Masters without a bachelors?

Does anyone here know someone or has the experience of going for a Master’s program without having a bachelor’s?
I finished a technical program at a community college. The program was very well structured and very up to date in terms of what the market needs.
However looking for a more international acceptance I find that my diploma doesnt open as many doors as I’d hoped without people seeing my skills.
So I thought of getting a more prestigious diploma, but after looking at curriculums and student works of the majority of bachelor programs that I can afford in North america and europe, I am feeling like I’d be wasting my time there.
What has been your experience, or have you known anyone who got into a Master’s without going through Bachelor’s. With a couple or more of years of professional experience.

Please hold the flames, I need a serious answer.

A Master’s without some kind of Bachelors? It wouldn’t suprise me you could find one somewhere, but it wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.

If your portfolio is comparable to a Bachelor graduate’s then you’ll get a job, eventually… just hang in there.

I think not having a Bachelor’s will impede your career down the road and you probably want to get one (part-time, in anything design related) after you get on your feet.

I’ve been working for a couple of years already. That’s not the problem.
It’s more to not get overlooked when submitting a CV and portfo to the employer.
Sometimes they say ‘only those meeting the criteria should apply’ in the job posting. And I’ve seen a few jobs where I met all the criteria except for the degree. And even though I sumbitted, I felt that it was just thrown into the recycle bin.
I went to my college and my program for the reason that I believed it to be the best that I could go to.

This is not very likely.

If you seriously want a Masters degree, I would figure out how to finish the
bachelors degree ASAP.

You are missing the upper division half of your degree, this is the part where you take the basic knowledge and skills of lower division and start learning to solve problems.

Some graduate programs might admit you conditionally while you take enough courses to satisfy the equivalent of a bachelors, but that isn’t really a shortcut since you’ll still be doing alot of undergrad courses before you get into the graduate work. When I say some programs, I mean maybe one or two in a hundred in certain fields (not exactly your choice of school or degree)

At best, your CC work gets you the junior level of a 4 year program that would give you full credits for what you have taken already. The technical nature you mentioned might work against you for getting credits in some classes if they aren’t judged to be academic in nature.

A technical CC program in intended to get you an entry level job that requires those specific skills, but certain fields require a degree because the BS or BA or BFA programs also contain componenets that develop concepts at a different level of critical thinking.

A good analogy would be something like a CC program, where you get a 2 year drafting degree, the whole gamut of techniques for drafting, but someone with a BArch from is more qualified for junior position in an architecture firm even though the drafting candidate might be more qulaified for a drafting or rendering position, and 2 year drafting degree won’t get you into a Masters of Architecture program.

You guys a probably right that it’s unlikely to happen.
I think my best choice is to do an advanced standings for a bachelor’s and sticking it out for a year or two.

I didn’t really care if it was a Bac. or a Masters… just as long as it was a diploma. But I guess with advance standings for a Bac. it would take the same time as a Masters. (Although I have to admit masters does sound better :slight_smile: ) Also many European universities only have english programs for Masters, and their Bac. is in the other languages.

Wow, it sounds like you’re getting way ahead of yourself. If your plan is to practice ID, not to teach, then a Bachelors is what you need. Without it, you’re likely to get locked out of many ID jobs and, in the long run, get stuck in a support position (like drafting). Think about it: two more years of ID training is twice as much in the end than what you’ve learned thus far. If you’re committed to the field, that’s just what you need to do.

I would agree with others that you are getting way ahead of yourself by trying to get a Masters. I think a lot of people tend to see a masters as just a means to get a great job, but what it is really meant to do is focus your interests and skills from you bachelors degree and prepare you for taking on more difficult challenges like management or teaching.

I’ve interviewed people recently for a design job at my office and there were a lot of people with Masters degrees who barely got a second look. It isn’t an automatic in.

Find a good bachelors program and gain some experience, then once you find what you really want to do you can get specific and go back for a Masters to push yourself even higher into an organization.

My biggest problem is that I am very motivated and I don’t want to waste time.
When I looked over the ID curriculums at different colleges (excluding the CCA and the like), I couldn’t really see anything aditional that I’d be learning that I didn’t already learn while on at my technical college or on the job.
After speaking with some people that went to get a bach. of ID from nearby universities they ALL say “it’s a waste of time, you’ll be un-learning”.
I visited the universities, looked at the works, spoke with the grads…
worked side by side with grads and well, just confirmed what I’ve been told.

I realize how this must look; cocky and candid. But I’ve struggled with this decision for the past 2.5 years.

And I also understand that most people answering here can’t really relate to the situation having finished a Bach.

Although I’d agree that the best education for ID is on-the-job, I doubt any of us could learn nothing at all from school.
That said, perhaps, if what you say is true, an alternative is getting a marketing degree part-time. Certainly by now in your career you can see the advantage of greater marketing knowledge, you could have a bachelors degree on the resume, and buisness school is a peice of cake. All while continuing to work full-time.

I can relate somewhat to not having a Bach. I don’t.

I also know that the only reason I don’t is because my wife and I postponed school while we started our own business.

I’m in the situation of having run a business for 7 years, worked on my BS part time and now I’m only one class short from being taken seriously at 90% of the jobs I’d want to apply for (if I was looking for a position.) I know that if I move on, I’ll need the degree. I’m taking that class this term.

You could have prodegious abilities but it won’t keep your resume and portfolio out of some trash cans.

You can just go for it and get a job if you think school is a waste, but it will hold you back sooner or later. Believe it.

You can look at it as an opportunity to go attend a challeging top school just to put icing on your cake or you can look at it as “putting in your time” and polishing your work. (If you think you are as good as you’ll ever get and that you’ll never need the abilities to learn what the market wants in a few years, you’re toasted already.)

The Bach degree could give you the opportunity to explore a sub field in detail, or an academic subject related to a design area you are interested in (Mech eng, psych, anatomy, biol, business, philosophy) The upper division is where you’ll learn applied critical thinking and how other disciplines tie in to design. If your friends thought it a waste, that’s too bad for them. Thier school is either sorry or they just didn’t get it.

Good luck with your dilemma

dont know about us but in the uk realy good schools (like RCA) take people withught BA’s on there masters but its generaly onaly if you have been working in the related jubs.

I DO want a degree, I never said I didnt want one.
That’s why I am here looking for suggestions/options.

I already have a job, I finished a 3 year ID program.
it’s just not a Bach.

I took some evening classes after that to further my knowledge in different subjects, and plan to take a couple more. I do like to study and learn (I think that’s what this profession is all about)… but I hate wasting time.
I do see some classes that would benifit me by creating or sharpening my skills. If only I could pick and choose classes from different programs, and not have to take ‘obligatory’ classes I wouldn’t be here.

As for marketing, I did think of it briefly, my heart just isn’t in it.
My classmates and other people I know went on into marketing.
Somehow I believe that marketing isn’t for me. I’ll probably take a complimentary marketing course if it’s offered to broaden my horizon. But get a degree in something else, when my heart and sole is in design and manufacturing… maybe I should consider a Plastics Engineering Bach (if there’s one)

I didn’t mean to imply you didn’t want a degree. I was saying I could relate to being in the middle ground of not having one.

If you want to get a degree that doesn’t seem like a waste of time, look into the MID programs and maybe you’ll find one without Bach requirement. Be prepared to have fewer total choices of programs, since the convention is that Bach is gateway to Masters and PhD.

The bach is only a waste if the benefits don’t overcome the costs of time and money. You mentioned plastics eng. that sounds like something to look into.

Seems like you’re asking about ID so not sure if this is helpful. I have a BA from a liberal arts college and and am now getting my MFA in graphic design. I had to take one year of pre-MFA classes before moving forward. I don’t think it replaced four years of a BFA (how could it?) But thankfully I had lots of industry experience between college and grad school. I think that’s the way to do it – bachelor’s in anything + good work experience + master’s degree in design. It all depends on the person. Of course, the average BFA is probably enough, but for us career changers, I’d rather not go get another bachelor’s degree. (Though I knew someone who did that too and is now very successful.)