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'Don't get a master's in Graphic Design'

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  • 'Don't get a master's in Graphic Design'

    I wasn't sure where to post this, but it's school related so...

    I've worked in the games industry for almost the past decade, making graphics and illustration assets. I already have a bachelor's in art. But I'm thinking that I want to switch my focus into the graphic design side of art, and have been pondering getting a master's in a 1-year overseas program in Europe (something I wanted but never got to do for my bachelor's). But I consistently hear that master's in graphic design are rather useless, and I'm nervous that because my professional experience and degree wasn't in graphic design proper, that they may not accept me.

    I have a nest egg from my last job and have the monetary means, and am very sure that I don't want to continue in the games industry, but I feel like I need more education and study in design before I enter the employment arena again. I unfortunately don't know anyone who does graphic design as a living, so I thought I might ask here before I make any big decisions. Are master's degrees in this area at all viable? Is it worth my time to pursue this? Any input?

  • #2
    I have an MFA in graphic design, but I'm not sure I can really point to anything I learned in graduate school that was all that worthwhile. Luckily my employer at the time paid for it, or I wouldn't have done it.

    MFAs are largely useless for landing graphic design jobs where a bachelor's degree, a stellar portfolio and experience seem to be the main requirements. However a master's degree can be very useful for heading up the corporate ladder to higher-paying creative, communication and marketing director positions. I keep my eyes open for what's out there, and I'm increasingly seeing ads saying they'll give preferential treatment to those with graduate degrees for more senior-level creative positions.

    Personally, I think it's a bit foolish for employers to think a master's degree somehow makes someone more qualified in these particular fields. But lots of corporate leaders know next to nothing about the skills actually needed for niche positions, like marketing or communications, since they're not part of the company's core business. As a result upper management often bases their hiring for these positions on degrees and charming personalities instead of ability (which, I think, explains why so many of the people in these in-house creative management positions are such unqualified bozos). But now I'm off on a tangent.


    • #3
      Most of the pro graphic designers I know have their BA, BFA, BS in art. The very few that have masters degrees have one in an adjunct field such as museum studies, early childhood education, or technical theatre. I do work in a strange segment of the industry though.
      The museum studies would be geared toward designing museum exhibits, not just the art museum type of exhibit, but maybe something like historical or educational museums. The early childhood education would be for designing exhibits and exhibit text more geared toward younger children. And tech theatre...very niche and not well known, an area that covers corporate shows of many sorts from large stadium sized events to small webcast/broadcast.

      But on the whole, the most people I know with art masters degrees teach.

      The main problem with a Masters degree in Graphic Design is money. As in, most employers wanting a graphic designer are not going to want to pay what they think a Masters level degree might be wanting for a salary. They immediately think ''out of my budget.''
      Last edited by PrintDriver; 12-30-2017, 10:26 AM.






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