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Spruce, J., Evans, M., 2011.

The legacy of design: What contribution does a degree make to your future design career?

Output Type:Conference paper
Publication:DS 69: Proceedings of E and PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Publisher:The design society & institution of engineering designers, uk
Dates:8/9/2011 - 9/9/2011
Pagination:pp. 385-390

Much research has been conducted into the content of design curricula yet limited research has been undertaken into how early career design professionals view their undergraduate studies, and in turn if this experience adequately prepares them for entry into the design industry. This paper explores the relationship between product design curricula and the professional practice of design. The authors consult with early career design product design professionals within the UK to understand the perceived link between their undergraduate studies and the everyday practice of the design industry. Specifically, this paper reports upon the realities of working in the design industry and explores the extent to which their undergraduate training supported the transition from designer-in-training to design professional. Data was gathered via semi structured interviews with early career design product design professionals. The findings of the research indicate that although there is a gap between undergraduate studies and the design industry, and graduates do find the transition into their professional career challenging, on balance graduates feel that a university design education prepares them reasonably well to begin their career as a design professional. The research indicates that an undergraduate design education is perceived as the start of a journey in a professional design career.