Industrial Design

The variety of products and systems that fall within the potential scope of an industrial designer's work is extremely broad. Examples range from household appliances to aircraft interiors and from furniture to major electronics equipment, transportation vehicles, and myriad other product areas. Consequently, some industrial designers choose to specialize in particular area, e.g., automobile or furniture design, while others prefer to divide their efforts among several product areas that fall within their own design interests.

Industrial Design Department website

Sample of Related Skills

  • Create and develop concepts, designs, and specifications that optimize the value, function, convenience, safety, utility, and appearance of manufactured products and systems for the mutual benefit of both users and manufacturers of those products. 
  • Understand Computer-Aided Design technologies utilized in the creation, dissemination, documentation, and preservation of design materials  
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of media, technologies and equipment applicable to their area of emphasis. This includes environmentally responsible practice  
  • Integrate skills in studio practice, theory, analysis, media and technology to address a variety of design problems, independently and in collaboration with others  
  • Demonstrate through public exhibition the capability to produce work that embodies a coherent set of artistic and intellectual goals 

Popular Career Paths

Industrial and Commercial Design: Involves designing manufactured products such as cars, home appliances, and toys

Freelance: Entails utilizing one’s network and resources to contract with individuals, companies, or organizations to complete project-based assignments 

Jobs to Consider

Places to Seek Employment

  • Engineering Firms
  • Large Corporations
  • Manufacturing Companies
  • State, Local, & Federal Agencies
  • Universities and Colleges

Job and Internship Search Resources

  • Americans for the ARTS - job bank with careers in the arts 
  • ArtSchools - online resource for portfolio preparation for college and employment opportunities 
  • Creative Hotlist - online search engine geared towards career development in the art fields 
  • Coroflot - online resource for the "creative world at work" featuring job listings board, portfolio advice, groups, and general career advice  
  • National Art Education Association - premier electronic recruitment resource for the profession, includes job listings 
  • theCreativeloft - job listings for individuals in creative industries 
  • Upwork - resource to connect freelancers with job opportunities 

Career Exploration Hub

Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields. 
  2. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internshipspart-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
  3. Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information. 
  4. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field. 
  5. Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center. 
  6. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
  7. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals. 
  8. Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills. 
  9. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school. 
  10. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.