Why is industrial design important

Industrial design studies

The industrial design course teaches you basic content from the fields of design, culture, economics and engineering, whereby the weighting differs from university to university. Some universities focus more on the technical aspect and put mathematical topics in the foreground. Other schools, on the other hand, focus more on design issues. In general, you can encounter the following content during your studies:

  • History of art and design
  • Design management
  • Shape development
  • product design
  • Design strategy and product management
  • Technical drawing
  • Modelling
  • ergonomics
  • Electrical engineering
  • mechanics

Project work in cooperation with companies also gives you the opportunity to make important contacts while studying industrial design.

Forms of study and course

Industrial design studies with a bachelor's degree usually takes six to eight semesters and attaches great importance to practical content. So you can use your knowledge in Exercises and workshops deepen and apply what has been learned in compulsory internships and in the practical semester. You can also complete a semester abroad if you wish.

The subject can be studied at art colleges, which often focus more on the design aspect, or at universities of applied sciences, where practical relevance is very important. Some universities also offer the subject. You can read more about the difference between private and state universities in our article.

In addition, industrial design can also be studied as a master’s degree. Here you have the opportunity to further deepen your specialist knowledge. Internships provide you with important work experience.

Admission requirements

To be admitted to the industrial design course, you usually need the general university entrance qualification or technical college entrance qualification. It is also possible to apply for an apprenticeship or with a master's degree in a similar subject area and additional work experience, in which case you can study without a high school diploma.

But in such a creative course you don't just convince with grades. As with many design courses, the universities attach great importance to your application portfolio, which you put together as part of your application. As a rule, this should include graphic and digital works as well as photographs. Here it can be worthwhile to attend a portfolio course beforehand so that you can get professional tips from experts.

If your portfolio has won over the university, the final exam takes place: the aptitude test. Here your artistic talent will be put to the test on site.

The industrial design course is also possible as a master’s degree. To be admitted, you again need a bachelor's degree in industrial design or in another relevant subject, such as product design.

personal requirements

The industrial design course is especially suitable for you if you want to combine creativity and functionality. Accordingly, it is an advantage if you already have creative and practical skills and it is not a problem for you to work on the computer, because this is where you will ultimately create models and design prototypes. This is precisely why a technical understanding is helpful. Mathematical knowledge, especially in the field of geometry, will also help you during your studies.

Above all, however, drawing skills are also important. Since you also have to use your spatial imagination when designing products, this shouldn't be too difficult for you either.

If, while researching your studies, you should ask yourself how you can best manage the whole thing financially, we have some important answers for you: In our advice article on the subject Costs and funding for your studies.

It is not uncommon for young professionals to do a few internships after completing their industrial design studies. Unfortunately there are too many graduates in the industry for too few vacancies, which is why you first have to prove yourself in order to gain a foothold in the market.

Industrial designers are often employed in communication companies or design offices of medium-sized companies, where they work for product development. In addition, they can also find employment as art / creative director, product manager, design manager or CAD designer.

Since every manufacturing industry has to deal with the design of its products, you have a corresponding number of career opportunities and can work in a wide variety of industries:

  • Chemical or pharmaceutical industry
  • Automotive, aerospace industries
  • mechanical engineering
  • Food industry
  • Textile industry

In addition, you can also work in the advertising industry, at architectural offices or in the media sector.

However, many graduates also become self-employed and work as freelancers. While some work as freelancers, others even set up their own design offices. However, it is advisable to first gain practical experience in a company before you venture into self-employment.


As a young professional, you can work with a Calculate starting salary between 2,000 and 2,400 euros gross, which of course also depends on the company and the industry in which you work. So you get a higher salary in the industry than in smaller agencies. Right at the top: the automotive industry. Here you can look forward to a salary of up to 70,000 euros a year.

If you go into business for yourself, it is of course difficult to predict your profit. In general, freelancers receive good hourly wages and can expect a higher salary than permanent industrial designers, which not least depends on your negotiating skills. You can charge between 30 and 60 euros per hour for a project.

If you set up your own design office for yourself, you can earn more, but you also have to take on more responsibility. You have to be aware that your own projects tend to take a back seat, as you are largely occupied with the organization and management of your own company.

10 universities that offer industrial design studies