ID Education: What's best, BS/BA or MFA?

Okay, I’ve got two undergrad degrees under my belt and I’ve been out in industry for a while, and I have to say that I want to make sure that I get the right degree for what I want to do.

I’m looking to enter an ID program, but I’m not very clear on which degree you really need to get a job. My goals here are completely practical - BA/BS or MFA?

Thanks for saving me a lot of pain…and helping me out


what are the few degrees you have allready in?

what industry have you been out in for a few years?

Okay, I’ve got two undergrad degrees under my belt and I’ve been out in industry for a while, and I have to say that I want to make sure that I get the right degree for what I want to do.

What is it that you want to do?

My understanding it that, as suggested above, which degree is right will be dictated by what you intend to do with said degree. For most ID, the difference between a BA, BFA, and BS really won’t factor in. They are pretty much all seen as a Bachelors in ID. Some may have more emphasis on sciences, enginerring, etc, but for the most part they will be viewed the same by a potential ID employer, it will be your portfolio that really makes the difference. I personally have a BFA-IDand would be suprised if to find many BS-ID (with no other debree) holders who had as much science and the likes that I had.

There are ofcourse jobs, specifically more corporate or companies where the design department isn’t necessarily managed by designers, or design-related jobs, where the degree may make a difference. They may see a BFA and think this is an artist and assume someone with a BS has a one up in the sciences etc.

A masters is much of the same scnearios (slightly more exaggerated), but a little more complex.

I’ve been doing web design for a television news station for a couple of years now, but I’ve been researching moving to product design.

My degrees are in graphic design and writing, and I want to see what people - people with more experience than I - have to say about a masters vs. another undergrad degree, this time in industrial design.

Essentially: does an undergrad in industrial “cut it,” or do you all think a masters is best if someone wants to progress in the field?

Thanks all.

This is a pretty common type of question around here, I will give a brief version of my take on the subject, but you may be better served to do some searching around the forum to find old posts to this effect (there are lots of them).

If you do not already have the core skills that an undergraduate ID education offers, you will be spending much of your time learning them (in a shorter amount of time) along with whatever your graduate studies entail. It is my understanding that generally (again depending on the type of place you work) you’re evaluated more on your portfolio, work, etc. than on your degree(s). There may be a slight paradigm shift currently under way due to the large amount of people going back to school to pursue a graduate education in recenct years, but this remains to be seen.

Long story short, if you have a Masters, but do not have the skills the Masters will be pretty worthless in this field about 90% of the time.

I’d suggest getting something in packaging design, great opp to use your graphic skills, and it would show something of a longterm plan.

If you can apply many of your credits to an undergrad, I’d do that- cheaper. If not, it may take you longer for classes that won’t really do anything for you, and that means more money than grad school. A plus to grad school is the ability to teach once you have some experience.

Some people might take all these degrees as a red flag though- ie, you might be considered someone who doesn’t know what they want and is unable to commit, rather than say someone who got an biology degree, an engineering degree, and an MBA. Much more focus there than what your situation appears to be on the surface, respectfully.

I personally never even knew about ID as an undergrad, so I understand how you can come to something like this later rather than sooner.

If you’re looking at the bottom line (I hope it’s more than that for you), you probably have to earn at least 60 credits at a school to earn the BFA or BS or whatever it is. That’s two years, plus you may be behind because of specific courses. So, an MFA may be tempting, since it’s the same amount of time. But, you may find yourself spending too much time learning the basics and not enough on the advanced stuff. That’s the thing most grad programs don’t mention, and the degree really is worthless if you lack the skills.