Industrial Design and ECONOMICS??

Hey all,


I have a Ba in ID and am currently workin in ID

I was looking at options of further study and i was wondering…if i decided to go for a Masters after a few years of garnering experience in ID.

wWat option would be the most beneficial in terms of bringing my current experience in ID to a new level or even a career change altogether?

I have done some reading up and Marketing seems to be a popular choice. Together with Management or an MBA??
What about Economics?

thank you.

Lookin forward to hearing what you have to say!

OK I think that you really have to ask yourself: “What am I truly interested in pursuing?”

Graduate education is usually undertaken for specific purposes - e.g. genuine passion and interest in a field, the desire to specialize in some aspect of a field, for higher qualifications in one’s current field, maybe higher salary, or as you point out, career change. Some would even say that the purpose of graduate education is to contribute a new and unique body of knowledge to a field, but I think that this is mainly the role of PhD programs.

That said though, it is probably a bad idea to use a graduate program to FIGURE OUT what you want to do. Many graduate students do this however, and it can be both more painful - in that grad school is often more demanding - and more expensive than undergraduate education.

If you are currently unable to answer the first question above, then it’s OK. Start doing some investigation into other fields that might be of interest. Of course the further you get away from “ID” “Architecture” or “Business” etc the more difficult it will be to make use of your ID background. But if you do, you will be rewarded by having a unique perspective on things that can also be valuable.

A final thought, it seems that MBA’s are not what they used to be. There was even an article in a recent Harvard Business Review that said the the “MFA is the new MBA.” And it seems that a few prominent headhunters have even recently advised designers AGAINST getting an MBA, by saying that creative skills are what is currently in demand in corporations these days, not more traditional management types. That is of course up to you to decide…hope this helps

Without a doubt, I’d have pursued a business education to back my design background. You can max out as a designer without adding business understanding. Look at the job postings for positions with 8+ years experience and you’ll see that management, brand strategy, marketing, business strategy, consumer research, and often an MBA are top line criteria for the job.

Is a degree/ MBA required to gain that knowledge - no but it is a great route! I was turned down by RISD for pursuing an MFA in Furniture Design and have spent the 10 years since then designing custom furniture for the superyachts I design - I came out ahead. A colleague started his consultant firm 10 years ago with no formal business education - after a recent visit to his 40 man office, I wish he’d start a Business of Design MBA!! His thorough business knowledge is based on real world experience that came not just by being business smart but also through many hard lessons.

Had I stayed at my last corporate job, an MBA would have been fully paid, I should have stayed for that in some ways… I left to open my own office and now value the business understanding at a much higher level. The MBA was also the ticket, in that corporation, past senior designer to design director, brand manager, or eventually a VP of Design position.

Many entrepreneurs are designers that pursued a great idea into production. I firmly believe business, especially entrepreneur focused, should be integral to design programs if not pursued at MBA level. There is so much to learn and understand about being a designer and/or business leader through experience even with an MBA, why not take the boost with the short time require for study.

A pursuit of business acumen does not take you out of the creative process; it makes you the leader of it!!