so that I could also work and pay my way through uni.

I don’t think that I was held to a higher standard than the younger students by the faculty, but I certainly expected the best from myself and pushed myself hard.

Mature students are generally seen to be more focused and driven which may work in you favour when applying.

I wouldn’t count on not having to show some work - so be prepared, produce an amazing folio and show enthusiasm and a love for the field when being interviewed and I’m sure you’ll have no problems getting a place on the course of your choice.

(An ability to pay fees also helps!)

Good luck.

I skipped college to try and be a rock star too! :smiley:

I’m 35 and working as an IDer despite a lack of formal training. I started out in graphic design and made the switch a few years ago. I spent about $5000 in CAD training (Pro/E specifically) and built a portfolio. Just knowing Pro/E got me some great paying freelance work and eventually I was hired by a small manufacturer of lighting and furniture. I love the job.

My main point is that portfolio is everything, experience is second and diplomas are third. That is the best thing about the creative field. Its easy to demonstrate right away how talented you are.

I would never knock going to a design school, but I love not having student loans!!! Sometimes there’s nothin’ to it but to do it.