grad school: innovation management??

Looking for a bit of advice on my current Grad school situation…

undergrad, ID University of cincinnati, daap 2008

bad economy=going back to grad school

Program choices: UC, masters in marketing or RIT Innovation management

My career objective: hopefully a design related field, project managment, creative leadership, design research.

I’m concerned that masters of marketing is too broad and generic, but also worried that innovation management may be too narrow minded

Any advice from current creative professionals?

I understand the interest in going back to school during these poor economic times. The constructive criticism I’d give you is this:

Almost every designer wants to go into Design Leadership in some form or another. The key is that the good design leaders dont just go to school for “design management”… they pay their dues and are capable of inspiring/leading design based off of their lifetime of design experience. The fact that they cut their teeth as a junior designer is how they build empathy for the people they are leading. You cant learn that in a book or grad school.

If you are planning to go back to school i think that’s fine so long as you’re building design experiences and not focusing on how to become a “manager”. No one wants to be managed by someone that doesn’t know what they are doing or at the least that doesnt have any empathy for them.

2 cents.

I completely agree with your response, and have had that discussion with professionals for the past six years. However grad school is my only option after spending a year unemployed. So I’m trying to point myself in the right direction, and make the best of my investment.

what have you done to improve yourself/skill set over the last year?

However grad school is my only option after spending a year unemployed.


I posted a basic question asking for suggestions, or pros/cons of two different graduate programs.

I don’t think I should have to repeatedly defend my personal situation. The reality is that there are tons of really talented designers that graduated last year and this year that have no chances of finding immediate jobs. Companies simply are not hiring junior designers. There are plenty of more experienced laid off designers who are willing to work for less money in these circumstances, thus taking openings away from junior designers.

I’m not making excuses, in fact, there’s a very good chance I’d be persuing graduate school whether or not there had been such an economic downturn recently. As I do not feel that my basic design education has given me the business and management sense that I need to be competitive.

And to answer the off topic questions, I have established a graphic design business in the past year.

So please limit this thread to my original question regarding thoughts towards a more useful business program.

Why not go back for industrial design masters?

I typically thought that MS degrees in ID were for people that were having trouble making it in the field, and that it was better to be learning through working. I still think that in some ways… however if your going back to school because you’re out of options and go back for ID, that is a major commitment and investment in your future as a designer. If you go back because your want to focus your design specialization, I think thats even more impressive.

I know designers will tell you that it doesn’t matter if you have a masters or undergraduate, or no degree at all as long as you can excel at your job. I have to say that I knew several of the ID grad students during my undergrad, and from a small class a high percentage of them are now sr. managers at companies like Kodak, HP, Dell, and IBM… Why exactly? I could guess, but they did well with what they got from the design degree

just a thought