Hi Guys,

ok, Im planning a career change to product design, im 27 years old and what I do right now has nothing to do with design, yes when I was younger i studied design for one year, summer at RISD ECT…
I FEEL OLD AT THE FACT ILL GRADUATE AT30 -31! then how long until I get a job ect -will I be “past it” with the up and coming younger guys?

so I ask, is there any way I can “break into” design without the basics of a degree :open_mouth: I am so passionate about this subject.

also, this summer im trying to find experience in a company doing anything, any ideas where to statr looking?


Dude get real… I am 29 and barely sophmore in ID. Tell me what better things you have to do in your life? Where are you going in such a hurry? I am an interior design graduate… hey guess what… I thought I knew about design, at least some… WRONG!!! Not even close! GO TO SCHOOL!

Go to school! Let them give you tools to dig out that bug that’s in you. This overwhelming desire to be a designer that’s in you but if you don’t feel it don’t do it.

Unless you go under the wing of some good designer you will only dream of ID and design land fill and still then you will only get one man/woman’s point of view.

Just please tell me you’re not the person who posted on core about going to China to get on job ID skills. Not to rip on Chinese design but it’s still developing and it will take a while, just hard to say when. Probably when China becomes world’s superpower but that’s a different post.

(think about it you will have two years on me if you do it)

Tony Hardman became a shoe designer an has had alot of success an he didn’t finish/ school check out about him at this link-

school is a great option, from there you might decide that product isnt what you want either, its a great place to grow an learn.

good luck

I’m just about to graduate (again) and I’m in my 40’s… and I landed a great job as a designer 1 month ago.

Thanks guys for the feedback, guest - no i never contemplated escaping to China to make it in Design… actually not a bad a idea- lol

maybe I was just looking for a shortcut, who isn’t??

regards, Dave.

I found that my education in design was not necessarily important to me finding my own style and methods (which it did help to nurse) as much as it was being exposed to design, and learning the in and outs from industry professionals.

I would go to school. It isn’t “necessary” but it will definately be beneficial to you in more ways than you can imagine right now.

Going to college isn’t necessarily just about learning skills.
I have a degree in ID, and I can say confidently that I learned far more in my first year working full-time as a designer, than I did in five years of continuous school curriculum/coop jobs.

Going to college is about opportunity. If you would prefer to work for an indefinite period of years to build your skills by yourself, and look forward to permanently being paid less than your peers that possess equal or lesser skill sets- then skip over the degree part. And that’s if you can find a job at all. I would have had NONE of the opportunities to be hired as a coop, if I hadn’t been in school. I would never have been hired in the present market without having previous experience and connections within the industry.

If you want to work for yourself- and you have an entrepenuerial mindset, I wouldn’t invest too much in learning an ID skillset. If you’re in business for yourself, the only real way to make money is to relegate a postion like “designer” to someone that you can pay while you take care of running a business.

If you haven’t been to college at all, I would just go. You will meet people and encounter viewpoints that can change the course of your life.

Very well put 2whitoyz, you hit the nail on the head i think

The thing about shortcuts is that they can leave you in a ditch with a broken axil, or get you there in half the time, or way off course. It is risk. It can work out, but chances aree you won’t be where you could.

Personally, I used to trash on school all the time, for the exact reason mentioned by 2whitoyz. I learned more ID skills in my first year of work than all my years of school. Afteer 7 years though I find myself continuously drawing on my art, architecture, and design history courses and my basic foundation courses, 2d composition, 3d theory, figure drawing, ect. Also the network of friends I made is irreplacable.

So the shortcut might get you there, but you miss a lot of the good stuff.

I think the thing you need to learn is how to think like a designer, analyze problems and find solutions. School is just the most normal place to do it.

while i learned more about the ‘business’ of design in my first year on the job than i did in school, i learned a shitload in school about design as a process. I also acquired both the hard skills and the confidence i needed to get into the work in the first place. Hell… when i started design foundation i thought that i would become a graphic designer! But i discovered that i loved industrial design instead.

no one person can answer for you but i would suggest that you take the opportunity to explore design in a safer/more playful environment than the open market will provide for you.


The one thing to consider is, what were you in all this time doing that kept you from doing the things you want to do, or were you doing that thing but you just need a change? At this age, even you feel passion for design, its best to add up onto which you already have collected much of. As like you have 5 piggy-banks, in each piggy-bank you were dropping a particular currency, so you have variable amount or coins in each bank, now break each one, count how much you have saved, and convert it to the most successful global currency, say US$, now see which bank had the highest number of US$s in it, then find the reason why you have dropped that much of coins of that relevant currency which accumulated the highest amount of US$s, or why you have had so much of that currency.

If you wish to make a living out of passion, then there will always be a confusion between money, product and personal value. If you wish to help people through what you find personal value in, then you must be considerate from a client (needer of help) point of view. At the end, I must always mention, no one succeeds if he was running after the money, money is a degrading motive, the value, one must find value in the ties of symapthy, respect and appreciation of those who he is helping, the price.