post grad education cost/benefits?

hey guys, sorry for the first time poster, usually jst lurk the forums and forgot my old user password. anyway…

given this:

and this:

i would propose that a graduate degree in design is not worth it. as i am not a trust funder, a graduate education would cost me say, $100k to $180k (before interest). and more importantly, would set my career back 2 or 3 years, missing out on that experience, and climbing the salary ladder. I am seriously considering a masters degree at this point, but it just doesn’t add up. Can some more experienced designers weigh in on this? thanks!

You don’t automatically get more salary for having a masters degree. It is all based on skill, contribution, talent, output and scope of responsibility. If more schooling helps you get there, it may be worth it, if not, then it isn’t. You need to really understand where you are and what you need to improve to be more successful.

BTW those salary charts are way low.

I know a lot of people in design management and a few in ID that are over the 120 mark…

interesting points. the only person i know working in ID with a grad degree is a manager. Also, spoke to a current masters student and he almost made it sound as though a masters program is more for getting your skills up to a standard you want, rather than specifically to help climb a ladder…interesting.

Looks like being a model maker with a high school education is the place to be :slight_smile: I’m not all too sure about the Coroflot salary surveys. I know it comes from user generated data, but seeing as I don’t have much experience and another poster commented that they seem quite low, it certainly would be great to hear if others with grad school experience could validate some of these figures.

Most people use the Masters as a vehicle for career change (as opposed to career advancement so common in other professions).

I’d suggest that unless you have a burning desire to broaden your horizons, go into teaching and getting tenure, or get into some sub-specialty of ID, it’s sort of a waste of time.

You’ll learn more and gain more skill on the job. Those will get you raises and promotions faster.

I have a MID, and this is primarily what I used it for. I have an engineering degree but discovered ID midstream, and decided to complete both before moving into the working world. I speculate my base pay was higher than standard because of my engineering background, not my Master’s degree.

Also, is it somewhat ironic that the Educator section on the bar graph is one of the few that doesn’t have a PhD reporting in?

No offense to Core’s demographic but I believe they use their members as a base line and thus most of them are still fairly early in their career. It is very easy to be in ID and be between 80 - 120k with the 15yrs or more experience. Thus one may not want to use this data as a fact, or would want to argue it if your employer pulls it out to justify your current salary. As for post graduate I am on a knife edge but I know I want to do it it is just a mater of finding the right program that aligns with my business and professional goals…

As my research shows the various options (please provide your insight)

Masters in ID - Refine your skills and knowledge into a more specific area / furniture / fine arts / extra.

Master in Product development (30K 2yar part time)- Aligns you to track for upper and senior management positions within corporations VP / Director. North Western has this program. And Many company’s REQUIRE upper management to have a post graduate degree.

MBA - Provides you insight into business and opens opportunities in upper management and running departments but has no focus on ID or product development

As for cost you need to do the math and also be able to advance your salary - A master could open up new opportunities that could easily increase your salary from 10 - 30 K over a 5 year period if you obtain the right job. Keeping in mind that you will most likely move further away from doing design and be more of a conductor and providing the long term vision and focus.

Masters in Marketing - Will help you to better understand another facet of design and how to relate to the consumer

Masters in physcology - ability to mess with co-workers and clients minds :wink:

I have also been interested and doing some research in Masters programs.

I would really love to get the perspective of anyone who has chosen to go back to school somewhere in their career. Did you decide to go back full or part time? Commute/relocate or online? What did you learn that you wished you knew when you started out? Best thing about your experience? Worst thing about your experience? Doesn’t have to be specific to any program or school, but the overall experience.