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As an aspiring Industrial Designer it is probably very difficult to determine which institutions can be considered the top industrial design colleges. Furthermore, it is even more difficult to determine which design college will be the best educational fit for a student, but careful consideration of certain factors will help guide the process.
Some general factors should definitely be considered first including: faculty, student-to-teacher ratio, location, cost/scholarships/financing, small town vs. big town, and extracurricular activities. These may make or break the enjoyability of a college eduction, but some factors are directly related to finding the best industrial design education.
One of the more specific metrics to determine a perfect fit for a student is the preparation for a career in industrial design. The projects students complete should prepare them for real world projects and develop an impressive portfolio. The facilities, software, and technology should aid learning and preparation or working in the industrial design career field.
The career assistance at these top industrial design institutions should provide students with access to recruiters in top companies, internships, and help with career development.
The last aspect to consider in determining the top industrial design colleges is whether it is an Art Design College or a University. An Art Design college will have a deeper focus on industrial design and there will be access to other art disciplines. A university will have a broader focus and an industrial design student could have access to a top business college or a top management college program available at the university.
These aspects will determine the top industrial design colleges for a particular student and set benchmarks for what can be considered a top industrial design college.