Hi all, I have been lurking these forums the last few months, and first I'd like to thank everyone who contributes to these forums as they have been a terrific resource for me. I, like so many other posters on this forum, find myself wanting to switch careers to Industrial Design, or something closely related.
From what I've seen, the general consensus is that the best way to get your skills up is to go through a bachelors program, because the masters programs focus more on design theory and exploration. Unfortunately, I can't afford the sticker price for a private university like Art Center, and the state schools in California strictly do not accept students for a second bachelors degree. I've generally heard that masters can be cheaper if you get a TA position or research of some kind, but I don't want to miss out on the foundational skills. Additionally, I'm not sure I would be accepted to a good masters program, even one with a post-bacc catch up year without a good portfolio and right now I have nothing.
I contacted CSULB, and found out they have something called an Open University program, where you essentially enroll in classes with the Professor's permission but without working towards a degree. I am considering trying to do this for the first year/ maybe two years of undergrad classes to get my practical skills up, maybe try some night classes at Art Center, and then try to use the portfolio from that to get in to a masters program where I can pay less and refine my design thinking.
Any input on this plan would be greatly appreciated, or if you know of an alternative way to get the skills required without paying an arm and a leg, please let me know.