I am in the process of a career transition. I currently work in Digital Asset Management, and am enrolled in a Library/Info Science Masters program (one with some IxD, or related, offerings). I also have a visual design background. I am NOT a 20-something/right out of college.
I have done a lot of reading on this site and my question is: how does a grown up (read: someone who is fiscally independent) become employable as an Interaction Designer, while they are working in another area and/or going to school? How can I start to get some experience that I can put into a portfolio? I plan on looking into internships, but it's unclear to me right now if I will be able to swing that financially.
I ask this because it seems that so many of the job postings ask for 3 to 5 to 7 years of experience, and I'm wondering how people get that initial experience under their belt.... again, especially if you are working full-time elsewhere in the meantime.
Also, for those of you who come from a 'pure' IxD background (eg Masters in the field, or lots of experience), can you recommend any books, reference texts, areas of study that I should engage with in my free time? I think I am in a good program, but I want to make sure I have the grounding I need to succeed in this area.
(fyi, I really appreciate the thoughtful and generous feedback people provide in these postings.)