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Product Design: Application Tips

a guide to careers in product design and design engineering

Product Design

Tips for Applying

How to get work in this sector

Personality & Skills

  • Creative approach to coming up with new ideas
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Sound knowledge of CAD and/or ability to express ideas through drawings & 3D models
  • Good grasp of engineering and design principles
  • An understanding of different materials and manufacturing/production methods
  • Awareness of sustainability issues and environmental impact of design
  • Good teamworking skills

Your Skills

During your degree, you will learn useful skills that can be used to apply for work in this field. You can build on these through experience at work and in your personal life:

Skills Needed by Designers

At the Product Design & Innovation Conference 2011, one of the discussions was What New Skills do Industrial Designers Need? Here are some of the key points:

  • Designers need to learn the basic skills of the profession and not be sidetracked by Design Thinking ideas
  • Within industrial design consultancies there is a growing fragmentation of skills, divided between the thinkers and the doers
  • The skills required by a modern consultancy may be difficult to find in one person
  • Need to get back to basics and design things that elicit an emotional response


Interviews and Selection Tests


This is a sector where knowing the right people can be very important and, with many smaller companies, applying speculatively can be the best way to get in.

Important things to remember are

  1. Do your research: contact the right people, find out what the company does
  2. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook can be a good way to find and keep in touch with people who are useful to know
  3. Make sure you contact people afterwards to follow up on your networking or applications

Engineering - Key Skills

With thanks to CareerPlayer, Graduate Jobs and Career Advice on video.

Design Week - Product Design News

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The Engineer - Design Engineering News

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Eureka Magazine - Design Engineering News

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