Online Foundation Courses that Transfer

Hi guys. I’ve been lurking in this forum for a couple years and finally decided to take the plunge and start working for a degree.

I know the general consensus of getting an online BS in ID is “don’t” but how about transferable foundation courses?

I have a BS in Industrial Engineering that I’m paying for so I can’t just jump right back into school. I have a full time job and I’m hoping to save up enough so I don’t have to live in debt for the rest of my life. (there’s even some hope that they might pay for my degree but I have to wait a year for that to even be an option. And there’s a chance they won’t)

But I’m tired of waiting. I figure I can afford to take at least one class per semester and get the foundations down until I’m ready to go to school. Any tips? The only online program I can find is the Academy of Art’s one. I’ve been a bit wary of them since they have such a low graduation rate but they have gotten some high praise in this forum so any insights?

Tldr looking for some online foundation courses to get started on BS in ID without having to move/quit my job just yet.

You’d probably have an easier time finding local community college foundation courses that would transfer. Depending on where you live, there’s a lot of good options out there.

Thanks for the reply! I live in South Carolina there are no ID programs to be found. The main reason I’m looking for online courses is because I have a full time job and flexible programs would be the easiest for me. I’m tempted to take AAU online bachelor’s program, but the more feedback I see about them the more I’m not feeling it. I’m paying to learn I don’t want to coast or have to fight for things that should be freely available. (I’m not saying I don’t want to work hard but I don’t understand the point of going to school of I have to create my own curriculum)

Now I’m looking for ways to buff up my non-existent portfolio. I wasn’t the best student and I need my portfolio to stand out to prove I belong here.

So far I got my eye on Art Center and UC for a 2nd Bachelors, but I’m still checking out each school on the forums. Just visited RISD website and it looks amazing. This is what I should’ve been doing while in college.

I’d definitely appreciate any tips if anyone is feeling charitable, but if not thanks a whole bunch for all the information on these boards.

Career wise, what’s your plan? What job do you want to get with your ID degree? As far as I can tell, getting a job in ID is much more about your portfolio than degrees. Knowing people in the industry will also get you a long way.

You’re in a weird situation in that if you go back to school to do 4 years in ID, you wouldn’t be at full course load. I’m guessing you wouldn’t need the liberal art credits and you could probably be credited a some technical classes from your engineering background. Obviously, it would be pretty great if you could work part time at an ID gig during that time and finish with a super strong portfolio and even have some professional experience.

I’m not sure where your skills are currently at in ID but would a masters in ID be a possibility?

As far as the online courses are concerned, I think you would loose a lot of the interaction with a class and professor. On the other hand if you want to start building the skills to put together a portfolio, you might as well do it with an online class and have that be recognized. If you can shave a year off your financial burden by doing the classes online and work on projects on your free time, you might come out ahead. A lot of first year seems to be sketching, form and CAD basics. If you start sketching now at 10hr a week for two years while you rake up the dough to go to school, you’ll be miles a head of doing it a for a semester, weather you’re in class, online or on your own…

In terms of online classes, have you gotten in contact with SCAD? I don’t know where you’re located in South Carolina, but it may be possible for you to travel a few times a semester. It doesn’t seem like they offer ID as an online class but have a whole bunch of closely related programs available. Maybe you could come up with some kind of arrangement with them.

Also, have you considered studying abroad, at least for your foundation classes? The cost of education in the US is really quite amazing. I mean, a full year at Art Centre is more than I paid for my 4 years of mechanical engineering at a reputable Canadian school.

TL;DR, look at ways to get the skills more than getting a piece of paper.

I’m not sure what industry I want to go into maybe consumer products or electronics. I just know by reading all the course curriculum at various schools this is what I’m meant to do. I would really love to get my hand at a wood/metal shop and get to work.

This is what I’m looking for more than a piece of paper. I’ve bought a couple of books on the sketching forum and I can’t wait to go through them. I’m also looking through some of the ID courses on skillshare and trying my hand at it. I’ve only started “seriously” sketching since mid last year (not even ID sketching just figure drawing and the like) so my skills really aren’t worth even mentioning lol. Not yet. Because of that I don’t want to go straight for a masters. I need to learn the basics before I think about advanced study.

I’ll take your advice to heart and sketch nonstop while saving up to go to school full time. I started emailing some schools because I really want to get the ball rolling. I’ll add SCAD to the list and see what they have to say. I haven’t considered studying abroad (at least at first) due to cost and family, but if it’ll help a little bit I might consider it. Thanks.

I’m in a similar situation. I’m a mechanical engineer that works as a design engineer but I want to get closer to the industrial design side. I’m lucky in that my job allows me to be right at that edge. I also work in a small company so my inclinations have been recognized and I do get to do a lot of new product development work and have been able to put forward conceptual work as well.

I’m not sure what your background, experience or current job is but I would try to get something that brings as close as you can to the conception of the product. No matter what the product is. That could give you some experience and very transferable skills.

I’ve only been sketching seriously for about 2 years. And even then seriously has really only been a couple hours a week. It took me a really long time to get over a hump. I’d say that it’s only in the last few months that sketching has started to be enjoyable. I don’t need to concentrate so much on the fundamentals that I can just lay down ideas on paper. I now see the value of sketching as a process. As you sketch you develop your ideas in a very different way than by talking, writing, thinking or CAD…

The reality is the first thousand sketches are going to suck, the quicker you can get through that, the quicker you’ll enjoy it. I sure wish I had done it sooner…

I’d suggest starting a project. Even if you don’t feel like your sketching skills are up to snuff, it’ll give you something to sketch. It’ll also allow you to touch all aspects of design. Check if there’s a makerspace close to where you are, that’ll give you access to some tools and even some pretty resourceful people.

Thanks for the tips! I’m hoping to work on some design work at my job soon, but from what I’ve seen it’s mostly wiring diagrams so I’m not sure how much help that will be. I did get “How to Draw” by Scott Robertson and I’ve been going through the exercises. I actually have a project in mind so I’ll try to put it on paper. Thanks.