engineer career change

I am engineer looking for a career change into ID. I have some experience with military vehicles prototypes but mostly as project manager.
Could someone recommend me any masters in USA and Australia?
How important is it to have a background in ID?
(I don´t have a portfolio, which I ve seen is a requisite in most schools…)



what about ID do you find interesting?

what do you want to be doing after your ID degree?

I think IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology) might have a graduate program in industrial design for non-industrial design majors.

NC State offers a Master’s in ID for folks without prior design experience. It involves some remedial work, but many prior engineers of all stripes were in the program when I was there and they provided terrific insights into aspects of product development not typically central to an ID curriculum. Compared to other fields you could be coming from, engineering is a great asset, IMO. I’ve known some dumb-asses in the MID program at NC State who only had previous experience studying Mandarin Chinese and Chinese history!

First of all, thanks guys for your answers.
I´ve thought of product developmet, packaging and design applied to industry: vehicles, tools mainly.
Are the schools you have mentioned well known among Industrial DEsigners?

I’m in the same train here. I work at NASA and I want to go into ID since I want to be able to apply creativity and art into what I do. I’ve been doing some research, and in terms of name reputation, California College of the Arts seems like it is the Harvard of ID. For us engineers without portfolios, NC State seems like the most friendly…and cheap too. Pratts at Brooklyn is another one that seems really good, and supposedly their master program is open to “everybody”, but they still require a portfolio :cry: … Good luck!

I have found that ME’s who turn ID thru a masters program end up as managers or higher but don’t make great industrial designers. Thats an observation… No offense to anyone whom may have made the bridge across. It seams to me that the industrial designer has a strength beyond precess that aids their design response. Engineers might be too knowing and therefore suffer in the creative concept sketching game… at least… The ME turned ID will struggle coming up with concepts that might work instead of elaborating on concepts that will require a team\ solution later by an engineers.

Not that cross training cant make a specific nitch within a design team or firm… And I would never want to discourage an industrial designer to learn more about engineering or manufacturing nor the reverse… discourage an engineer to learn more about industrial design or concept sketching.

Yeah, I understand what you say, and that is my biggest concern. I don’t want to get a master if the master does not offer enough emphasis in design. I want to do industrial design even if that means going back to school as an undergraduate…Either way I will always have my years of experience, my other degrees and my engineering license with me.

About engineers knowing too much, well, engineers and industrial designers working together is a good thing, because I think engineering provides the bounds to an ID’s creativity. As an ID I think you can go as far as you want in terms of creating, but engineers would make you aware of what can work and what can’t in the real world. Is like that too for Software and Hardware engineers. I can write the most effective piece of programming code there is, but if the hardware can’t support it, is useless.

get a second bathelers degree. Its more what you want anyway. double major.

Its hard to beat the team… if you are ID and want to get the power of ME or visa versa… mary one. :wink:

i think that is what design-engine was saying could be a potential problem. sometimes the best solutions in design are the ones where a bit of naivite and NOT knowing what will work are the case. being too focused on real world things can limit the design process and makes you think in too much of a constrained box.

of course in the end, the real world things and making it work is important, but just that creativity is a different sort of problem solving process in ID.

that being said, there might be some particular industries that are more engineered focused in their use of ID that could work with your strength. i cant think of any off, hand, but something less design-y than footwear/consumer products, for instance.


What about medical products as a place to land for a Eng to ID transfer?

I know 3 engineers who went to school for ID, with mixed results.
there is definitly a strong desire for engineering minded designers, and they will always find a niche.