Design Management degree provides options and allows for creativity.
Design Management at a Glance
Graduates of the Design Management program are prepared for entry-level management positions within interior design and graphic design firms, as well as at companies and organizations with creative departments and functions. Graduates specializing in graphic design can pursue such positions as art directors and industrial designers. Within the interior design field, graduates can pursue such roles as project managers or visual merchandizing managers.
A Bachelor’s degree is generally required for entry into the design management field. Those with the best advancement prospects will have a Bachelor’s degree plus at least five years of work experience.
Typical Tasks Performed
Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. Some job responsibilities include:
- Determine how best to represent a concept visually
- Determine which photographs, art, or other design elements to use
- Coordinate activities with other artistic and creative departments
- Supervise design staff
Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Some job responsibilities include:
- Consult with clients to determine requirements for designs
- Research who will use a particular product and the various ways it might be used
- Sketch out ideas or create renderings
- Use computer software to develop virtual models of different designs
The interior design project manager is responsible for all aspects of planning, budgeting, and execution for interior design projects in his or her organization. Some job responsibilities include:
- Manage schedule, metrics collection, shipping, inventory, and accounting for specified projects
- Interact with clients, contractors, and staff to communicate and enforce project goals and deadlines
- Conduct site visits to ensure standards and schedules are met
- Analyze and guide space and design planning for implementation of interior design strategies
Visual merchandising managers are in charge of managing all aspects of the merchandising visuals for their organization. Some job responsibilities include:
- Contribute to the development of visual merchandising plans for in-store displays and seasonal product displays
- Coordinate with senior management to customize store displays for individual retail stores
- Visit store locations to supervise the implementation of visual merchandising plans
- Coordinate the personnel updating in-store merchandise displays
Outlook for Employment
Employment of art directors is projected to grow 2 percent through 2024. Art directors will continue to be needed to oversee the work of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, and others engaged in artwork or layout design. Those who do best in this position will have good portfolios that demonstrate strong visual design and conceptual work across all multimedia platforms.
Employment of industrial designers is projected to grow 2 percent through 2024. Consumer demand for new products and new product styles should sustain the demand for industrial designers. Prospects are best for job applicants with a strong background in two-and three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided industrial design (CAID).
For many interior design project managers, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally correlate with higher income. Interior design project managers with the best job prospects tend to have a diverse set of skills, including proficiency in the use of CAD.
Visual merchandising managers report a narrow range of specific skills. Most notably, those with skills in project management, people management, merchandising, and design tend to do best in this field. Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of visual merchandising managers.
Please note that these are national statistics and projections that might vary by location.
Source for art directors and industrial designers career information: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/art-directors.htm#tab-1 and http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/industrial-designers.htm#tab-1
Source for interior design project managers and visual merchandizing managers career information: payscale.com http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Project_Manager,_Interior_Design/Salary and http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Visual_Merchandising_Manager/Salary