Design schools are management schools… If I had said this ten years ago in front of an assembly of students and teachers I might have gone home tarred and feathered! And yet, design schools are management schools where design projects, creative and innovative initiatives are carried out.
In times past students were evaluated only based on their technical skills. Today, however, institutions are beginning to take into consideration other skills such as the students’ ability to run meetings with technicians, engineers, philosophers, sociologists and artists with a view to devising new concepts, solutions, tangible or virtual products and to creating new uses.
Along the same line, design schools have become more job-oriented and now aim at training creative professionals that will easily find a position and move upwards or move on. Today to assess the quality of degrees and curriculums we must first and foremost appraise the value of the jobs they lead to, and this we can do by observing how postgraduate students and young graduates have prepared their future, by trying to see if they have reached their career objectives.
Students used to enroll in design schools mostly, if not solely, to acquire technical skills. Now training in a design school is a true way to engage in a long-term career as a creative professional in the service of innovation, users and development.
Much is at stake with this evolution in design courses. Indeed many companies worried by globalization and finance-driven economical models are rethinking their production processes and questioning their beliefs in terms of business and marketing, and thus hiring massively and differently. In this context, designers-managers have a great future ahead of them!