Training, Other Qualifications
A bachelor's degree is required for most entry-level commercial and industrial design positions. Many designers also pursue a master's degree to increase their employment opportunities.
Education and Training
A bachelor's degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering is required for most entry-level commercial and industrial design jobs. Coursework includes principles of design, sketching, computer-aided design, industrial materials and processes, manufacturing methods, and some classes in engineering, physical science, mathematics, psychology, and anthropology. Many programs also include internships at design or manufacturing firms.
Many aspiring commercial and industrial designers earn a master's degree in industrial design. Some already have a bachelor's degree in the field, but an increasing number have degrees and experience in other areas, such as marketing, information technology, or engineering, and are hoping to transfer into a design occupation.
Also, because of the growing emphasis on strategic design and how products fit into a firm's overall business plan, an increasing number of designers are pursing a master's degree in business administration to gain business skills.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits approximately 250 post-secondary colleges, universities, and private institutes with programs in art and design. About 45 of these schools award a degree in industrial design; some offer a bachelor's of art, some a bachelor's of science. Many schools require the successful completion of 1 year of basic art and design courses before entry into a bachelor's degree program. Applicants also might be required to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.