Online Industrial Design Degree Programs

Get matched to an Online Industrial Design Degree Program for FREE!



From medical equipment and computers to cars and toys for children, the products and machines around us everyday have all been carefully planned and guided through manufacturing by industrial designers. They often have skills not only in production and design, but in business and customer service.

Industrial designers usually meet with their clients to sketch plans for the models of products, incorporating feedback to make the product closer to the look the business may want or need for their budget. Industrial designers usually collaborate with an engineer to produce their designs and identify any flaws in the design before it goes to market. Learning communication and teamwork skills is essential for designers since they coordinate between many departments.

Still need convincing? In 2016, those active in the industrial design work force hold degrees at a variety of academic levels: 75.2% have a Bachelor’s, 20% have a Master’s, 2.6% have a professional degree, and 2.2% have a doctoral degree. [i]

While most designers use computers to make simulated prototypes, often relying on CAD software, others may sculpt or sketch their designs by hand so a fine arts background is often useful to the job. Because of this, students enrolled in an industrial degree online course often take courses in art to prepare for this element of the job.

Not all industrial designers work on the same kinds of projects and may vary in what their design skills are, such as being a versatile houseware and furniture designer or specializing as an interface designer for electronic devices. Many online design colleges build in course requirements so that their students can explore the differing approaches to the field, allowing students time to decide what track is most appealing to them and their interests. Some industrial design students may go on to earn even more specialized degrees by pursuing an online masters in design or earning certificates in niche design elements.


Most degree programs in industrial or product design focus on developing skills in students understanding the design process, using research, technical drawing, concept design, incorporating industry feedback, testing designs, and collaborating with other designers. There are often opportunities in the program to build a personal design portfolio that students may show to future employers and to start to conceptualize the sorts of products and designs they’d like to develop outside of the academic setting.

Some programs require or offer opportunities for internships so students can get more field experience. While many of the areas of study overlap between schools and each school offers their own series of classes and expertise, you may take some of the following courses during a design degree program:

  • Objects as History
  • Sustainable System
  • Space/Materiality
  • Time
  • Design Studio
  • Computer Drafting
  • Design Problem Solving
  • Color Fundamentals
  • Development of Form
  • Designing Careers
  • Product Drawing
  • History of Industrial Design
  • Human Factors
  • Industrial Design Form
  • Product Development Lab


The engineering, artistic and design skills you learn while taking online industrial design courses may also prepare you for related professions that require the same particular set of skills. Research which options may be available using statistics compiled by the BLS.


Industrial designers brainstorm, design, draft and construct items ranging from vehicles to home appliances and toys. They conduct research to find out what consumers want in a new product, hold meetings with clients to discuss desired requirements and design items that fit those criteria.

Median Salary: $65,970 per year
Job growth through 2026: 4% (Slower than average)
Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree


These professionals are the planners that draft documents, models and virtual programs of projects. They perform careful calculations related to the materials used, the load they can bear, the efficiency of the design and more.

Median Salary: $78,470 per year
Job growth through 2026: 4% (Slower than average)
Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree


Art directors decide the theme and style used by magazines, TV programs, newspapers, product packaging and more. They determine the best way to convey visual elements and delegate responsibilities among a staff of creators. They also create specific time and budgeting outlines that fit client and company needs.

Median Salary: $92,500 per year
Job growth through 2026: 5% (As fast as average)
Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor’s Degree


© Education Connection 2019. All Rights Reserved.

EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features.

Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.