Design Management vs. Creative Engineering?

I’m trying to bend my career direction toward product design (commercial/consumer/medical/industrial/etc.) and need to know what skills/experience do I need before trying to break into the industry. I love art and speak art/design a bit, but am most comfortable and innovative in the technical space.

But…what computer software should I get training/refreshing on? Pro/Engineer, Solidworks, misc. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) programs like Pro/Mechanica, InDesign, etc.? I guess I would need proficiency in those programs if I wanted to design… but I have interest and serious experience doing whole system requirements and testing which would mean I should go the design management route, yes? But how can I do design management without a M.S. in design management? My current masters is a unique mash-up of aerospace engineering, architecture, industrial design, and systems engineering/design management.

Perhaps it’d be easiest to start in design engineering (on a CAD station) and work up to lead engineer and then design management?

The big insight I don’t really have are in manufacturing. Is that a severe detriment or can that be learned on the job?

Any advice would help. Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:


My suggestion - assuming you do not possess formal design training - is to attack this opportunity from two fronts: first, leverage your ‘innovation’ background as a way to get into more and more ‘creative’ projects. I would not get overly worried about ‘tools’ (eg, software) at this point.

Second, if you have the capacity/ability, you should take formal design courses when/where you can - again, assuming you do not already have this kind of training under your belt.

Best of luck and I hope it works for you