learning IxD in school: is a master'sdegreenecessary?
15 Mar 2005 - 9:11am
I am going to disagree on this. While I don't think a Master's degree
is the end-all be-all in the field, I think a good program can teach
some good fundamentals on which to base your later work on. That being
said, yes, I would probably take a seasoned IxD vet over someone just
out of school, but when I am looking at similar years of experience, the
Master's degree is going to weigh heavily in your favor (even if you
have slightly less experience.)
I find programming to be similar. Yes, you can teach yourself to
program just by doing, but I have seen a lot of code, and at the same
level of professional experience, the person with the CS degree and the
fundamentals that go with it writes much better (cleaner, more
efficient) code 95% of the time.
Maybe the degree would just get in your way if you were doing "creative"
interaction design, but if you are designing interaction flows for
"business" apps that need to be clean, efficient and easy to learn, the
fundamentals can only help. Let someone else make the mistake for you.
And yes, I know you can read this all in several books, but sometimes
the problem with being self-taught is you don't know what you don't
Maybe I am just an education snob, or maybe it is just because I work in
pretty boring domains :) Just my two cents. (That all being said, yes,
I recognize there are plenty of brilliant designers out there without
any formal schooling, just as there are some amazing programmers without
schooling. I am speaking to the majority case, not the minority)