Wednesday, December 13

Connecticut Design Schools: Getting Ahead in The Nutmeg State

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Connecticut was one of original Thirteen Colonies, and, ever since, it’s been ahead of its time. Connecticut happens to be one of the wealthiest states in the Union; it has one of the highest per capita incomes and the highest median household income in the country. For those of you not already in that rarified company, you may be wondering how to become a part of those lucky, hard- working statistics. If design is your passion, Connecticut just might be the place to earn your degree. Or, if you already live in Connecticut, it might be the place you want to stay. But to maximize your advancement, you must first consider where the best design programs are and how much they’ll cost.

Where are the best design programs in Connecticut?

With 23 public institutions and 24 private institutions, the state of Connecticut has its fair share of higher education programs. A number of these colleges and universities offer classroom- based design programs. Some of them include the University of Bridgeport, the University of Connecticut and the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, which are all accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design.

Online degrees are always an option for aspiring designers, too. Some online programs available in Connecticut include the University of Phoenix (Norwalk, Connecticut), the Art Institute Online, the Academy of Art Online and the International Academy of Design and Technology. As with all higher education options, it is important to make sure your particular program is properly accredited. This, however, is relatively easy to check. Each online program will have been accredited by a specific agency. Determine which agency this is, and then cross-check is with the list of approved agencies on the United States Department of Education’s website. If the agency is not approved or not on the list, the program you’ve been considering is a diploma mill and you should avoid it at all costs.

How much will they cost?

There are many ways of evaluating a program’s “cost.” There is, of course, a program’s monetary cost – but, as the old saying goes, time is money, too. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate the programs you’ve selected thoroughly based on multiple criteria before making a final decision. The average cost at a public, on- campus design school in Connecticut is $7,465 per academic year; the cost is $29,360 at a private university in Connecticut for the same length of time. The cost of an online program will be roughly $220 per credit hour for an undergraduate degree and about $320 per credit hour for a graduate degree.

You will save money on living costs, such as room and board, if you choose an online program (cost of living at a Connecticut public university is about $8,798 per year), but bear in mind that you may lose out in other ways. You computer will have to be well- maintained if you attend an online program, for example, and your choice may cost you significant income in the future if the post- graduation internship and employment connections are lackluster. Additionally, employers tend to view online degrees less favorably than in- person ones, though you can bring samples of your work to prove your mettle to a potential employer when you get an interview. Finally, let’s not forget that old saying – if you can finish your degree in less time and do more with the free hours you have, you’ve actually earned money before your career has even begun.

All in all, whether you choose the University of Connecticut or the University of Bridgeport, whether you choose an on- campus or online program, let’s not forget another famous phrase: location, location, location. And if a high income is what you’re looking for, in Connecticut you’re already there.

Sources:

To learn more about Connecticut Design Schools, including curriculum and program info, visit Design Schools.  To learn more about design school accreditation, visit the Diploma Mills Accreditation.

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