Studying product design gives you the broad theoretical knowledge and practical skillset you'll need to use production methods and materials creatively
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Clothing/textile technologist
- Colour technologist
- Exhibition designer
- Furniture designer
- Industrial/product designer
- Interior and spatial designer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Advertising art director
- Automotive engineer
- Graphic designer
- Materials engineer
- Product manager
- Production designer, theatre/television/film
- Purchasing manager
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
It's important to gain some relevant work experience to build your portfolio and establish a useful network of contacts. Look for an industrial designer in your area and ask if you can complete a placement with them during your university studies. In some cases, a placement could even lead to a permanent job.
Look out for product or industrial design competitions that you could enter, or exhibitions that you could take part in. Anything that can add to your portfolio will be helpful. You will need to be able to demonstrate the breadth of your work and any specialist interests.
Keep up to date with industry trends and developments by reading design journals to find out about new technology.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
You can find employment in both the private and public sector. Private sector work could include manufactured products for the domestic and industrial market. Working in the public sector may involve designing interactive facilities, such as public information points and equipment used by services such as the police, fire and ambulance.
- industrial and domestic product manufacturers
- car manufacturers
- point-of-sale designers
Self-employment, or employment within a design-based consultancy, is also possible. Find out more about how to start a business.
Skills for your CV
A degree in product design or industrial design develops technical knowledge and creative design skills. It also equips you with other skills that are valued by many employers. You'll be able to demonstrate:
- presentation skills
- communication skills
- the ability to work to deadlines
- commercial and entrepreneurial skills
- problem-solving skills
- the ability to use your initiative and work independently
- teamworking skills
- visual and spatial awareness
- general and specialist IT skills, such as computer-aided design (CAD).
It's possible to take a Masters degree in industrial or product design. Specialist courses, such as product design and innovation and product design and development management, are also available. Another option is to complete postgraduate study to specialise in a connected area, such as interior, graphic or exhibition design.
You can complete professional qualifications with relevant industry bodies, or study for a business-related qualification like a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or an MSc in project management.
To find a course that interests you, search postgraduate courses in product design.
What do product/industrial design graduates do?
Nine of the top ten jobs held by graduates employed in the UK are related to design. As well as product design, other fields include industrial, graphic and clothing designers.
|Working and studying||1.2|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Arts, design and media||49.9|
|Retail, catering and bar work||10.3|
|Engineering and building||8.5|
|Technicians and other professionals||5.3|
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?
Find out more
- Creative and Cultural Skills - The Sector Skills Council for the creative industry has careers advice and details of paid internships, apprenticeships and other training.