Can i get into designing?

Hi there! :smiley:

My name is Shreya and i am from Mumbai,India.I am a biomedical engineer (graduated in 2016) and currently working a 9-5 job in an IT firm as a software tester.Now why am i here you might ask right? for help from you amazing designers i say!
my question is, having no prior education or professional experience in Designing can i really get into this exciting world at all?

for the past 1 month i have been looking up for schools and future education options i can pursue as an engineer at this point.I understood that i could get into the IIT’s or NID’s in india by giving the CEED exam as an engineering degree is a prerequisite for it.but i am really interested to look up for a masters in designing abroad as well.

I just sketch as a hobby and i know i can improve with practise,but is that all? I don’t have any professional portfolio
So my questions are:
Should i even think about pursuing a MDes?
If yes, Where and how should i start working on my skills?
and are there institues abroad that take in Students without any professional experience in Designing?

Designers! please help…

Hi Shreya,

I definitely recommend doing a Master’s program before entering a design career. It will be a great training where you can go in-depth and explore the kind of design you want to pursue. Eindhoven University in the Netherlands will be a good program for you - you get individual guidance, work in teams and can work on various kinds of design activities and always involved in the groups doing presentations, demonstration days and other events. Also there is a biomedical eng. faculty where you can collaborate with their experts and facilities. You will find plenty of people from your city there as well. Cost of living and studying is very good. You will have to do a 6-month pre-master trajectory before entering the program so this will be the best time to send in a letter, so the staff has time to review it before the crazy new season starts again.

Checked the website and it seems the Pre-Masters is available only for the EU applicants. Do you know of any other pre-masters/Foundation courses which are open for Non-EU applicants as well?

Hi Shreya

Have you found out any pre-master/Foundation or design engineer programs that you are eligible to apply? I am in similar kind of situation. I pm’d you with further questions. I have shortlisted few.

I don’t know about other universities but I know that the Eindhoven university does take students from outside the EU, including East Asia. In fact the faculty is very happy to accept students from Japan, China and India. You will have to go to a recruitment procedure but you can always contact the study advisor for further information and they will be happy to answer you.

If you are interested in sustainable design, you can take the fully online Master of Arts in Sustainable Design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. You need not have a degree in design. You can explore the program here:

What’s the track record for people graduating that online program with no prior experience in design getting jobs? Are you tracking placement rates?

Over many years of fielding this basic question, “I have a _____ degree and I want to be a designer, should I get a Masters in Design?” the majority of the recommendation has been that if you really want to do be an Industrial Designer you should most likely pursue an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design. Undergraduate programs give you the time to develop your sketching, form giving, modeling, and technical skills while you are learning the design process. Masters programs are generally much more focused on specifics and shorter in duration leaving less time to develop the core skills which ultimately serve as your foundation. Unlike many professions, Masters degrees in ID aren’t hugely valued outside of Academia or more research-centric areas, so while it may seem like a step backward to pursue a second undergraduate degree very few in the ID community will see it that way.

If you are interested in Product Development more broadly, my wife currently works as a manufacturing engineer and has worked as a product engineer though her degree is in Biomedical Engineering (like yourself).

I studied to be a Machine Design Engineer, then switched to Manufacturing Engineering for a MS because I wasn’t interested in developing the super strong math skills required for the dynamics of nitty gritty manufacturing machine design. I got into electro-mechanical product design through an internship, and just kept on down that track.

In my opinion, you DON’T need an MS, don’t need to go back to college. You need to spend time in a design software, designing, building a portfolio and competence. Paper, Pencil, Calipers, a ruler, and something to practice modelling is all you need. Measure the features on the part, and recreate them in 3D. Find discarded products to take apart, I used to collect broken electronics and products (ink-jet printers for example) and dismantle them. Good design is all around you, study it.

The key to success in design, is not a prestigious degree, or internship. It is generating as many ideas as you can to solve a problem, and quickly figuring out which ones are going to be trouble. Then, advance the plausible solutions in parallel until the solution reveals itself.

Start where you are at with what you have to solve a problem. And keep doing it. Design will always be using what you have immediately around you, creatively, to make something that wasn’t there before.

No one needs to crown you a designer. Just start designing.