NASA Engineer interested in ID.


I am new to this board, but in my research I have found really valuable information in this site. I am an Electrical Engineer who have worked at NASA for 4 years, and I’m in the final stages of an MBA (university of Miami). My biggest concern in being admitted to an ID school is the portfolio, I don’t have one :cry: . Schools that have caught my interest are UC’s DAAP, NYU (the Interactive Communication Program), Pratts Institute and San Jose State University.

Another concern that I have is the emphasis of design in their masters program. I wouldn’t mind applying as an undergraduate, but I wonder if I would be required to take the SAT, or if they would look at my BS degree…Any advice you could give me would be gladly apprecited. Thanks!

Miami Ohio or Fla?
a portfolio wouldn’t be needed for admissions to UC undergrad or PRATT, IIT Grad.
the BA should replace the SAT/ACT just fine.

Engineer + MBA - why would you want to take the pay cut and demotion to work in ID? you’re severly overqualified to start at the bottom, and everyone starts at the bottom.

I ask because although schools wont employers will.

Is Maimi, Florida.

I am discontent with the engineering field. The main career path in the engineering industry is Management, since a lot of the design work is being developed in foreign countries (Israel, India, Korea, China, etc…). That’s the reason why I decided to pursue an MBA, and I don’t mind doing it because is being paid for and the business knowledge is very valuable.

For some time know I have been looking into a profession that bridges that gap bewteen engineering and art, and ID is absolutely it. To tell you the truth, I don’t mind the pay cut as long as I’m doing something I like and that is challenging. I don’t want to sound corny, becuase I know a job is a job, but I truly feel that I am a better match for ID than engineering.

Regarding schools, UC’s DAAP is my first choice, but I don’t have no idea how would they weight my application, and they still haven’t been able to tell me. I like the idea of going to Pratt, since i am really familiar with NYC and they seem to stress the art side of ID much more than other schools, but I am a little bit concern about the price $$$$.

Another schools that I have been looking at are NC State (Public, Master Program, no portfolio), and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (The engineers that I know that come from that school are top notch, is a public university, and based on Design Intelligence they are in the top 10.)

Thanks for your advice. Any help will be gladly appreciated.

the DAAP bachelors would be the best preperation to go into the profession, plus the co-ops would demonstrate the fact that your not above “pushing a broom” design-wise that is. Talking to them in person is your best bet.

2 masters degrees will take you out of any entry-level job consideration, and it’d be tough to get a start when you have no design management experience.

It sounds like you have a very unique situation, maybe some of the people from this thread could help.

If you choose Daap I might suggest to take the graduate path but take a lot of undergraduate drawing studios.

good point, read up on the other relavent threads, particularly the 2nd Bachelors vs Masters as job change degree.

UC doesn’t admit non-designers to their Masters program.

IIT specializes in taking engineers, though.

Thanks for all your help. My intension is to work as an ID, and I don’t mind if I start with a salary of 40 k or so . Another mistake I wouldn’t want make is going to work for a company tht does not encourage creativity, or that all their design work is make by contractors…I guess I worry about that later.

No_spec you have mentioned Illinois Institute of Technology a couple of times, does this school has a good reputation in the ID industry?..I was checkin’ it out and it seems like a really good school. Thanks!

it is an outstanding school,
it’s methodology focused and hevy into engineeering. Alot of their grads end up in medical products.

Yeah IIT was named the #1 grade school by design intelligence last year.

You can check out a lot of work here

I don’t recommend grad school for the enginner. Grad school is for teaching and for honing design skills. YOu need to develop these skills to begin with! In addition, most masters programs require a strong portfolio.

Thus, I would look at UC and art center, pratt etc. for undergraduate work. Frankly, I would imagine that these schools would love to have someone like you.

As for a portfolio, if you don’t have one, I would consider taking either private lessons for a year or two or taking some art courses in order to develop your portfolio. Not having one will severely limit your choices. Most of the good art programs do require porfolios. Thus, if you don’t get into UC, which is hard to get into, you will have few options without a decent portfolio.

I’m thinking of taking some drawing and design classes in a near community college, and they also have a class on how to build your portfolio which I plan to take.

I guess the reason why people who are in advance stages of their career are fearful of going back to school for something different than a master is because they think is a step backward and employers might feel that way too, but as Taxguy stated, a masters will build upon your knowledge, but it won’t teach you the basics, and it is obvious that I won’t be able to change careers if I don’t know the basics.

Your advices have been great! I need all the help I can get, Thanks!

I’m going to the University of Cincinnati in April to talk with the coordinators of both, the undergraduate and the graduate industrial design programs. We will try to come up with a way to maximize my past education and experience. I am really looking forward to it.