Exhibit Design is a course taught within many Industrial Design programs, including the one I went through at Pratt. (In fact the ED course directly led to my first job offer, giving me a soft spot for the sub-field.) So I was interested to learn that there's one design school in the U.S. that actually offers a standalone degree in Exhibit Design. Bemidji State University, in Minnesota's North Woods region, holds that distinction—and their program is apparently a good one to go through if you're looking for employability.
"Bemidji State University is presented with more career opportunities for graduates than graduates to fill these positions," the school writes, specifically of their Exhibit Design degree program.
"More than ever, exhibit design is increasingly recognized as a significant form of public and private space design and experiential design. Although many universities offer a course in exhibit design, Bemidji State University offers the only undergraduate academic track in Exhibit Design in the nation. The department prides itself on its close relationship with industry, which serves as an advisory board and offers one-on-one mentorship for interested students. To maximize the students' exposure to exhibit design, the students have the opportunity to attend annual field trips to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Las Vegas."
"…The complexities of exhibit design overlap a wide range of disciplines, among them include: interior design, product design, model design, architecture, graphic design, multimedia, sustainability, and construction. Projects for this multidisciplinary form of design tend to be commercial or cultural in nature. Projects can be either permanent or temporary, and can range from trade show exhibits, museum exhibits, events, brand experiences, themed attractions, visitor centers, science centers, retail spaces, and consumer-related experiences."
Here's BSU's video describing their program:
Exhibit Design 1 from Bemidji State University on Vimeo.
As for what you'd make with an ED degree, the company released these compensation survey results in 2018, which indicates an average starting salary of $66,722, going up to $89,360 if you put in more than 10 years:
You can check out BSU's program here, and you can compare your own salary, within multiple ID sub-fields, at the Core77 Design Salary Guide.
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