Masters degree for "Makers"
June 26, 2014 6:40 PM   Subscribe

I need to take masters credit worthy classes, I already have a Masters degree so want to take a greater range of courses. What classes would you put in a Masters degree for someone as part of the "Maker" community?

I need to take these classes for continuing education as part of my Educators state licensing requirements and advancement in my School District. I have already taken and participated in maker classes and activities. Examples; lots of woodworking, 3D printing, small electrics projects, building my own computers (hardware not programming), and I just took a day long intro to iron forging class. My state (Illinois), and my school district don't take personal activities or workshops as credits. I am a Middle School Technology teacher who is introducing a lot of hands on work that fits with the maker ideal in my class. General ideas or areas would be great but any specific course suggestions would need to be online or located in NE IL, or SE Wisconsin and be at the 500 level or above. My current Masters is in instructional Technology so that area is out of consideration at the moment.
posted by dstopps to Education (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a member of a maker space and I know there's a library school instructor who takes his class to our facility... not sure what the class is though.
posted by miyabo at 6:48 PM on June 26, 2014

Maybe you can find some courses like the these at University of Iowa's Center for the Book: printmaking, letterpress, bookbinding, sculptural books, etc.

I totally can't just up and move to Iowa but that would be a cool Master's to earn.
posted by Beti at 7:14 PM on June 26, 2014

I feel like you should probably be after at least some background in software (cs/cse), principles of hardware (ee), and design (graphic/interactive/etc). I don't know how you would go about being admitted to masters-level courses in these subjects in most university curriculums, though, given that masters-level coursework tends to assume a solid undergrad background. Also: you probably want more practical skills than a lot of EE courses are likely to teach (The Art of Electronics more than signal processing). CSE stuff is more likely to be valuable, I think, especially since a lot of schools seem to offer a "production/industry masters" and a "research/theory masters" as separate tracks (you'd probably want courses aligned with the former).

You might also look into various media production courses, since a big part of the "maker" thing is effective self-promotion.
posted by Alterscape at 7:20 PM on June 26, 2014

Best answer: I want to recommend things slightly outside of your comfort zone (like computer engineering and product design) but I agree with Alterscape that graduate-level classes in these topics could drown you. Instead try an artistic approach, maybe a class with unusual creative projects, like here or here.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 7:50 PM on June 26, 2014

I took a course in CAD drafting at my local community college to pick up some new design skills. Then I dropped it when it got waaaay too focused on details I didn't need, plus I was drafting so much for my job, it didn't make sense to do extra projects just to get some course credit I didn't need.
posted by illuminatus at 10:54 PM on June 26, 2014

Best answer: 2nding media production. Besides video editing and animation, there are game design and web- and mobile-based media. Columbia College has and Interactive Arts & Media program; check out the course descriptions. (Disclosure: I work at Columbia, different program.)

Graphic design and typography could also be good.
posted by hydrophonic at 5:33 AM on June 27, 2014

NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program seems to be a VERY popular masters degree for Makers. Here's their course listing full of joyous things. Perhaps you could take some of these could be remotely? I really have no idea, but this will give you a good idea of what to search for.
posted by cmchap at 9:00 AM on June 27, 2014

I was just going to suggest Columbia College seemed like it'd mesh great with your ideas like hydrophonic suggested above. Going to their end of the year festival (Manifest) I've seen projects that really feel like they'd fit into 'Maker' ideals.
posted by garlic at 10:44 AM on June 27, 2014

welding / metalworking / materials science / fiber arts / fashion design / typography / agricultural science / auto mechanics

There seems to be more "academicazation" of trade skills in the midwest than in the upper north east where they are sadly mostly relegated to "technical schools" which offer an associates degree (if you're lucky).
posted by WeekendJen at 12:08 PM on June 27, 2014

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