Which degree is for me?

Hello, I’m about to be a senior and I’m still looking at colleges. My problem is that I have no idea which degree I should be looking at. I know I want to study Industrial design but some programs offer a BFA, BIF or a BA. I don’t know which degree will help me get to the next step. I thought I needed a BS or BID. I’m looking to work in consumer electronics and commercial design.

The Bxx honestly doesn’t matter. As long as you have a degree + good portfolio you’ll be fine. Look at what the curriculum will teach, instead, and how well you will fit into the school/their philosophy. Most schools give out BFAs nowadays.

Yup, it has everything to do with what’s coming out of the program and little to do with the Bxx. However, FYI, BS programs tend to be more grounded with engineering whereas BA leans more towards the liberal arts.

Look at different schools and their focus. Another bit of advice is to pick a school, then go on coroflot.com to look for portfolios of students from that school. This will help you get a more detailed picture of that schools’ program and level of student quality, which is also extremely important. It is not always your instructors that you learn the most from.

I was pretty happy getting the bfa. (now Im going for the mfa) I was able to take classes in sculpture (developing meaningful forms, learning how to be critiqued etc.) for instance. If you are coming into it on the art side, I would say go bfa, if you are more into engineering go bs.

I would avoid the ba though, maybe it’s too general without getting you any specific art training. Pretty much just figure out what school environment is right for you, art school, engineering school, big uni, small college.

Big schools have more resources and options, which can be good or bad. and small colleges have less options, and more intimate feel. It pretty much depends on where you can feel comfortable.

The short answer is, it doesn’t matter.

Ditto. This is all you really need to know. Choose the school that fits best for you and have fun :smiley: .

But not too much fun… :wink:

I’m not sure if it’s any difference Stateside, but I say it does matter, in fact it’s quite important. I had the same questions when choosing my degree.

The difference between a BA and a BsC will definitely influence the type of designer you’ll become, the skill set you’ll develop, the sort of company you’ll work for and your role within that company.

I’ve found BA’s can be very different to BsC’s, with BA’s offering a more holistic, creative thinking approach and BsC’s focusing more on the engineering and manufacturing side of things.

Though I’d agree with the guys above that it doesn’t matter if you actually visit the universities and courses in question, getting a feel for the place will give you a strong enough indication as whether it suits you. Just make sure you visit both BA and BsC to get a better idea.

It’s important you look into this, personally I landed on my feet on a course title that suited me perfectly and confident I’d have more than a few regrets if I went for the alternative route.

So… Are you a man of the Arts, or a man of Science? :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you guys so much, you’ve already been really helpful.

I guess I usually focus more on the design side. I have notebooks filled with how the products would look and feel and not really how they would work (but then again i’ve been limited by my knowledge of how phones, camera, and mp3 players actually work). I’m not sure but I guess that’s a BFA or more art related major, but now I know to look more into what the courses focus is on an whether or not it’s fir me.

Another problem I’ve been having is: how do I research this stuff about the school? After reading website after website they start to sound the same. “ID is this… We have great teachers and resources… Our connections will give you hands on experience…etc”


Browse some portfolio by schools. See what type of process students and putting into their portfolios. Also you could always email a professor or students there and I’m sure you’ll get some good responses.

Find someone from the school, email them with GOOD, well thought-out questions, and hope they respond. I’ve helped a few CMU prospectives leverage their options.

It’s hard to describe a program in a website. Your best bet is to visit the school. Do what Sain says, too.

@The_Boogey_Man I should clarify. I don’t think the US based programs are as disparate between DFA, BID and BS, but there is some difference, what I meant by it doesn’t matter is that you will be able to get a job (if you are good that is) with any of them.

The most important thing is to go to the schools, get a feel for 4-7 of them and see what you like. Nothing beets an in person visit, and this is potentially a $100k plus investment. If you were about to buy a car for $100k, would you test drive it? Of course you would. Visit some different schools, sit in on a class if you can, talk to students…

Does a degree cost you $100k is the U.S.?

I paid $27k for mine in Australia.

For what it’s worth, junior designers that I have seen who have graduated with a B.S have stronger skills.
B.S. it seems are more rigorous programs and it really shows as far as portfolios I have seen.

I would completely disagree with that. I have seen Great, good, and crap portfolios from every degree type in equal amounts.

I have been going to school for interior design for a couple years now, but this past quarter I had an awesome 3-D class and started to double think my major. I need help desciding what to do. Can someone help me understand the difference between Interior Design, Industrial Design, Product Design, and Design Management? Also, what the job market is like for each one?!?! SOMEONE, PLEASE HELP ME!!

Interior design is the design of an Architectural interior space. It can involve some furniture design though that is not the focus of the discipline. Typically the more sophisticated programs are actually called Interior Architecture or Environmental Design.

Product Design and Industrial Design are focused on the design a mass produced object.

A job in Design Management typically becomes accessible after a decade of experience as a practicing designer.the idea of a fresh graduate with no experience managing seasoned designers is pretty hilarious.