Within one year of graduating, 91% of MCAD alumni are working, pursuing further education, or engaged in military or volunteer service.*

This is no accident—MCAD’s product design curriculum gets students focused on their careers early and enables them to successfully transition from student to professional.

Product designers, which are sometimes also known in the industry as industrial designers, use their strong understanding of relationships between art, science, and technology as well as processes of ideation, development, and evaluation to create new three-dimensional products. A career in product design is an opportunity to make a real impact, as innovative products have the power to radically alter everything from the way we carry out simple daily tasks to the healthcare, renewable energy, tech, and other industries. The process of nurturing a design, from an early concept to a commercially viable solution for mass manufacturing also provides a sense of job satisfaction. Plus, studies show that there is a growing need for product designers, both as entrepreneurs and at regional and national companies.


Potential Careers

Product Designer / Industrial Designer

Combine your knowledge of design, engineering, and manufacturing processes to create novel, functional products. Conduct tests in order to determine whether products meet necessary requirements and document the results.

Design Consultant

Share your expertise with others by suggesting ways to ensure new product designs integrate form and function.

Materials Researcher

Research and study the structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials, including metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and glass.

Furniture Designer

Create furniture for everything from mass production to custom or "art furniture." Custom furniture is often designed and produced for individual residences, museums, specialty stores, and other businesses that have specific needs.

Lighting Designer

Design specialized lighting for everything from the theater, to retailers, to homes.


Use your design and business skills to start your own product line or business.


Product Design in the Twin Cities

While you can use your product design degree anywhere in the world, one of the reasons MCAD created its product design major is because large regional employers have told us that they are seeking product designers with a connection to (and ideally, plans to stay long-term in) the area. That means as an MCAD alum, you will have a leg up on the competition.

Examples of Local Companies that Hire Product  / Industrial Designers
3MHurricane BoatsRockler
Baxter (healthcare)Indian MotorcyclesRoom & Board
Benchmark ElectronicsMadesmartSafco
Best BuyMedtronicSkyline Exhibits
Blu DotNordicWareStratasys
Boston ScientificPhillips MedisizeTarget
BracketronPolaris IndustriesTennant
EcolabPrimordial SoupToro
ErgotronQuality Bicycle ProductsVictory Motorcycles
Hearth & Home Tech.redgroupWhiteBoard PS
HoneywellRinker BoatsWorrell


What Do Product Designers Make?

In MCAD's product design major, you are exposed to a wide range of industries, materials, and manufacturing processes allowing you the flexibility to pursue a career in many areas. Listed below are just a few examples of the products you might go on to design.

Examples of Product / Industrial Design
Baby ProductsLab EquipmentSlip Casting / Ceramics
Beauty / Grooming ProductsLightingIndustrial Ceramics
Cleaning Tools / EquipmentTravel AccessoriesSmart Home Devices
Construction / Industrial EquipmentMedical DevicesSpace / Exhibit Design
Consumer ElectronicsMilitary EquipmentSports Equipment
Food Service / Hospitality EquipmentRecreational EquipmentStructural Packaging
FurnitureOffice EquipmentTabletop
Home DecorPersonal Safety GearToys / Games
Household AppliancesPet ProductsTransportation
HousewaresPlumbing FixturesCommemorative Products
HVAC / Climate ControlRetail DisplaysWearable Computing / Sensing
Jewelry / AccessoriesSecurity / Access ControlYard / Garden Tools
Kitchen ToolsShoe Design / Accessories 


*Based on the 2016/17 MCAD Alumni Outcomes Survey, within one year of graduation, 87% of alumni report working, 3% are engaging in military or volunteer service, and 1% are pursuing further education.

Tell Me More about Product Design at MCAD