Businesses rely on product designers to create innovative and functional products to be sold to customers. Without these professionals, we would probably be stuck with old, inefficient products.
If you are good at creating and developing ideas, and you realize that obtaining a qualification in product design can help you take your career to the next level, read on!
See Also: How to Become a Product Designer
1. Undergraduate programs
A bachelor’s degree in product design is suitable for aspiring or practicing product designers with little formal training. So, if you entered the profession through a design apprenticeship, a bachelor’s degree will enhance your knowledge of basic art, prototype development, ergonomics, electrical fundamentals, and design for manufacturing.
Some of institutions offering this program include:
2. Graduate programs
In general, many beginning product designers hold a bachelor’s degree. To stay ahead of the pack without having to pursue a master’s degree, you can go for a graduate certificate in product design, like the one offered at Boston University in Massachusetts or the one at Stanford University in California. A graduate certificate builds on your undergraduate training, thereby enhancing your design capabilities.
3. Master’s programs
Do you want to become the lead product designer or head of product design? If you do, then a master’s degree in product design should be your target. This is because the program provides advanced training in product creation as well as product design management.
The universities offering a master’s in product design include:
4. Professional qualifications
In 2014, the UK’s Chartered Society of Designers started offering the Chartered Designer designation, giving thousands of product designers the opportunity to acquire a professional qualification they can use to take their careers to the next level.
To become a Chartered Designer, you will need to submit a portfolio of your product designs and other pieces of professional documentation that may be required by the Society. Once your portfolio is approved, you will undergo a professional review conducted by senior designers, who will then recommend whether you should be awarded the qualification.
5. Professional membership awards
You can sometimes be awarded a qualification just by becoming a member of a professional association. Although such a qualification may not carry any academic weight, it demonstrates your professionalism and dedication to the field.
The British Industrial Design Association, for instance, offers ProBIDA and GradBIDA qualifications to its members. The ProBIDA credential is awarded to members with at least five years of design experience, while GradBIDA is offered to graduates with less than five years of experience.
The Industrial Designers Society of America offers a number of awards to members who have made significant contributions to the design profession. A recognition award can enhance your professional reputation and your chances of securing top design jobs.
It is essential to note that product design and industrial design are often used interchangeably. So, if you have an industrial design qualification, don’t shy away from applying for a product design position.
See also: 5 Stupidest Products Ever Created
Beyond the qualifications, remember a career in product design requires strong creative, innovation and problem-solving skills. As you gain more knowledge, keep developing these key skills as well. Good luck!