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Studying Industrial Design and Product Design

Every day at work as an industrial or product designer could offer brand new challenges and experiences, and an industrial and product design degree is no different. Your interests and career aspirations will decide which degree is right for you: product design or industrial design (also known as industrial product design) – if you’re keen to work with and design physical objects, an industrial design degree could be best for you, or maybe a product design degree if you’re more interested in digital systems. You’ll need to do some of your own digging though to find the course that’s right for you.

If you’re choosing to study industrial and product design, prepare for a very diverse, hands-on program of study – many courses offer a balanced mix of theory and practice. Course content may include some or all of the following (depending on which course you choose):

  • Overall applications of product design and industrial design
  • Importance and applications of new technology
  • Research and design methods
  • Development of innovative opinions
  • Formation of prototypes
  • Computer modeling
  • Sketching and wireframing

Bear in mind that different courses will focus on different aspects of design – some will offer a broad overview, where others will hone in on specific areas. Do some research and comparison to make sure you choose the course that best suits your future development and career aspirations.

Students discuss their product design sketches for furniture

A Career in Industrial and Product Design

When you graduate with a degree in Industrial design or product design, you open the door to a number of exciting careers – all you have to do now is choose what you want to do. You will be free to explore different industries, and curate your own unique professional adventure based on the areas of design you are most interested in.

Graduates with a degree in industrial and product design may find themselves working as:

  • UX/UI Designers
  • Product Designers
  • 3D Artists
  • Design Engineers
  • Project Coordinators
  • Project Managers
  • Product Managers

You might decide to work on physical objects, or maybe you prefer to craft digital landscapes – these courses provide a route to both possibilities. You could work for a company that designs innovative furniture for hospitals, or for an educational media company with an inventive website. It all depends on what you’re most interested in, and what skills and experience you bring to the table. If you’re keen to work in the physical realm, an industrial design degree could be the best fit for you, where a product design degree would suit those more focused on digital pursuits.

Entry-level positions are fairly competitive, and in most cases a bachelor’s degree in industrial and product design will be necessary to be considered for a position. A clever way to set yourself above the competition is to get some work experience or an internship – you could do this while you’re studying. Also, if you can, put together a portfolio of work – you can send it to recruiters along with your application and show them what you’re really capable of!

Living and Studying Abroad

There might be a few good-looking industrial and product design degrees in your hometown, but looking farther afield could reveal more attractive courses that align much more closely with what you’re looking for. Choosing the right course now just might save you time and training in the future.

Don’t limit yourself to courses on your doorstep – take a look at some of the international industrial/product design courses on offer.


Or take a look a look at these other related programs:

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