Does the school you graduate matter?

over 6 years ago from , Student Designer/ Photographer

I'm currently a graphic design student at a college in Chicago. I'm really unhappy with the level of education I'm getting. (Poor teachers, amateur students). I would graduate Dec 2015. Would it be worth trying to transfer to a more repudable design school? It would cost me a lot more and it might extend my graduation.

I would look to move from Chicago to NYC/LA for Parsons, Pratt, or Art's Center.


  • Mitch De CastroMitch De Castro, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I'm a graphic design student myself and I go to a school thats pretty close to NYC and we get a lot of faculty who've gone to Pratt, SVA, and other schools from there.

    However, from what I've gathered, the school actually doesn't matter. It's all about your work and how self-motivated you are. The most successful students from my school were very self-motivated and did a whole bunch of stuff outside of class (internships, passion projects, starting their own businesses, etc.)

    I think you should check sites like The Great Discontent or Pencil vs Pixel and learn the stories about some of the well-known designers who are out there right now. You'll find out that some of them don't have a formal education in design and pretty much just went out and did stuff.

    I mean, it really depends on the kind of work you wanna do as a designer. If you wanna work on the web and do "UI/UX" stuff, like a lot of the designers here on DN, you might be better off at a bootcamp or learning on Treehouse because those programs would be more up-to-date with what's going on with the web.

    If you want to learn about print design (and I mean actual print design) in which you learn all about substrates, comps, printing presses, paper companies, folded self-mailers, etc. you might be better off going to a traditional design school because that sort of knowledge is fairly rare on the internet. But, who's to say how the print industry will fare in the next few years?

    There's also the matter of understanding identities, building brands, and advertising that you might not find easily on the internet (I could be wrong) but if money is going to be an issue, that's generally a sign that you shouldn't risk it. Frank Chimero mentioned, on his TGD interview, that you should avoid debt as much as you can because it can be very crippling.

    Whatever you do, hopefully you're doing something. You really shouldn't put all your stock into one school or program; instead invest in yourself, learn as much as you can from everywhere, start your own projects, and build a portfolio.

    1 point
  • Katarina RdultovskaiaKatarina Rdultovskaia, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    What school you graduated from doesn't mean squat. If you have good work companies will take notice, they really aren't interested in which fancy pants school you went to...In my own experience having the drive to learn what you need to succeed is most important. No School has the perfect solution there will always be shortcomings, its up to you to bring it all together.

    The only benefit I could see by going to one of these "reputable" schools may be making connections within the school, but then again is it really work 100K+ tuition? your call.

    0 points
  • Matt Scorte, over 6 years ago

    graduate from matter*

    0 points