Let's have a conversation.....the good, the bad, the clueless, the BS, the hopes....about design education.
It's hugely dependent on where you live, how much money you have, and what kind of design you want to pursue.
It's been 10 years since I went through it and I learned the craft side well, but not much else. 99% of what I've learned has come post university but YMMV.
With hindsight I would have studied HCI or similar, and gone into design that route. But then you're missing a lot of the traditional design skills so IDK.
I'll add that I've interviewed many designers who paid good money to be part of a bootcamp (some 4 weeks, others 12) where they were not given the baseline tools to get a job. Their portfolio work was a huge group project, they didnt know how to prepare their portfolio, and had big gaps in their process. I don't even think that bootcamps are bad or that its impossible to give someone the education needed to land an entry lvl job in 3 months. But they need to be robust enough to know what the minumum needs of a business hiring an entry lvl designer is.
We were trying to hire an intermediate UX designer. We got flooded with designers that only took a General Assembly class and that is it. It's fine to get your feet wet, but the majority we need someone that went through the process more than once.
I went to design school because I avoided art class in high school and my first college. I needed the time to understand the fundamentals. However, art school did not prepare me for the real world because the traditional graphic designer is no longer in demand. All my experiences came through jobs, books, and side projects. Every project I try something new to make the process better. I had no clue what UX was until I read about it tried some stuff out. Heck, I am still doing it.
If you feel like you need school to understand the process, spend the money. If you think you have to cause its the norm, don't waste your time. You are better off getting an intro job or do freelance work. Our industry is simple. Do you know what you are doing and /or can you make things look pretty?
It's hopefully changed since I graduated in 2012, but the only graphic design programs available at my school were through the Arts department — focusing entirely on creating "art", rather than real world digital design. You had to take drawing and painting courses to even qualify for the graphic design program. My professors barely knew Illustrator.
The only web design class available was through the Computer Science department and focused more on HTML and Dreamweaver rather than actual design or user experience.
I learned everything on my own through side projects and graduated with an extreme distaste for universities. I'm still paying off student loans :(