Can I Get a Job as an Industrial Designer w/o an ID degree?


If anyone can provide insight to my question I would greatly appreciate it! Here is a bit of background: I have a BA in Art/Design and Business Management and an AAS in Engineering, Drafting and Design (CAD Drafting, Product Design, Etc.).

I would like to be an Industrial Designer. I have all the skills needed for most of the ID jobs I look at. I’m just wondering if I’m going to be completely written off if I don’t have a degree in ID or product design. I might need to brush up a bit on my sketching skills, but I do have a lot of experience in CAD software (Solidworks, CREO, Inventor), product design, designing for manufacturing. and mechanical design. I also have taken classes in machining, tool design, casting, 3D sculpture, Design Theory, Color Theory, hand drafting, and art history (to name a few). I know I don’t have the technical degree but I do have all the skills. I’m a very creative person and I have a talent for problem solving, and I’m great at coming up with new ideas.

With that, I currently work as a Design Engineer and find myself feeling unfulfilled. I know I’m capable of doing more and I would love nothing more than to find a job that utilizes my talents and creative abilities. I’m truly a versatile person and can relate to many different types of people based off of my experience in different fields. I also can think both highly creatively and analytically because of the different types of education I have. I believe that is very useful in the workforce.

I’m currently working on a portfolio that showcases all of my product design work I have done, and I’m working on getting better at sketching. Also, going back to school is out of the question for now. I have already been in college for 7 years and can’t add anymore student loans at the time.

If anyone has any advice as to how I can combine, my skills, talents and education together to get an ID job I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks so much!

Depends mostly on your portfolio. Especially with a traditional ID job. You don’t want to work for anyone who rejects you because you don’t have an ID degree.

Non-traditional ID jobs are another potential avenue. We are a 30-person NPD group. Half is technical, the other half is upstream marketing and regulatory. The technical half is too small to have a dedicated anything. There is no ID group, mechanical group, formulations group, electrical group, software group, etc. But we do have ID majors, biomechanical majors, chemistry majors, etc. We need to know everything, master nothing. We do ID, but it is a small part of the NPD process and you are expected to do the other parts as well. Not pure ID, but you do get to dabble. I prefer it myself, ymmv.

From your linkedin profile I suspect you would get more interviews in the non-traditional ID market than the traditional. But if you build up a killer portfolio, you will be fine anywhere.