So, I’m completely torn.
I’m an American student who was accepted to the Innovation Design Engineering program at RCA/Imperial, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to secure any sort of significant funding. I’ve estimated that means that I would take out around 150K over the course of 2 years in loans (living costs + tuition + supplies).
I am terrified of this amount of debt, and I am starting to wonder if I can get valuable portfolio development, connections, and learning experiences by working in industry (ideally HCD consultancy firms) while getting paid. At some point, yes, I would like to get my master’s, but industry experience could even help me better frame my graduate school experience and get more “bang for my buck”. So far, I’ve been out of undergrad for two years, but I’ve been working in design education instead of design practice. Quick note: in undergrad I was a double major in art and mechanical engineering (hence why I was so drawn to the dual-degree program in the first place).
That said, you could make the argument that if I’m going to spend that kind of money at some point, why not now while the opportunity is right in front of me? Plus, there is no guarantee I will get a good job in industry that will give me what I want. Then again, is that really the right reason to go to grad school?