Perspectives on Industrial Designers' Integration in the Job Market

By Inalda A. L. L. M. Rodrigues, Maria José Aguilar Madeira and Denis A. Coelho.

Published by The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper aims to analyze and understand the employment opportunities for the profession of industrial designer and their qualifications that are most conducive to recruitment, adopting a national perspective and an international perspective. To achieve this, we chose to develop a two-pronged approach aimed, firstly, to identify pathways to integration in the labor market by industrial designers at the national level, within the Portuguese language space and at the international level, in order to understand the importance of training and other conditioning factors for these paths. On the other hand, we proceeded through surveys to the unveiling of the training components seen as critical to employers, and at the same time, we tried to envision their future needs in order to provide feedback to the training institutions and enhance effective training and consequently employability. As an example of the pathways of professional affirmation of designers, entrepreneurship, at various stages of the careers of designers, has been studied both from a theoretical standpoint, and considering the national reality. In this context, and by way of example, the paper presents a technological project for sustainable design and outlines the contours of a proposal for social entrepreneurship based on that project, aiming to contribute to community development. The work developed for this master's thesis shed light on a perspective of current job offers in this area, analyzed in relation to the skills, qualifications and experience required. Based on two questionnaire studies made (one questionnaire was addressed to designers active in the Portuguese language space, with 141 respondents, and the other was addressed to heads of enterprises within the Portuguese space (Portugal) employing designers, with 19 responses collected), as the empirical contributions to complement the literature review studies conducted to enhance the attainment of the objectives proposed for the study.

Keywords: Training and Skills, Entrepreneurship, Employment, Industrial Design, Portuguese Language Space

The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 411.768KB).

Inalda A. L. L. M. Rodrigues

Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilha, N/A, Portugal

Inalda Rodrigues is a Ph.D. student with the Management Doctoral Programme at Universidade da Beira Interior. She holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering and a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering.

Maria José Aguilar Madeira

Professor, Department of Management and Economics, Univerisdade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Professor Maria José Aguilar Madeira is a specialist in entrepreneurship. She is the director of the Masters Programme in Entrepreneurship and Company Creation at Universidade da Beira Interior. She is a prolific author and the recipient of awards for her distinguished career in Entrepreneurship research and higher education.

Prof. Denis A. Coelho

Professor, Technological Industrial Design Program, Department of Electromechanical Engineering, Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Professor Denis A. Coelho has been responsible for the creation and development in the University of Beira Interior of an entirely new program of studies in Industrial Design (undergraduate studies leading to a Bachelor’s degree) and Technological Industrial Design (Master’s program). He has also designed and helped design post-secondary programs of studies including Multimedia product development, E-commerce web applications and multimedia web applications. As a Mechanical Engineer with an Ergonomic Design and Production Management post-graduate education his research has focused in several areas. He has worked with car seat comfort (ergonomic design) and has also been interested in Management Systems in Small and Medium Enterprises, as well as providing a contribution to the advancement of ergonomic design methods. He has also participated and coordinated Multimedia design projects, focusing on the application of ergonomic guidelines at both the conceptual and application level. International exposure has included research performed in collaboration with Swedish and US universities, applied to the automotive and healthcare sectors. He is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics.