Careers change from Industrial Design

Would love to hear from anyone who has or knows someone who has moved away from Industrial Design and what they have moved into whether it be another design or non-design related discipline.

I am out of college 2 years and finding a job is like finding a needle in a hay stack (just to mention I was up in the top of my class, not a college bum) but jobs aren’t too fruitful and it’s the same for 85% of my class too…

Basically fed up, want a career and some money so I’m interested to know what other fields an ID graduate can/has moved into. I have some ideas but won’t mention them purely to get an unbiased feel for what someone else thinks.

Thanks for any input.

There are so many… It would help to understand more about your skills, interests, talents and aspirations. What made you go into ID?

If you like making “stuff” you could go into exhibit design, set design, videogame design, special effects, crafts like jewelry or toy making…

If you like solving problems for people, you could go into Interaction Design, Ethnography (lots of jobs!), Human Factors engineering, work for a non-profit focusing on Sustainability etc. or you could become an Inventor.

If you like the process of design, you could go into Strategic Planning, Innovation, or you could go work in something related to design, like a magazine.

if you are fed up with design go into design education

good one

Not to be mean or anything, but where exactly are you looking? How many resumes do you send out a week? Are you making cold calls?

There are tons of entry level design jobs out there. If you are limiting yourself to Boston, SF and NYC, you will come up short.

I migrated from ID into marketing. It seemed like a natural evolution - from product design to product management. But then I woke up one day and realized that I wasn’t having fun anymore and went back into design.

Life lesson - The grass always looks greener higher up in the corporate food chain. It’s not.

Not sure if you are serious or joking but that is a scary thought - someone fed up with design teaching it; some design education has a bit of a rep as a hiding place for bad designers - I wouldn’t do that if I was fed up. Just to clarify I’m not fed up with design, I frequently do graphic design for fun and for free and have been volunteering for design institutes to help out for last 2 years - I’m in Europe and have reasons for not leaving to try US or Asia.

I was just interested to hear of other fields someone may have moved into and enjoyed or didn’t enjoy - I’m not looking for someone to say do this or that as I do have a general idea what I will do, just thought I’d throw the question out there for ideas that might spark something in me.

Nydesignguy: No worries mate you’re not being mean asking that, solid question to ask.

one-word-plastics & cg: Thanks very much for the input.

Thanks all for the replies.

Its interesting that one-word-plastics said that. I am going to get my Masters in Project Management and was thinking about getting into Product Management with it.

Its kinda scary that you went back to design. I was hoping to be able to integrate alot of the ID side of my background into the products I am managing.

I liked the design side of the process better because I felt like I “added value to the product”. That was a concept that I picked up in MBA school. If you didn’t feel like you were adding value to the product during the course of a day then it was a wasted day.

Of course you add value in product/project management. Sometimes you’re like a hockey player pushing the puck. You pass it sometimes and other times you move it yourself. Some times I felt like a referee tasked with managing the paradox of marketing versus engineering.

There are two factors that should affect your decision to go into product management:

  • How much do you love the creation phase of design? (You won’t see much in the new gig)

  • How much of a control freak are you? Depending on the organization, you will either have a lot of control or very little. The corporate culture controls this. Determine this before joining a company.

Good luck.