General Question

tedibear's avatar

If someone has engineering experience, how long might it take to get a degree in industrial design?

Asked by tedibear (16124 points ) February 15th, 2013

Hallelujah! My husband is seriously considering flat out quitting his job and going back to school. He is considering a degree in industrial design. He has 20 years of work experience, a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering, much experience in mechanical engineering, has worked in R&D, has CAD and SolidEdge (or is it SolidWorks?) experience, and is listed on a couple of patents. There’s more, but you get the idea.

He is very stifled in his current job and doesn’t get to use any creativity. I think the idea of industrial design is a good one, and there is an excellent program in our area.

I’m curious to know if you think that the school might give him some credits for “life experience” and not make him take things that he can prove proficiency in. Obviously, it will be dependent upon the school, but am wondering if any jellies have an idea if they will do this, and how much time it might cut off a degree program?

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7 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Where did he get the E&C Engineering degree from? I think Universities look favorably on older students.

tedibear's avatar

Cleveland State University. Summa cum laude, bless his brilliant self!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I would guess a lot of his credits would carryover towards the new degree.

geeky_mama's avatar

I have a few friends who work in Industrial Design – they graduated from the program at University of Cincinnati (DAAP Program): http://daap.uc.edu/academics/design.html.
It’s typically a 6 year program, but that’s because it’s via the co-op program where students work for a quarter or two within a company in a design internship. Companies like Hasbro, GM, etc.
There are only a few schools with well established Industrial Design degree programs – and if you’re still in Ohio the UC program is probably closest to you (the others are in CA and NYC).

Best thing to do is to speak with an admissions adviser to see how much of his real-world experience and prior coursework will transfer, but count on at least 2 years. (And as many as 5 if he does a co-op program.)

Why at least 2 years? Well, my husband’s (very young, she’s in her late 40s) aunt recently went back to get Bachelors Degree. She is a leading expert (had lectured at area universities and professional groups for many years) in her field of marketing and had 25 years of work experience. She also had a 2 year (Associates) degree. Even so, it’s taking her 2 years to get her B.A. completed. Even with credit for real world experience and her prior coursework she was required to take certain courses to meet their curriculum requirements (e.g. she had to take Spanish to meet a foreign language curriculum requirement).

JLeslie's avatar

I’m guessing, total guess, it might be just a year if the university he chooses typically transfers credits from Cleveland St. It’s been a long time since I was in school, but usually about 30 credit hours are very specialized for a major. So, assuming he might need to take a few more than that, a full year, meaning not just the school year, but including some summer courses too, might do the trick. To get a better idea google the major at nearby universities and look at the required coursework. He can see what classes he has already taken. Once he has done a little research he should talk to a representative at the schools and get specifics.

@geeky_mama If someone only has an associates it would be typical to need two more years for a bachelors. There is no such thing as credit for real world experience for a college degree. Well, maybe an internship, but that would have to be an approved internship by the school.

geeky_mama's avatar

Actually @JLeslie – there is in fact college credit given for real world experience.
A quick google gave me this news article: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765565827/How-adults-get-through-university-Is-life-experience-good-for-college-credit.html?pg=all

…but I knew about this already from a few adult friends who (recently, in their 40s) went back to complete a Bachelors degree after having dropped out of college when they were in their early 20s.

JLeslie's avatar

@geeky_mama Very interesting. It says in the article only 48 institutions do this, so there are very few around the country relative to how many colleges there are, but enough that maybe one is near the OP. Although, I get the impression her husband is not working the field he wants to pursue, so it probably won’t help him in particular, but I am very happy to learn about this. Thanks.

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