Online learning can help you earn a degree without having to move or travel to the location of the university, which can help you save the costs of relocation. If you are already working as a designer, this type of flexible learning model can help you get a degree while you are working on your projects.
Industrial design refers to the process of creating or developing products for the benefit of both the client and the manufacturer. Both industrial design and product design are intersected terms. While industrial design is concerned with usability, product design is concerned with functionality.
The study of industrial design helps designers to understand the users of a given product and how to provide a design that solves the consumers’ problems.
Industrial design degrees usually focus on understanding and learning the process of product design from the initial phase of market research up until the final production process, also exploring the steps in between, such as draft design and 3D modeling of the product.
Most industrial design studies start by teaching design, drawing basics and design concepts. Then they teach you product design methods, such as 3D and applications that will help you visualize your product design concepts.
In this article, we will overview some of the universities and schools that offer online industrial design degrees.
School of Industrial Design, Academy of Art University (Online, In-campus)
The Academy of Art University is one of the most accredited schools of art and design that provide a large variety of design degrees, including the industrial and product design degrees. The School of Industrial Design offers an Associate Degree, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Master of Fine Arts in industrial design.
With this degree, you will learn about problem solving, design drawing, and 3D modeling. Also, you will learn about the different industrial design fields, such as transportation design, package design, and more.
The degree qualifies you to work as an industrial designer, package designer, and creative director. You can apply for this degree either online or at the academy campus.
Production Design, Savannah College of Art and Design (In-campus)
The Savannah College of Art and Design specializes in different art degrees and has campuses in Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Savannah. It also offers degrees through the distance learning model.
The college provides a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Master of Fine Arts industrial design degrees. Their degrees are only available at the Savannah campus and with this degree, you can learn about the following skills:
• Modeling and prototyping
• Idea visualization
• Research methods
• Human factors
• Product development
You can learn more about the Production Design BFA degree here.
School of Constructed Environments, The New School for Design (In-campus)
The Parsons New School in New York offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in product Design that merges theoretical and the technical skills to help the students create professional product designs.
The degree focuses on helping students to understand the consumers’ needs through researching, and to visualize their product ideas based on a number of factors, such as consumer needs.
The BFA in Product Design includes 120 credits of courses, such as:
• Drawing and studio courses
• Research and development courses
• Modeling and prototyping courses
• Understanding the human factors
• Portfolio and dynamic content
The Product Design BFA curriculum includes more information about the available courses for the degree.
Product Design, College for Creative Studies (In-campus)
The College for Creative Studies offers a BFA in product design at their campus in Detroit. The degree focuses on building an innovative product design process.
In this degree, you will learn about critical thinking, problem solving, and 3D modeling. Also, this degree will qualify you to work in the following fields:
• Exhibit Design
• Furniture Design
• Product Development
This program focuses on studying the consumers’ needs and how to build sustainable designs that match multicultural products. During earning this degree, 60 students are chosen as interns for large companies, such as Nike, Motorola, Adidas, Reebok, and GE Appliances.
During this degree, you will attend a number of essential courses required for an industrial design professional career, such as drawing courses, industrial design concepts, humanities and sciences. The total credits for this course are 51 units.
Although much of the curriculum seems to be important for designers, some courses are less important for a design career life, such as Social Science History and Diversity Studies.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design (In-campus)
The Massachusetts College of Art and Design offers a BFA in Industrial Design and Industrial Design Certificate.
This program teaches students how to solve design problems and improve product designs and their usability. This degree tries to focus on sketching and rendering techniques.
In addition to the courses that we have covered in the previous degrees, this BFA curriculum includes more unique courses, such as packaging, branding, and the manufacturing process.
Furthermore, the students interact with the community through exhibitions and activities.
The above-mentioned industrial design degrees vary based on many factors, such as the available courses and the types of learning methods, such as in-campus and distance learning. The degrees also vary in terms of cost and workload.
In addition to the courses above, you can find more degrees in the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) archive. In this archive, you can check the accreditation of each degree and the universities available in your area.