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Industrial Design Degree Outlook

An industrial designer combines art skills with business and engineering to design products that people use every day. Some of these designers are responsible for the style, function, quality, and safety of almost every good manufactured. These goods range from appliances to technical products and from automobiles to medical equipment. This is why there has been such a leaning within the current industrial design industry to "go green." If the industrial designer embraces ecological concepts, then consumers are faced with purchasing those products instead of goods that aren't conducive to a green environment.

But, the industrial designer must first conform to the client's needs. In this stage, the industrial designer determines the client's requirements, the product purpose, and the market for that product. Research is the next step, as the designer determines the product's characteristics. The term "form and function" comes into play here, as the form of the product or its design is just as important as how that product functions.

Research may involve attending trade shows, reading industry standards for a given product, and learning the history (if there is one) of the product. For instance, it's good for an automotive designer to know the history of any automobile design so that designer doesn't repeat design flaws. On the other hand, that designer must be on top of current automotive design trends so the car design can compete within that industry.

After research, industrial designers then create detailed sketches or renderings for client approval. Computer models make it easy to adjust designs, but industrial designers also create three-dimensional models that show how that product may look. These models may be created from materials that are different than the final product, such as clay, wood, or cardboard. These models, or prototypes, change as development of the product progresses. These changes may reflect input from engineers, safety specialists, accountants, and others who have a hand in product development.

Industrial designers often work within corporate environments or manufacturing, where they work hand-in-hand with other team members. Sometimes industrial designers will work with outside design firms, lending expertise of a certain niche to the overall product production. Although some industrial designers work at home, they may often travel to other locations to meet with other members of a project team.

In most cases, a bachelor's degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering is required for an entry-level industrial design job. Coursework may include all the basics included in any design course principles of design, color theory, drawing and computer-aided Industrial, and product design. In addition, an industrial design student may study engineering, materials processes, physical science, math, and psychology.

This is one field that respects a higher education, such as a master's degree. The reason behind this is that a master's degree in industrial design may also include information technology, marketing, business administration, business strategies, and other skills required by companies for administrative roles. The master's degree in this field may provide a fast track into higher-level positions upon graduation.

Most schools that offer an industrial design course provide a bachelor's degree in art or in science, depending upon the leaning a student takes with courses. A more technical aspect to those courses would lead to the Bachelor of Science degree, for instance. The majority of industrial designers seldom work alone. If they leave the corporate environment, the reason behind the move often is to teach or to start a design firm.


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Drafting Technology & Design (AS)
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