Is a career in product development one in high demand? You bet! Think about it. Every single product on the market today had to be developed by someone. And, you probably know a lot more about product development than you think. For instance, it’s likely you can name products that have changed the world: iPod, Air Jordans, Polaroid, Walkman, VCR. Maybe you even know products that aren’t for consumers, like ultrasound machines, point-of-sale systems, or industrial equipment.
Product Development | What Does It Take?
From ideation to production, these devices are the results of careful planning and execution. Product development and manufacturing requires creative thinking, problem solving, and technical preparation. Whether you think you’re more of a designer, or more of an engineer, product development careers are booming. As of 2015, there were over 300,000 jobs related to product design and engineering.
How to Get Into This Industry
From toys and electronics, to furniture and medical equipment, appliances and safety gear, vast industry applications exist for product development and manufacturing. Therefore, to be part of this industry, one needs to learn about both the creative and technical aspects. Firstly, it starts with critical thinking, the ability to find problems and come up with solutions. So, you might do market research to see what products people need. Also, you’ll need experience in illustrating or prototyping your solution.
This means you’ll want to have some practice in design and/or working with designers. After all, the design stages accompany manufacturing planning and processes. Manufacturing operations, including fabrication and materials decisions, require some of the more advanced skills. In addition to working with software, you’ll also need teams of people to achieve these things. So, you may also need experience or training in organizational management. At a minimum, many jobs require a bachelor’s degree and a portfolio that show these skills.
Build the Skills
The Integrated Product Development & Manufacturing post-baccalaureate certificate at UMBC is designed to give you this experience. The program features four courses (12 credits) taught by experienced professionals in the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of jobs to grow 10% over the next 10 years. A certificate is one way to get hands-on experience and position yourself to work in the industry.
What types of ideas will you come up with? See what UMBC students are working on in the IPDM Certificate program!