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The School of Visual Arts

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Nov 08 2011Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
SVA, as an institution, downright sucks. It's irresponsible as a business and horrible as a school-- they'll squander your $100K in tuition on ad campaigns, recruitment, and promo materials to keep up the school's reputation that was (rightly) established decades ago, but it's nothing like that now. Only some of your money will actually go toward things that will help you directly as a student. The facilities are average at best, and half the teachers just plain ol' don't give a flying F about their job. Many of them are in it for the benefits (not even the pay, because it's so low). The administration treat you like cattle, and the student advisers are the the worst in the bunch. God forbid something's wrong with your schedule, because getting help from them is a nightmare. I've also found that the school will actually attempt to swindle unsuspecting students out of even more money, by forcing them to pay for redundant classes, or other administrative "accidents" that you will end up being responsible for. As an illustration and cartooning major, I found that the departments' chair, Tom Woodruff, was irritating more than anything. He hates comics and shouldn't be in charge of the department whatsoever as well. However, there are some fantastic professors there... if you can find them. My recommendation to someone that's interested in going to this school to major in illustration or cartooning is to take a class here and there on your own, and read a lot of books on your favorite artists and technique. There is very little I've learned from going to SVA that I couldn't have gotten from a $300 trip to Barns and Noble.
Alumna Female -- Class 2000
Question
Starting Job: Freelance illustrator Preparedness: B Reputation: C
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Apr 28 2011Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
The graphic design program was a major disappointment since the only class that I actually learned and made decent portfolio work was typography. For some odd reason the graphic design professors are not very helpful and attentive to students. Visual literacy was a waste of time and so was graphic imaging, originality. SVA follows odd, disorganized systems so don't rely on them to treat everyone fairly. If you want to receive a high score for the 2nd year portfolio review be in Frank Young's class and follow SVA's illustrative predictable style and surely you will get a 5! Do not follow your own voice. Confirm to your professor's preference and tastes. Never ask questions! Just do it! Maybe if you are lucky a professor might hook you up with a job!
2nd Year Female -- Class 2013
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Scholastic Success: A, Education Quality: F
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Apr 07 2011Art & Design Department
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
The Graphic Design program is decent, but here's a little tip for those who are considering taking up Graphic Design: If you can't afford to pay $20,000-$40,000 each year for up to four years, do not go here. Do not put yourself under a pile of loan debt just to get an arts degree, because it's not worth it. It is ridiculous that students have to pay this much for an arts degree. The job market for Graphic Design is over-saturated, and very competitive, so you will have a difficult time finding a steady job when there are several hundred other people applying. Through personal research, I discovered that a graphic design job listing can net over 400 resumes a week.

The problem is that the professors or anyone at the school will not tell you this, because they need that $20k-$40k from each student to operate. The program itself isn't as in-depth as some might expect it to be. It's more experimental design rather than real in-field type of work. If you can go to a cheaper school that will give you a bachelors for under $10k a year, by all means do it, because you will get the exact same education there.

The best alternative to this of course is the internet and books. There are so many tutorial websites out there for Adobe Creative Suite and Web Design (lots of companies are going digital now) that you can practically teach yourself in half the time that you would taking useless classes in a GD program. Plus you won't end up in debt, and looking for a job for months if not a year. In the end, your clients will not look at where you received your degree from, but at your portfolio of your past work, and its quality.I've learned very little compared to what real jobs require. Here are a few things I recommend for everyone to focus on while learning Graphic Design: Typography, kerning and leading, Web design (at least HTML and CSS), print production (to prepare files for print), and applications themselves (you will only get to learn the basics at this school).

3rd Year Male -- Class 2010
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Surrounding City: A, Extracurricular Activities: F
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