Studies & Degrees in Product Design
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Product Design Study Programs
Individuals interested in applying their ideas, inventions or theories to future marketable products hold a future in product design. This field of study covers the processes behind creating and perfecting new or improved products, from the planning stages to prototyping. It grooms students mainly for work in industrial areas, with employment ranging from research to marketing.
The main way to pursue a study in product design is to attend a college, university or technical school. Some art institutes will also provide degrees in product design. Candidates can earn an associate, bachelor or master’s degree, though. Remember that higher education institutions will not always offer product design degrees specifically, but a closely related industrial design degree.
Some industries will provide internships for interested candidates in certain fields of product design, while other companies provide training programs and apprenticeships for future or current employees. Workshops, summer courses and even study abroad programs are also available for study in product design.
Skills, Qualifications, and Prerequisites for Studies in Product Design
Studying product design typically means attending a college, university, technical school or art institute. This means candidates must meet the admissions requirements to these institutions. This typically means that students must hold a secondary school completion certificate, or pass some form of standardized aptitude test or entrance exam.
Internships and apprenticeships usually require candidates to already hold a degree, currently be attending school or attending classes along with the program. Workshops may not have any of these prerequisites, but they also grant no certifications or degrees.
Ideal candidates should display excellent business skills along with the ability to identify and relate to target audiences or consumer needs. They must be highly developed problem-solvers, innovative thinkers and comprehensive listeners. A solid base in mathematics and art (such as architecture or design) is preferred.
Other qualities beneficial to a future product designer include:
- Comfort with presentation and public speaking.
- Ability to communicate ideas effectively.
- Ability to work well on a team.
- Creative, imaginative and fast-learning
Skills and Qualifications Acquired from Studies in Product Design
Once candidates have completed a course of study in product design, they will be able to:
- Use design programs and technology.
- Understand manufacturing techniques and procedures.
- Market products effectively.
- Employ effective and productive business practices.
- Identify production materials and processes.
- Safety standards, laws and regulations.
- Ethical and environmental standards, laws and regulations.
- Research, analyze, and develop new product ideas.
- Develop product proposals, sketches, drafts, models, and prototypes.
- Research graphing, data recording and basic statistics.
- Problem-solving techniques.
Students may also pursue additional courses in specialized fields, such as electronics, computers or raw materials.
Careers for Studies in Product Design
Product and design engineers are highly desired in many types of employment due to their creative minds and problem-solving skills. Automotive, software, entertainment, furniture, technology, food and beverage, electrical, fashion, and any other company distributing consumer products is likely to employ product designers. Designers in these fields often work on development teams for commercial and industrial corporations. Product designers can also start their own companies, work as consultants, teach at multiple educational levels, or (in some cases) become independent inventors.