Given an era of rapid advances in communications and graphic techniques, students of design need exposure to the hectic, highly competitive world of design – well before their student days are over. Is the design hub of New York a closed circuit among industries led by alumni from private colleges and universities? Are student opportunities and career outcomes significantly different depending on the type of institution they attend, rather than the type of degree they earn? In looking at five design institutions in New York City (New York City College of Technology (CUNY), Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY), Pratt Institute, the School of Visual Arts (SVA) and Cooper Union, two public, two private not-for profit and one private for profit) this study investigates college efforts to connect design students with industry, and hopes to shed light on the unique challenges students attending NYC public colleges face within college and upon graduation as they establish careers.
Representatives from five colleges were contacted and asked to respond to a brief survey, consisting of six questions relating to what their schools do to connect students with industry. Everyone contacted responded, and the surveys were followed up with informal phone conversations.