Industrial Design Courses and Certificates

Although they are rare, earning a certificate in industrial design could prepare you for a career that blends art and technology. Learn more about certificate programs in industrial design, the prerequisites for admission and the typical coursework. Find out more about what industrial designers do and which kinds of jobs you could pursue in this field. Schools offering Graphic Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need To Know

An industrial design certificate program will teach you the principles of design and introduce you to some of the computer software used in the industry, such as SolidWorks. These programs are very rare; most are offered as an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Schools Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston University
Courses Computer-aided design (CAD), Product development, 2D and 3D product design, Color theory
Certificates Certificate programs typically available on-campus, usually no longer than two semesters full-time

How Does This Field Help People?

Industrial designers reimagine products we use every day, trying to make them more beautiful, more ergonomic, more environmentally friendly or less expensive to manufacture. They also design brand-new products. Industrial designers work on products for the home, the office, and outdoors, including everything from automobiles to zippers.

Which Kinds of Industrial Design Certificates Are Available?

Most certificate programs are designed to be completed in two semesters. Some programs may take three years part-time. Classes may be offered through daytime degree programs, or nighttime continuing education and professional development programs. Industrial design courses and certificate programs aren't generally available online but some schools may offer distance education options that focus on design principles and methods. A product design certificate program may be available in addition to an Industrial Design Certificate.

Which Prerequisites Will I Need?

For most certificate programs, you will not need to show any evidence of previous coursework. Creativity and an eye for color are helpful. You should also be comfortable working with sophisticated computer software. Some certificate programs are intended for people who already have a bachelor's degree, and in this case, you may be required to show a portfolio of previous work. If a portfolio is expected, but you don't have one, you may be required to take extra classes in order to develop your portfolio.

What About Coursework?

A certificate program may focus on the principles of industrial design and the form of industrial design. You'll also be studying manufacturing processes the human factors of ergonomics. Here are some of the other course topics you might come across in your certificate program:

  • CAID surface modeling
  • Portfolio and presentation
  • Product development
  • Drawing for designers
  • Branding

What Are My Career Options after Graduation?

A certificate in industrial design will help prepare you to work in the areas of product design and development. With your knowledge of CAD programs such as SolidWorks, you might become an engineering technician or technical assistant. However, according to the BLS, a bachelor's degree is usually the minimum requirement for a career in this field. You might be able to use some of your course credits towards a bachelor's degree in industrial design. Some certificate programs are intended for people who already have a bachelor's degree in another area but would like to cross over to the field of industrial design.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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