Undergraduate Interaction degree

27 Feb 2008 - 11:59am
4 years ago
12 replies
2031 reads
Mark Schraad
2006

A couple of thoughts on this topic...
A few years ago I was doing research in the retail pharma industry. At that
time the standard degree for a pharmacist changed from 5 years to 6 years.
The effect was that the demand for pharmacist went through the roof (partly
due to a year with no new graduates), and the market value of a pharmacist
went through the roof... and has pretty much stayed there.

If there was a 4 year degree for IX, would it have the opposite effect in
our industry? The masters graduates from CMU and IIT are in very high demand
- even before graduation. Talking with faculty, there are companies lobbying
for them to increase class size.

So the question is, would an undergraduate standard be good for our
profession?

Second question... Can it be done well? Interaction design is more demanding
than say, graphic design. Can you get a balanced design education in a four
year degree with the addition of social science, cognitive science... and
research? Any current design faculty want to take a shot at this?

Mark

On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 09:32:58, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Jack,
>
> YES! YES! YES!
>
> The only undergrad program I know of is a minor of IxD as part of
> their Industrial Design program at SCAD.
>
> I'd love to hear about other programs no matter how tangential (in
> this case), but DESIGN SCHOOL, not HCI programs from CompSci or
> CogPsy programs.
>
> There might be some good media & design programs around, but since
> they don't talk up IxD they are hard to identify.
>
> What keeps these programs which are in such obvious need (I mean the
> job market discussions and lack of Jr. talent should be a huge
> indicator of need.)
>
> Why is it assumed that IxD is relegated to the masters degree level?
>
> -- dave
>
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26528
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

Comments

27 Feb 2008 - 12:08pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Feb 27, 2008, at 12:59 PM, mark schraad wrote:

> Can it be done well? Interaction design is more demanding
> than say, graphic design.

No, I must disagree. It's only different. When I tell people that my
wife has a Ph.D. in Human Genetics, they are extremely impressed.
Now, I'll be the first to claim that she is an impressive person, but
it's actually just a matter of the interests and path she chose to
pursue.

I do believe it is just a matter of designing the curriculum
appropriately. I'm not saying it's trivial, by any means, but it is
definitely do-able.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

If there's anything more annoying
than a machine that won't do what you want,
it's a machine that won't do what you want
and has been programmed to behave
as though it likes you.

- Don Norman

27 Feb 2008 - 12:30pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Jack: No, I must disagree. It's only different
Yep - having been a graphic designer early in my career, it is difficult (if
not impossible) for me to imagine practicing interaction design without
those visual thinking tools.

Hey Brian, when I was running my company, we participated in the co-op
program with Cincinnati. What a fantastic approach. There is no substitute
for time spent actually doing the work in the real world!

On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 1:17 PM, Brian Herzfeldt <bherzfeldt at gmail.com>
wrote:

> I think it can be done well. However a with a four year program would
> preclude a lot of students financially so there would have to be some kinf
> non gov subsidation. Maybe something like the design co-op program in
> Cincinnati. I went to IIT Institute of Design and three years about killed
> me both emotionally and financially. Not sure I could have done four at
> that level of intensity :) but then again I was in mid 30's and couldn't
> pull the all nighter like I could in my 20's.
>
> I believe you could get a well rounded education in 3-4 years. Basics of
> design, some research and prototyping skills, teams skills, learning the
> tools then a big dose of UI/IxD. I like the co-op idea because design school
> prepares you to do the thinking and the basic skills to do the work but
> fails in preparing one for doing that work in the context of a real
> business. There is so much more to learn about executing design projects
> that you just don't get exposed to until you are out there in it. This might
> be one reason its tough for new graduates as its tough, unless you are lucky
> enough to have prior design work experience, to really be able to hit the
> ground running.
>
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 9:59 AM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > A couple of thoughts on this topic...
> > A few years ago I was doing research in the retail pharma industry. At
> > that
> > time the standard degree for a pharmacist changed from 5 years to 6
> > years.
> > The effect was that the demand for pharmacist went through the roof
> > (partly
> > due to a year with no new graduates), and the market value of a
> > pharmacist
> > went through the roof... and has pretty much stayed there.
> >
> > If there was a 4 year degree for IX, would it have the opposite effect
> > in
> > our industry? The masters graduates from CMU and IIT are in very high
> > demand
> > - even before graduation. Talking with faculty, there are companies
> > lobbying
> > for them to increase class size.
> >
> > So the question is, would an undergraduate standard be good for our
> > profession?
> >
> > Second question... Can it be done well? Interaction design is more
> > demanding
> > than say, graphic design. Can you get a balanced design education in a
> > four
> > year degree with the addition of social science, cognitive science...
> > and
> > research? Any current design faculty want to take a shot at this?
> >
> > Mark
> >
> > On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 09:32:58, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Jack,
> > >
> > > YES! YES! YES!
> > >
> > > The only undergrad program I know of is a minor of IxD as part of
> > > their Industrial Design program at SCAD.
> > >
> > > I'd love to hear about other programs no matter how tangential (in
> > > this case), but DESIGN SCHOOL, not HCI programs from CompSci or
> > > CogPsy programs.
> > >
> > > There might be some good media & design programs around, but since
> > > they don't talk up IxD they are hard to identify.
> > >
> > > What keeps these programs which are in such obvious need (I mean the
> > > job market discussions and lack of Jr. talent should be a huge
> > > indicator of need.)
> > >
> > > Why is it assumed that IxD is relegated to the masters degree level?
> > >
> > > -- dave
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> > > Posted from the new ixda.org
> > > http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26528
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> > >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>

27 Feb 2008 - 12:45pm
Todd Roberts
2005

A larger pool of qualified and vetted junior designers (oh wait, that
assumes there are junior design positions ;) would raise awareness of IxD
and the overall standard of work, which would be good for the field.

Whether it's good for any individual practitioner's pocketbooks is a
question the market would have to answer. Not an exact analogy but
programmers seem to have weathered the offshoring storm better than
predicted. It's feasible that demand would increase once companies discover
that there are people out there to provide a valuable service they didn't
know existed.

Can it be done well? Yes, 4 years is a long enough time to learn the
foundations and get real life experience in internships/co-ops. Ideally,
education would push down into high school as well. Part of the problem is
that there isn't an educational foundation for design coming out of high
school like there is for most other professions.

In any case it certainly would be better than the current state of affairs
where a good number of practitioners have no formal training or maybe a
few-day workshop.

So the question is, would an undergraduate standard be good for our
> profession?
>
> Second question... Can it be done well? Interaction design is more
> demanding
> than say, graphic design. Can you get a balanced design education in a
> four
> year degree with the addition of social science, cognitive science... and
> research? Any current design faculty want to take a shot at this?
>
>

27 Feb 2008 - 1:12pm
Christine Boese
2006

You might take a look at the EMAC program at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute. Stands for Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication, a program
with a strong grounding in HCI, design, and usability. You can't get thru
the program without doing it (or you couldn't when I was there), yet
students are also encouraged to explore all kinds of interesting creative
interactive media experiments and installations as well.

http://www.rpi.edu/academics/interdisciplinary/emac.html

http://www.emac.rpi.edu/

Chris

On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:

> A couple of thoughts on this topic...
> A few years ago I was doing research in the retail pharma industry. At
> that
> time the standard degree for a pharmacist changed from 5 years to 6 years.
> The effect was that the demand for pharmacist went through the roof
> (partly
> due to a year with no new graduates), and the market value of a pharmacist
> went through the roof... and has pretty much stayed there.
>
> If there was a 4 year degree for IX, would it have the opposite effect in
> our industry? The masters graduates from CMU and IIT are in very high
> demand
> - even before graduation. Talking with faculty, there are companies
> lobbying
> for them to increase class size.
>
> So the question is, would an undergraduate standard be good for our
> profession?
>
> Second question... Can it be done well? Interaction design is more
> demanding
> than say, graphic design. Can you get a balanced design education in a
> four
> year degree with the addition of social science, cognitive science... and
> research? Any current design faculty want to take a shot at this?
>
> Mark
>
> On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 09:32:58, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Jack,
> >
> > YES! YES! YES!
> >
> > The only undergrad program I know of is a minor of IxD as part of
> > their Industrial Design program at SCAD.
> >
> > I'd love to hear about other programs no matter how tangential (in
> > this case), but DESIGN SCHOOL, not HCI programs from CompSci or
> > CogPsy programs.
> >
> > There might be some good media & design programs around, but since
> > they don't talk up IxD they are hard to identify.
> >
> > What keeps these programs which are in such obvious need (I mean the
> > job market discussions and lack of Jr. talent should be a huge
> > indicator of need.)
> >
> > Why is it assumed that IxD is relegated to the masters degree level?
> >
> > -- dave
> >
> >
> >
> > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> > Posted from the new ixda.org
> > http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26528
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

27 Feb 2008 - 1:15pm
Christine Boese
2006

Actually, I just checked, and RPI has expanded its undergrad offerings since
EMAC launched in 1996. There are now both design and IT concentrations as
well, and a communication design certificate.

http://www.llc.rpi.edu/programs/undergraduate.shtml

Chris

On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 2:12 PM, Christine Boese <christine.boese at gmail.com>
wrote:

> You might take a look at the EMAC program at Rensselaer Polytechnic
> Institute. Stands for Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication, a program
> with a strong grounding in HCI, design, and usability. You can't get thru
> the program without doing it (or you couldn't when I was there), yet
> students are also encouraged to explore all kinds of interesting creative
> interactive media experiments and installations as well.
>
> http://www.rpi.edu/academics/interdisciplinary/emac.html
>
> http://www.emac.rpi.edu/
>
> Chris
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > A couple of thoughts on this topic...
> > A few years ago I was doing research in the retail pharma industry. At
> > that
> > time the standard degree for a pharmacist changed from 5 years to 6
> > years.
> > The effect was that the demand for pharmacist went through the roof
> > (partly
> > due to a year with no new graduates), and the market value of a
> > pharmacist
> > went through the roof... and has pretty much stayed there.
> >
> > If there was a 4 year degree for IX, would it have the opposite effect
> > in
> > our industry? The masters graduates from CMU and IIT are in very high
> > demand
> > - even before graduation. Talking with faculty, there are companies
> > lobbying
> > for them to increase class size.
> >
> > So the question is, would an undergraduate standard be good for our
> > profession?
> >
> > Second question... Can it be done well? Interaction design is more
> > demanding
> > than say, graphic design. Can you get a balanced design education in a
> > four
> > year degree with the addition of social science, cognitive science...
> > and
> > research? Any current design faculty want to take a shot at this?
> >
> > Mark
> >
> > On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 09:32:58, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Jack,
> > >
> > > YES! YES! YES!
> > >
> > > The only undergrad program I know of is a minor of IxD as part of
> > > their Industrial Design program at SCAD.
> > >
> > > I'd love to hear about other programs no matter how tangential (in
> > > this case), but DESIGN SCHOOL, not HCI programs from CompSci or
> > > CogPsy programs.
> > >
> > > There might be some good media & design programs around, but since
> > > they don't talk up IxD they are hard to identify.
> > >
> > > What keeps these programs which are in such obvious need (I mean the
> > > job market discussions and lack of Jr. talent should be a huge
> > > indicator of need.)
> > >
> > > Why is it assumed that IxD is relegated to the masters degree level?
> > >
> > > -- dave
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> > > Posted from the new ixda.org
> > > http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26528
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> > >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>

27 Feb 2008 - 1:21pm
achong
2006

I believe it can be done well. Most of the foundational learning takes
place in first and 2nd year (color theory/typographic/space/cognitive
science/critical theory/data structures &
algorithms/sketching/prototyping). More complex subjects are tackled
in 3rd and 4th year in design studios (narrative structure,
kinesthetic space, experience design etc).

There are a few undergrad IxD schools out there already. I believe
there is one in Malmo Sweden and there is one in Vancouver Canada at
SFU.

On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 11:12 AM, Christine Boese
<christine.boese at gmail.com> wrote:
> You might take a look at the EMAC program at Rensselaer Polytechnic
> Institute. Stands for Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication, a program
> with a strong grounding in HCI, design, and usability. You can't get thru
> the program without doing it (or you couldn't when I was there), yet
> students are also encouraged to explore all kinds of interesting creative
> interactive media experiments and installations as well.
>
> http://www.rpi.edu/academics/interdisciplinary/emac.html
>
> http://www.emac.rpi.edu/
>
> Chris
>
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > A couple of thoughts on this topic...
> > A few years ago I was doing research in the retail pharma industry. At
> > that
> > time the standard degree for a pharmacist changed from 5 years to 6 years.
> > The effect was that the demand for pharmacist went through the roof
> > (partly
> > due to a year with no new graduates), and the market value of a pharmacist
> > went through the roof... and has pretty much stayed there.
> >
> > If there was a 4 year degree for IX, would it have the opposite effect in
> > our industry? The masters graduates from CMU and IIT are in very high
> > demand
> > - even before graduation. Talking with faculty, there are companies
> > lobbying
> > for them to increase class size.
> >
> > So the question is, would an undergraduate standard be good for our
> > profession?
> >
> > Second question... Can it be done well? Interaction design is more
> > demanding
> > than say, graphic design. Can you get a balanced design education in a
> > four
> > year degree with the addition of social science, cognitive science... and
> > research? Any current design faculty want to take a shot at this?
> >
> > Mark
> >
> > On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 09:32:58, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Jack,
> > >
> > > YES! YES! YES!
> > >
> > > The only undergrad program I know of is a minor of IxD as part of
> > > their Industrial Design program at SCAD.
> > >
> > > I'd love to hear about other programs no matter how tangential (in
> > > this case), but DESIGN SCHOOL, not HCI programs from CompSci or
> > > CogPsy programs.
> > >
> > > There might be some good media & design programs around, but since
> > > they don't talk up IxD they are hard to identify.
> > >
> > > What keeps these programs which are in such obvious need (I mean the
> > > job market discussions and lack of Jr. talent should be a huge
> > > indicator of need.)
> > >
> > > Why is it assumed that IxD is relegated to the masters degree level?
> > >
> > > -- dave
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> > > Posted from the new ixda.org
> > > http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26528
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> > >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Adrian Chong
www.adrianchong.com/blog

28 Feb 2008 - 8:11am
Leah
2008

I've entered a new program at the AI of Portland: Design Studies- there are
7 of us so far in our 2nd year. The name doesn't fit well, and the director
is considering a change to Design Research Degree. He's met with local
design companies for input, and thus, our courses are more like: visual
culture and design methods.... we've got a MAJOR focus on ethnographic and
Feldman model-type ways of looking at design... its not at all like graphic
design. The program is all about a user-centered approach to design in any
field, so we often encounter industrial and web design. It is a shorter
degree than a masters, but I'm wondering if I should still go ahead and go
on to get my masters instead of jumping into a job right away....
What are your thoughts? Do you think my degree would be at all similar to
IxD?

1 Mar 2008 - 11:20am
Kevin Conlon
2008

On it%u2019s surface, the title, Design Research, doesn't personally
work for me; it's missing the "interaction" part that really says
what the design research is about. Beyond the title, the degree as
is more about the use of art and design and their relationship to
art. There%u2019s nothing wrong with that per se, but again, with no
real substance on the interaction beyond your ethnographic studies,
such as HCI or any of the other usability-related areas included,
along with the ethnographic work, I'd think that you'd be better
served by moving on to a graduate program that picks up on what
you're undergraduate program seems to be deficient in before you
moved into IxD.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26558

1 Mar 2008 - 5:06pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Kevin,

I think at present there is an implied 'interaction' focus to a
design research because that is where most of the design research is
focused. Granted all design could benefit from research, but some
areas like graphics, tend to be stuck in a craft approach rather than
one of problem solving. Ideally, there would be an interaction degree
that focuses on just that, interactions. My undergrad degree was in
design theory, which focused on methods and approaches to design with
some applied work. I think there is room for a 'design thinking'
masters that combines elements of design research, deeper methods
than most core programs offer, and design management content. This
would be a good approach for schools with smaller faculty and those
that lack the pedigree of a CMU, Stanford or IIT. It's not too far
off from where IIT/ID is, but they call these out as discrete
disciplines.

Mark

On Mar 1, 2008, at 9:20 AM, Kevin Conlon wrote:

> On it%u2019s surface, the title, Design Research, doesn't personally
> work for me; it's missing the "interaction" part that really says
> what the design research is about. Beyond the title, the degree as
> is more about the use of art and design and their relationship to
> art. There%u2019s nothing wrong with that per se, but again, with no
> real substance on the interaction beyond your ethnographic studies,
> such as HCI or any of the other usability-related areas included,
> along with the ethnographic work, I'd think that you'd be better
> served by moving on to a graduate program that picks up on what
> you're undergraduate program seems to be deficient in before you
> moved into IxD.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26558
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

2 Mar 2008 - 7:15am
Geoff Barnes
2008

Kevin Conlon! What a great surprise to see you here!

Great thread.

There are really so many venues to learn interaction design, and interaction
is really about psychology of the user in a context. For computer
interfaces, on a generic level, HCI addresses this.

When we look for hires in the IA/IxD area, we're interested in the standard
cadre of education, experience, and examples of work. We're in Pittsburgh,
and some measure of CMU grads throw resumes our direction. Their work is
usually engaging for me, often pushes some envelope or another, but all too
often lives in too broad of a swath of the gulf of expectations than can
support the big world of users.

Personally, I tend to look for MLIS, cognitive psychology, or linguistics
backgrounds, where the candidate has a coexisting obsession with craft.
These folks tend to have strong structural skills, high curiosity, fewer
preconceptions about what's cool, and are driven to make things work for
users.

I came to Pittsburgh to help start a web design program, a venture about
which I was excited at the time. My experience there changed my perspective
dramatically though. Whereas I used to think that web design needed
academic programs designed to support it as a discrete discipline, I now
think that's an approach that's likely doomed to produce myopic web
designers and me-too solutions for a realm that's driven by variables far
outside the normal range of what's taught in these programs.

Kevin's a great source, by the way, of information on where the good
programs actually exist. And I agree wholeheartedly with his initial
reply. I'm an artist-turned-extreme-user-advocate though. I love cool
technology - in service of user experience. I'd love to know more about the
programs you're considering.

Geoff Barnes

3 Mar 2008 - 5:27pm
Kevin Conlon
2008

Hi Mark,

I tried posting this last night, but I didn't see it show up on the
thread, so I thought I'd try again:

I%u2019m sorry that there was some confusion on my post; my comment
was directed specifically at Leah Noble, and her question regarding
the design studies program at AI of Portland, and whether she should
go on to get her graduate degree.

The AI website talks about the program covering %u201Cthe
fundamentals of research, business and art and understand how they
integrate to enhance the design process. Students will focus on
analyzing design trends, understanding design philosophies, and
gathering research to provide support for new designs%u201D, all of
which sounds very much like a design management program rather than
an interaction design program. I realize that Leah indicated that
the faculty are trying to move the program from what's promoted, but
even if one were able to glean a fair amount of interaction experience
from the nexus of business, philosophy, art and research, I%u2019d
still recommend to Leah that she work on the graduate degree before
trying to move into an interaction design position.

More specifically to your question which began the thread (would it
be good for the profession to have an undergraduate standard?), the
answer is a resounding yes. To the second question (can it be done
well?), the answer is also yes.

The obstacle to both is twofold: one has to do with the turf and the
resources that the disparate areas of the larger field cling to; the
other has to do with what I see as an institutional tendency to
over-prep the undergraduate for a specialty area that leads into
graduate studies.

On the first point having to do with turf: Rather than collaborating
to define what would constitute a good program, many are holding on
to their pieces of the pie, especially as it relates to the research
money or tuition associated with their academic programs. I%u2019ve
seen it at many institutions where the squabbling over subject matter
content within courses and programs has caused good ideas to die and
wither on the vine.

On the second point regarding over-prep: Some of this over-prep is
the result of institutional pressure and/or departmental bias toward
pushing students down a didactic path, and frankly to meeting
overly-quantitative and overly-prescribed assessment outcomes, rather
than allowing students to explore the discipline on their own. Even
at the undergraduate level, prescriptive programming never gets
people where they really need to be when it comes time to move to the
next level.

Finally, and to my point, you%u2019ll get no disagreement from me on
the notion of "design research%u2019s" implied focus as primarily
about interaction, but as far as I%u2019m concerned, the fact that
it%u2019s implied, rather than explicit, is part of the problem,
especially as one casts about for what is missing in the various
educational schema for programs in interaction design. This
couldn%u2019t be truer than at the undergraduate level. So to me,
Todd%u2019s comment earlier resonates in the context of the
%u201Cimplied%u201D focus of programs, especially as he bemoans the
fact that there are not that many qualified and vetted junior
designers. It%u2019s because the programs are all over the map, not
just in what they focus on, but also in what they%u2019re called.

Take care!

Kevin

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26558

17 Aug 2010 - 7:04am
socialmaker
2010

The downside of having 2 promotions in the same year (which happened here with the Marketing School) is that too many people start looking for a job in an already saturated market. The faculty of Economics has more than 3000 graduates yearly and if you double than ammount well clearly they aren't gonna get "absorbed" in the system. Then it doesn't matter if you have a degree, (or online degree for that matter) because everyone is at the same level of competence. Only by having additional skills or degrees (like a MBA) can you succeed in a tough market like this. There also have been cases of people going to interviews with fake degrees which frankly isn't something unheard of. In the end it's a pretty lousy system if you ask me and variations like this shouldn't happen unless "exceptional cases" but I couldn't tell you what those are really...

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