SCAD M.A. Design Management

I recently got accepted to this program. I am about to complete my B.S. in Environmental Design. My undergraduate degree required 43 hours of study in Industrial Design (Technical Drawing Studio, Perspective Drawing Studio, Marker Rendering Studio, Prototype Fab., History of Ind, 2D Principles Studio, Computer Design Communication, Presentation Rendering, Anthropometry, Materials and Technology, and 3rd Year Product Design Studio.) I am planning on taking a Rhino course this summer just for experience. Before studying Industrial Design, I spent two years studying Mechanical Engineering and I have extensive Materials Science research experience.

My question is how valuable do you think this Masters in Design Management at SCAD would be on top of my existing training? What kind of jobs could I get with this degree, how big is the job market, and what kind of pay can I expect? Also, how hard would it be to one day be a practical designer if I persue this track? If I am to join this program, I will need to take out a $40,000 unsub loan (I have no undergrad debt) so I need to make sure it will pay off. It is starting to seem that Design management might be the way for me to go because my options in ID are starting to become limited. What do you guys think?

also would i be better off just getting an MBA? I am worried that having a degree in Design Management might be so specialized that I would be limited in job options.

I always think it’s a mistake to get a Master’s without any meaningful job experience. Actually I really think that it lessen the value of your master’s as well in the eye of a future employer. Why don’t you take a job in the field for 2-3 years, you’ll find out about your strengths, what you like, what you don’t and what it is that you really need out of your master’s.

working right after college would be ideal, but I am having trouble finding a job.

I agree with somewhereinla.

I think it would be to your benefit to seek employment before you go down the design management road. I did my undergrad at SCAD and would imagine you would get alot out of the program, but how do you market yourself to an employer for design management with no experience designing?

Currently and at my previous jobs in ID all of my bosses (design managers) have had experience as designers before they climbed up the ranks and received their masters.

Plus most employers will cover the cost if you pursue a related masters in design. That certainly beats paying for it yourself.

i agree that finding a job now would be the best option, but i am having trouble doing so. On top of the job market being messed up, I dont think my portfolio is at a level which I would consider to be that competitive when compared to other grads. My degree (Environmental Design) is a nonprofessional degree and I only had one product design studio and I havent had any CAD coursework other than what I did as an engineering major. My curriculum covered the basic foundation of design but I lack an in depth practical design experience. If I go to SCAD, my plan was to pursue the Design Management track and take some elective studio and CAD courses in order to build my portfolio. I was also considering trying to find an internship at a design firm while I am in grad school. I was planning on then getting a job as a practical designer and then in the future going on to becoming a manager. I am kinda running out of options here especially considering that deadlines have passed for me to get into a traditional ID Masters program. I really dont have time to waste since I have a family.

BTW, although the program is called Design Management, from looking at the curriculum and description of the program, it seems like the program has more of an emphasis on marketing, innovation, and brand/business development. From my understanding, less than 20% of ID grads end up being practical designers and I honestly do not feel that I am artistic enough to be one of these 20%. Instead I realize that I need to concentrate on my strengths (the business and engineering considerations in design) in order to be competitive in the design field rather than trying to be an artist, which I will never be the best at.

My career goal is to be either a business strategist, innovation director, creative director, brand designer, or application/marketing engineer. It seems to me that the Design Management program at SCAD will train me to do just that.

What is yalls thoughts on what I should do? As I mentioned earlier, I am running out of time and out of options so I need to make a move. Spending more time in undergrad in order to build practical experience is not an option due to my personal situation.

My concerns with this program are as follows:

Lack of practical design experience (as you guys mentioned)
The program seems to be a new/unique program which may limit my options
Job market for someone with this type of education

Any suggestions?

I thank you guys in advance.