How To Get a Career In Product Design

Friday, May 03, 2013

When you look around you, every man made product you see has been carefully designed; from your living room lampshades to your kitchen teapot, your laptop to your front door. If designing home furnishings or coming up with the mobile handsets of the future sounds like your dream job, there are several steps to take to secure a career in product design:

Nurture natural design skills 
The responsibility of innovative product designers is to create products that are functional yet stylish, they must solve a problem – whether that’s how to keep a cup of coffee warm or how to support good posture in the office. Product designers are usually born with a number of creative flairs that can help them get that job done successfully, including an appreciation for art and design and a natural ability to draw and problem solve. If you desire a career in product design, it’s never too early to start developing your artistic skills. Drawing is a key part of product design, so improving your skills in this area is always beneficial.

Obtain the right qualifications 
Design qualifications are an important step to a product design career. The age at which you decide to go for a product design career will affect the qualifications you go for; although ultimately a Product Design degree is what you’ll need, if you’re young enough to choose GCSE’s and A-Levels in design appropriate qualifications this will be an added bonus! Art and Design Technology may seem the obvious choices, but addition knowledge can be gained from studying Physics and Maths too. When it comes to choosing a Product Design degree, the more niche you can be the more appealing you will appear to prospective employers. If you dream of designing bikes, look for a course that specializes in this area or offers a specific additional pathway in cycle design.

Work with other product designers 
Whatever sector you’re hoping to work in, getting on the career ladder is harder than ever, your application needs to stand out from hundreds of others. Previous experience working in a hands-on product design environment is a great way to do this. Unpaid work experience is the most likely choice, so try to secure this whilst you’re in education and don’t need payment.

Produce a portfolio 
When you start your job hunt, you’ll need a visual portfolio to support your CV. This means collecting any design sketches and final concept images in a neat and professional manner so companies can see proof of your product design skills. Product design has changed dramatically over the last few decades, with new technologies providing many different ways to accurately create designs – use your portfolio to demonstrate your ability to work with different software or by hand. Your portfolio can include projects completed during university or extra briefs that you set yourself to help show versatility.

Remember, the current economic climate has made securing a job more difficult. The key to getting the job of your dreams is to keep preserving. During your search, make the most of any spare time by researching new product design trends and technological advancements. Product design is a sector that’s ever changing, if you can show the company’s you have your eye on the future it will stand you in good stead.

This article is brought to you from DCA Design, a leading product design and development consultancies. Click here to read more about looking to get a career in product design and to browse some of our prototyping.

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