Masters programs to pair with BSID

Hey guys, I am sure this has been brought up a few times.
I graduated in 2011 with a BS in ID. I have been mostly job hunting since then, but have also done a summer internship and freelance ID on the side while working my retail gig. My issue right now is that I am still not having a lot of luck finding a good full time position , partly because I am in Atlanta, but also because of my experience level. I had a firm tell me last week that their entry level design position required 3-4 years of experience, but yet I was over qualified for their internship. My debate right now is, do I continue to pursue Internships or Entry level positions or go back to school at get a Masters. I have always been told that work experience before hand helps though. I am interested in a few specialized fields of design right now,
Lighting fixtures
Outdoor Industry hard gear and textiles
Retail design
I am not sure if these really need an additional degree other than textiles and apparel for the outdoor industry

Hi, first of all if their “entry level” position requires 3-4 years of experience, then it’s not entry level. Forget that company.

I would strongly suggest to keep attacking the internship/entry positions. It’s quite normal to have a string of internships under one’s belt before landing a full position, these days.

I don’t know much about Atlanta, but I do know Newell/Rubbermaid has design offices there. I think it also houses brands like Calphalon etc. If you have carpet bombed the city with your portfolio and gotten no bites, then maybe it’s time to look elsewhere.

In your position, I don’t think grad school will gain you anything but a bit more studio time and tens of thousands of dollars of debt. I am not the only one who would tell you that work experience is several times more valuable than grad school experience, in general. Do you want something full-time, or would having more freelance clients be good too? Either way, just go at it full-bore, take time off work if you have to.

Lighting and retail are not going to give two shits about an extra degree unless it results in a much-improved portfolio, btw.

Awesome thanks Hatts
This may not be the case in a lot of cities, but what I am finding in Atlanta at least is that many places do not have the budgets to hire entry level designers, but are able to do Freelance projects. Most internships I find are also for in school students. Freelancing for me is good up to a certain point.