Industrial vs mechanical engineering for industrial design


Mechanical engineering is more related to industrial design/product design than industrial engineering. I got confused and learned the hard way (rebuked on the internet! it’s the end of the world!!!)

However you might be interested in human factors/ergonomics, which seems to be more related to industrial engineering/psychology/anthropology rather than mechanical engineering. You won’t be in charge of making designs from scratch but rather helping improve designs that other people come up with.

I asked a question similar to yours recently at MetaFilter

More info about Human Factors/Ergonomics at (also, Google is your friend):

Thanks NeoLeo, I know the differences between the engineering fields and ID, I just want to know which path to go to get where I want to be while graduating from UF.

Do the ME thing. I always thought of IE as a business degree on steroids. Both could be extremely useful in product development. If I wanted to be more on the front-end developmental and creative side of things, I would do ME.

if you cant build, you shouldnt design…because then its just art…eot

it all depends, with no portfolio it will be almost impossible to do any ID upon graduation. You could work as a ME in a consultancy and eventually do more and more ID…in time.

Packaging with a graphics minor could at least get you into the feild, (get lots of ID advice and do an internship for a year)

it’d certainly take less effort to get into more general ID than ME.

do NOT waste your time studying something you don’t like. Life is too short, and school is too expensive.

I realize its hard to see that from the perspective you’re in right now, but take it from someone who did exactly what I’m telling you not to do. I don’t have many regrets but getting a degree in something I didn’t love is one of them.

If you want to do ID for anyone but yourself, you need an ID degree.

Right now you have the luxury of time and freedom- use it to study something you are passionate about.

thanks for the descriptor! its perfect. i’ve been trying to figure out for 20 some years how best to explain my IE degree ;p

try to schedule tours of SCAD (Savanna GA.) and GA Tech’s ID program (Atlanta) to get a feel for the difference in a more bona fide approach.

Not that you have to go to either, but you may find that it’s worth giving up the Fla. financial aid to get into a real ID school.

Well what do you guys think about getting an engineering degree at UF and then going for my MFA at a school like Georgia tech where they offer a 3 year mba in ID? That to me sounds a little more of like where I want to go as far as career choices, since I want to be higher up in the chain.

so much for design…

It isn’t an MBA, its an MID. There really isn’t any business aspect to the degree. The master’s at Georgia Tech is for people who would like to be more applied to the research of product design.

The only way you are going to get “higher up in the chain” is by working your butt off and proving to people what you can do.

argg…idk why i wrote mba, I think it was because my business buddy kept talking about it. ne ways Im guessing georgia techs program is less design and more research oriented. Does any one know of any other schools that allow you to get a masters in ID without having a ba in ID?

there are tons of grad schools that will take you, not all are worth it though.

PRATT specializes in teaching ID to non bachelors (to mixed reviews) IIT is the other one, engineering and research intensive. Stanford dSchool too.

I know someone who changed careers in a research heavy grad program and really struggles with the basics and hasen’t gotten anything into production in his 2 years out…

I don’t know what to tell you, finishing up a hybrid degree then going to grad school is a long road.