Reply

Looking to make a career pivot

March 12th, 2019, 10:37 pm

yo_duk
Posts: 3
Joined: January 15th, 2018, 11:00 pm
Quick background. It's been 7 years since I got my bachelor's degree in ID, 6 years since my first full-time gig. I've been through both consultancy and corporate environments, currently working in the Bay Area.

I'm beginning to think about the possibility of going back to school for some sort of Masters program though I don't know exactly what. All I know is that I have some interest (but no experience) in AI, Robotics, Programming.. Ideally, I'd like to transition into a field that leans more on my idea generation, problem solving and technical ID skills (proficiency in CAD, 2D design programs) rather than creating beautiful aesthetics.

Why do I want to do this? Because to be honest, I'm feeling a little burned out. While I actually enjoy the aesthetic development of products I work on, it's also been the source of stress/friction I have with design jobs, among other little things. I'll spare you the details but I simply don't feel cut for taking the lead on aesthetic decisions based on experiences I've had so far.

I'm wondering if there are any fields out there where I can still utilize the skills I've honed thus far, but also related to some of my interests I listed? Maybe there's an ID niche I can look into?

Any input or advice is appreciated!
User avatar
ralphzoontjens
full self-realization
full self-realization
Posts: 945
Joined: February 3rd, 2010, 10:20 am
Coroflot: 76078
Location: Tilburg, the Netherlands
Hear hear. I do have a Master's with a specialization in interactive products but the companies in that field are all abroad - which is why many students moved out of the country to Finland, China, USA, UK.. I am now focusing on additive manufacturing which the industry is moving towards, Autodesk now bringing out free software tools with AM integration, Windows integrating the filetypes as well etc. There will be a great need for programming in that field too since complex geometries are much faster scripted than manually cadded. Another tech-oriented ID specialization is wearables. I wonder if anyone has a list of ID specializations.
http://www.id-z.one
IDZone - Product Design || Visualisation || 3D Printing

Re: Looking to make a career pivot

March 14th, 2019, 11:51 am

User avatar
yo
Administration
Administration
Posts: 17341
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:57 pm
Coroflot: 67242
Location: SoCal
yo_duk wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 10:37 pm
All I know is that I have some interest (but no experience) in AI, Robotics, Programming.. Ideally, I'd like to transition into a field that leans more on my idea generation, problem solving and technical ID skills (proficiency in CAD, 2D design programs) rather than creating beautiful aesthetics.
why not just stat applying for jobs at places like Boston Dynamics?

Instead of spending money on grad school, I'd recommend you put together a list of the kinds of places you want to work for and the types of jobs you want to do. Then craft a portfolio geared toward those two things and start reaching out to people on LinkedIn to send it to.... basically, this is going to be the end of your 2 years of grad school anyway. If you do that for 6 months and it doesn't work, then you can switch back to the grad school plan.

Re: Looking to make a career pivot

March 14th, 2019, 12:36 pm

User avatar
FH13
step four
step four
Posts: 365
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 5:00 pm
Location: Southern CA
maybe do a switch to "design engineer" executing and making products manufacturable. Some of the creative ambiguity is removed and you have to design the product for manufacturing.
Maybe instead of the designing the ideal product you now look for the ideal company to work for.
Look at 3D printing and 3D Rendering companies. They often look for designers to help them sell, train, support or help develop their products.
Good luck
User avatar
KenoLeon
full self-realization
full self-realization
Posts: 701
Joined: October 23rd, 2012, 12:22 pm
Location: Mexico City
Some thoughts...

UIUX: You won't be doing much if any programming, low-mid demand, low pay ( although compared to ID its about the same, maybe in the bay you can get higher pay), your ID skills are a perfect match.

FED: Front End Development. You do a lot of programming and little to no design. (High Demand medium-high pay), besides the occasional mockup and report, not much direct ID skillset transfer although being creative/ design process helps with the programming side.

I like mixing both, but unless its for my own projects I am usually just hired to do one or the other.

AI (High pay, High demand) : Is a misnomer, you are basically a data scientists crunching huge amounts of datasets in specific ways ( statistics/math is a must ) and need a whole different set of programming skills, there's some design involved in data visualization.

I do a lot of AI programming in the data scientist sense ( I am part of a crowdsourced quant hedge fund) and been doing research on a branch of AI (CAI) for the last decade or so plus write articles/visualizations ( these last 2 require yet another type of programming more akin to video game programming which still scares me a bit ) , I've found design thinking to be invaluable, but practically companies imho are looking for pure statistician/programmer.

I haven't worked professionally with robotics, but my half brother has, he works for a company programming the robotic arms, their design(placement) and installation in factories for car companies, you guessed it, yet another type of programming and comparable skillset transfer..

So the way I see it is that ID gives you an incredibly useful toolset that can be transferred to almost any industry, but getting an employer to recognize it might be a different story.

Also, if you like or think you 'd like programming which is at the core of many new things, you are jumping in at the best time since there is a wealth of resources, mostly free and you can become proficient in about 6 months time, I'd recommend python as a starting language.
Eugenio (Keno) Leon
k3no.com Linkedin Instagram

"Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated"
Reply