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What can I do with my degree?: Product/industrial design

Product/industrial design courses teach theoretical and practical skills in the design area. By combining creativity with technology they provide you with a broad knowledge of production methods and materials…

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

Undertaking relevant work experience can greatly boost your chances of success in finding a job. Apply to local industrial/design businesses for voluntary or paid work placements during your university studies or while searching for work. Even if the work is unpaid it will help to equip you with the skills employers are looking for.

Companies involved in the manufacture and marketing of products require product designers, as design skills are needed in every aspect of the company's business. As well as being involved in the research, design and manufacture of the product, these graduates are also involved in commercial aspects such as sales and marketing, and logistics and supply chain.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Employment can be found in both the private and public sector. Private sector work could include a wide range of manufactured products for the domestic and industrial market. Public sector work could include designing interactive facilities, such as public information points and equipment used by services such as the police, fire and ambulance.

Employers include:

  • industrial and domestic product manufacturers;
  • car manufacturers;
  • point-of-sale designers;
  • retailers.

Self-employment, or employment within a design-based consultancy, is also possible. For information on setting up a business, see self-employment.

Find information on employers in creative arts and design, engineering and manufacturing, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

As well as developing subject-specific skills, your degree in product/industrial design will also equip you with other transferable skills that are valued by employers in many sectors.

These can include:

  • presentation skills;
  • communication skills;
  • commercial and entrepreneurial skills;
  • problem-solving skills;
  • ability to use your initiative and work independently;
  • teamworking;
  • general and specialist IT skills, such as computer-aided design (CAD).

Further study

There are some specialist Masters courses in this area, including product innovation and development. Another option is to train for a profession. Teaching, for example, needs a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or a Scottish Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do product/industrial design graduates do?

More than 80% of product/industrial design graduates are in employment six months after graduation. Five of the top ten occupations are related to design, with industrial designer the top occupation.

Graduate destinations for product/industrial design
Destinations Percentage
Employed 82.0%
Further study 4.7%
Working and studying 2.0%
Unemployed 6.6%
Other 4.7%
Types of work entered in the UK
Arts, design and media 42.9%
Retail, catering and bar work 12.3%
Engineering and building 9.0%
Technicians and other professionals 7.0%
Other occupations 28.8%

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.


Further information

Creative and Cultural Skills  - the Sector Skills Council for the creative industry has careers advice and details of paid internships, apprenticeships and other training.

Written by AGCAS editors
December 2013

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