Choosing a Design School

Choosing a Design School

There are an infinite number of possibilities when it comes to design school, so how do you go about selecting just the right school?

Degree

The first step is to decide what kind of degree and education will best meet your career goals.

Someone wishing to work in computer-aided drafting and design might only need an associate's degree, while someone seeking a career in web design may need a bachelor's degree to stay competitive in the job market. A bachelor's degree typically offers an equal mix of design classes and liberal arts classes, while shorter programs concentrate primarily on design work. Program lengths are important, especially for those anxious to finish studies as quickly as possible.

Specialties

Look for schools that have strengths in the specialty of design that interests you. Aspiring interior designers, for example, will probably find more programs than those interested in toy design. Examine curricula closely to be sure they offer the specialties and specific aspects of design you want.

Ask admissions representatives about the hands-on aspects of a program. Studio time and portfolio development are critical, especially when seeking employment. And it's also smart to discuss career placement with a prospective school to find out what kinds of services are offered and if internships are common. Students should ask about the placement rate and how long it takes the average graduate to find full-time work. And it's a good idea to talk to alumni to see how satisfied they were with their education.

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