Another beginner in need of advice: employment or grad school?
3 Nov 2011 - 5:58pm
3 years ago
Sorry to write another one of these beginner's advice threads: I know there are a lot of them and I have read a lot of them. I would still like to try to get some advice pertaining to my specific situation, if that's all right.
I'm a recent graduate from the undergraduate program in cognitive science/HCI at UCSD, which is really a UX research type program with not much emphasis in design or technical development. I have taken some courses in art and an IxD class over at the University of Washington after moving home to Seattle, and would like to move into the more overall design path.
Ideally I would like to work for a couple years to focus my goals, then go to grad school, but I've been looking for employment for a few months now, without much luck. Admittedly, I have made many of the common mistakes that have been discussed, and I'm trying to do things like tailor my applications to the companies and ask for feedback, etc. Aside from the lack of experience, I am also concerned that my lack of real design training has just let me create things that don't have the so-called essentials, or don't follow modern standards.
So that leads me to my main question: in order to boost my level of experience, should I concentrate on my own projects/trying to get employment, or try to grad school? From people I've talked to, grad school seemed to be a way for them to focus and grow after they already had some experience. I'm also unsure that going to more school would really fulfill the 5+ years of experience that many companies require. Then again, because I am making a little bit of a switch from research to design I'm not sure I have the right skill set to get the kind of experience from a job I want, and applying willy nilly seems like a bad approach.
Well, I also understand that getting to graduate school isn't any easier than applying for a job, and don't really have any qualms about trying both. I guess my concern is that if I try everything at once I'll end up getting nowhere. I would just like to hear some general opinions on, for example, might my time be better spent in a masters program or working on designing websites for family friends?
By the way, if anyone wants to offer me some feedback on my portfolio, you can find it at http://moriandyama.com. I'm working on not getting my feelings hurt. I think I tend to have a problem with focus, so comments on that kind of thing help.