Currently a straight-A id student at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The education here is great but I’m just curious if it would be more beneficially to me if I switched to a more “well-known” school.
Would internships and future jobs be more readily available to me if I graduated from a better known school?
Also, majoring in industrial design, I was considering minoring in physics. Are there any minors that hold more value in an ID career than others?
Lastly, is it important, as an industrial designer, to continue onto graduate school? Would this option make me more appealing to employers?
Great that you are a straight A student. Just remember, grades don’t matter, focus on your portfolio and experience.
1-I think being in a city with a more robust industrial design community is always benificial for internships and jobs.
2-Industrial design is one of the most difficult majors to master, I’d say any minor would be difficult complete while learning to be the best industrial designer you can be. Even seemingly related majors like interaction an graphic design tend to be a distraction to most students in my observation. Understanding physics will not be of value if you don’t have the approach and skill set of ID mastered.
3-No, a masters in ID is not required and typically not even asked for unless you want a fulltime teaching job.
Dtmoss: I think the biggest benefits of a more recognized school would be the contacts. GM design execs are not going to stop by U of L very often if at all. Whereas at a place like Art Centre they are regularly trolling for talent. There are some places in between too. ASU has a good rep (my alma mater). Anything in NYC or Boston would put you into more contact with potential employers.
Other than that, 95% of your design education depends on your effort. There are no magic bullets to being a great designer with a hot portfolio. You just need to work 40+ hours a week on your projects. I wouldn’t recommend a minor either. You can always take some physics courses as electives, but if you want to make it as an IDer, you need to place total focus there. Especially today, competition is killer.
Lastly, don’t be cheap. If it costs you $500 to have a hot prototype at the end of a project, spend it. You will make that much in a couple days at work. Whereas, if you are cheap, you’ll be looking for that job a lot longer. I speak from experience, it was a mistake that I made. Having said that, experiment in school. Take chances. You’ll have a whole career to do the conservative design. Use school to make mistakes. Just make sure your final work is top class.
Yo!: Does Nike participate with any schools in the Northwest? Just curious.
A little bit with the new U of O program. There is a specific program they sponsor run by an ex Nike guy (my old mentor and boss) called PENSOLE. They also frequently sponsor or actively recruit from UC, CCS, Art Center, CREAPOLE in France and so on. They are not really bound by geography, but they are going to be going to the best schools to find the best.