Industrial designers are diverse professionals with a broad scope of skills. Industrial designers envision and create a wide range of products from automobiles to toys. They are responsible for designing and producing everyday objects that are safe and useful. As a result, industrial designers need a combination of talent and education. They need in-depth training in a variety of engineering disciplines as well as design theory. Many industrial design online degree programs provide the skills and expertise required to launch a career in this varied and challenging field. Online degree programs in this field are available through numerous art schools and design academies
Online Associate Degree Programs for Industrial Design
An associate degree in industrial design provides an introduction to the industry, the concepts, and the process of designing everyday products. Most online degree programs in industrial design take at least two years to complete and may serve as the equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s programs in terms of coursework. An associate degree will require a lab or studio experience, although it may not be as rigorous or intense as a bachelor’s degree studio culture for industrial design. Graduates with an associate degree may be eligible for assistant positions in the field although some may be able to land positions as junior designers.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Industrial Design
A bachelor’s degree in industrial design is recommended for students aspiring to a long-term career in industrial design. Online bachelors degree programs in industrial design require at least four years of full-time coursework. Many will also include general academic courses as well as design and engineering core coursework. Many online degree programs in industrial engineering allow students to select an area of concentration that will determine some course selections. Concentrations might include toy development, furniture design, auto design, transportation design, and many others depending on the program. Students will master the process of industrial design, from conceiving a new project to constructing, marketing, and distributing the finished product.
Online Master’s Degree Programs for Industrial Design
A master’s degree in industrial design is an advanced degree that prepares students for mid-level to management positions in the field. Online degree programs in industrial design develop students’ problems solving skills, technical abilities, and management techniques. Some programs will emphasize researching cultural, societal, and economic issues and how to address them through industrial design. Advanced studio work will be required in most programs and a master’s thesis might be in the form of a final design project or line of projects in lieu of a research paper. Admission to online masters degree programs in industrial design can be competitive and many programs will require that applicants submit a portfolio of past work.
Online Doctoral Degree Programs for Industrial Design
Degree programs in industrial design are less common at the doctoral degree level. However, some doctoral degree programs in design offer specializations or concentrations in industrial design. Most doctoral programs will combine studio projects with substantial research. Students examine technology and engineering concepts as well as industrial design’s role in culture and change. Students often participate in department projects and competitions. Doctoral degree programs in design often require several semesters of coursework followed by several years of independent research. Many students pursue doctoral degrees in this field with the goal of launching careers in academic teaching and research.
Online Degree Programs in Industrial Design in the Work Place
Industrial designers can be found working in a broad range of fields. Corporations and businesses that create and manufacture original products across thousands of industries hire industrial designers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the industrial design field is growing at a moderate pace and expected to grow by 10% by 2020. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also estimates that industrial designers earn approximately $58,000 per year on average. However, these figures are merely projections and professionals entering the field should research market conditions and salary figures in their area. Most industrial designers work in office or laboratory environments where they work with a team brainstorming new projects or ways to revise existing products. Experienced industrial designers with graduate degrees often advance to management or supervisory positions. They might also work in research or as faculty at universities or colleges.