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wynnc's picture
165 pencils

Furthering My Education??????????

so I have just recently finished my undergrad in graphic design and fortunately landed a decent graphic design job. its not an ideal job by any means and but I am getting some good experience. I am considering furthering my education and definitely want to stay in a creative field. So I was hoping I could get some feedback from anyone who has completed a masters or anyone who an opinion whether or not it is worth the $. I am trying to figure out if there is another field that I could pursue that would be better than just graphic design, that might give myself a unique edge once completed. The two areas i am contemplating would either be some sort of web/app development path to get into interface design and development or maybe some sort of marketing/psychology and lean towards a creative director for an ad agency path. And am wondering what doors would furthering my education in graphic design open????So basically I am just looking for some experienced feedback or advice from different people in this field.

I apologize this is kind of all over the place, just looking for advice from people with personal experience.

Commenting on this Forum topic will be automatically closed on May 17, 2012.

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

Started designing in the mid 1980s. Still freelancing today.

Pardon the notes of cynicism, but you're fresh out of school and in a decent, yet not ideal job in your field of study?

That's so very shocking to me. I don't understand how things like this happen to good people.

Terrell Thornhill

e-zign Design Group

wynnc's picture
165 pencils

thanks for your input

Alex's picture
397 pencils

I'd get a few years of work under your belt and then re-assess masters courses. I suspect that the realities of working in the field will help change, and challenge, some of your ideas of what it is you do, want to do, and want to achieve.

What you get out of an education is only as good as what you put into it. And coming to a masters with real life knowledge allows you to question things and understand some of the reasoning behind things.

I considered a masters a few years back, but decided that going freelance (from a background in in-house design) would provide a far more valuable education. That's not to say that I won't do a masters at some point in the future, but right now my work teaches me something new every single day.

gwells's picture
1707 pencils

and if you *do* decide to go back for a masters, having a few more years of real world experience will make the masters more valuable to you (not necessarily future employers, but to you personally) because you will have a better foundation to base your advanced education upon. experience allows you to view education with a view of application to the real world as opposed to as a purely academic endeavor.

wynnc's picture
165 pencils

I feel like in graphic design, its more about self motivation than just education (not to say thats not true for every other field), like starting your own freelance business etc. but I have been looking into development online and have found resources all over that have taught me so much (javascript mainly). So I'm wondering if I have all these resources available to me, than what is education going to give me that I can't find on my own (in the dev. field) because I think an employer will look at an online portfolio and tell what someone knows and doesn't know about development, rather than look at previous education on a resume. but anyways, thanks for the comments, super helpful!


YoungZM's picture
915 pencils

Quite frankly education is usually used for a screening filter. The BA/ Masters attached to your resume just helps them not have to interview 50 but just 20. Not saying that the extended education won't teach you something, but real world experience isn't something you can buy and put on a diploma.

Ultimately, it's your portfolio that does the talking. I'm sure if an Art director hiring someone looked at two design portfolios, one that was great by someone with lesser education and someone whose portfolio was mediocre with a lot of degrees they'd go for the obvious choice so long as they checked out on program and production standards.

Art D. Rector's picture
3162 pencils

If I'm hiring, I want real world experience over a deep education. There's nothing wrong with being well educated, but nothing beats hands-on experience imho. You learn a lot in school - but you learn how things get done on the job.

brillustrator's picture
10 pencils

I like this site because each post contains interesting perspectives & insightful info.

wgzn's picture
2120 pencils

from my experience (+ or - 20 years) i see absolutely no value in a masters degree in design.

YES. many companies expect you to have a bachelors degree. so its greatthat you have that. but ive seen NONE (unless you want to teach) that require, nor advance faster, nor pay any more for someone with a masters.

just WORK. nothing looks better on a resume or in your end product than good old fashioned experience.

mara06's picture
2747 pencils

First of all, congratulations not only on earning your degree, but also on landing a decent job in your field. Good going!

Now, work that job for all it's worth. Soak up everything you can about the real-world applications of design, about printing and marketing and getting along with others you might think are toads. Build up your portfolio and keep your resumé fresh. Try some freelancing on the side, if your employer doesn't object.

Although I'm a huge fan of education, my observation is that even the best schools in all the fields you mention are often either woefully under-equipped or just out of touch with reality -- or both. Given how expensive it is to work toward an advanced degree, I can't advise you to go for it now. Hey -- you might wind up with a company someday that will partly cover yout tuition if you agree to stick with them for a certain number of years. That was more common once than it is now, but it could happen.

Again, congratulations!


pokie's picture
1217 pencils

As someone who has a bachelors degree in art and recently finished a Masters in Communications, meh. I am split on it.

On one hand, it is VERY hard to get an interview because people don't think they can pay you enough, and then they expect a lot more from you. I am also a leader in my dept which I've not gotten interviews because they assumed they couldn't pay me enough (two people called me to tell me this-- even after I told them I'm fine... I still didn't get it).

On the other hand, I think I may have stood out in other job postings because I have gone the extra step. Those are for leadership positions.

I went back because I became bored and because I had a wonderful opportunity to do it for nearly free. Just do it for the right reasons and those right reasons should be (in my opinion) just to learn more. Not to find a big fancy job.

honery's picture
2 pencils

For my personal opinion, you can learn more pratical things from your jobs than at school. Of course, you can learn something that you are interested in spare time. As the saying goes: "It's never too old to learn". Good Luck@@

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