The MDes prepares you to work in creative and technical roles for designing products, services and environments. As the world sees rapid change enabled by emerging technologies, our graduates are expected to work in an expanding set of roles at the intersection of design, policy, and activism. Fostering domain expertise, a toolkit of design and technical skills, and a grounding in the Bay Area’s rich design ecosystem, the MDes provides powerful preparation for high-impact design innovators.
What are the anticipated careers for MDes students?
In the Bay area and beyond, there are many technology and design firms who are looking for people who have an integrated understanding of design, technology, and human-centered approaches and an ability to use these skills dynamically to anticipate emergent needs and environments.
Leaders of these technology firms who have joined critiques at Jacobs Hall tell us that they are eager to hire MDes students whom they expect will flourish on teams, help pull groups together, and have a broad reach of skills, not in any single area, but a range of technologies and design.
Ideal candidates for their positions are curious about how people interact with technology and comfortable with ambiguity and exploratory project briefs. They seek employees who learn by doing and making with a prototyping mindset and a wide range of prototyping skills in both hardware and software. They are also seeking employees with the capacity to work across disciplines and at the intersections of design and engineering, with a collaborative working style and an ability to connect people with ideas to generate excitement.
These are all characteristics that align with outcomes we have for MDes students.
Recently posted positions for which MDes students are well prepared are:
- Techno-Dextrous Experience Designer/Engineer (Apple)
- Creative Technologist/Prototyper (SW & HW) (Mozilla)
- Design Technologist II (frog)
- Interaction Design Lead (IDEO)
- UX/UI Designer (Microsoft)
- UX Designer (Amazon)
- Interaction Designer II (frog)
- AR Designer, Instagram (Meta)
- 3D Designer, Content Design, Media Products (Apple)
We also anticipate that some MDes students will start their own design and technology firms while others may get more involved in grass-roots organizations such as non-profit and government entities. We anticipate that there are many roles graduates from the MDes program will be able to play and we expect they will have great impact on their communities and in their workplaces. We believe that MDes students, situated within UC Berkeley and the Bay Area’s rich design ecosystem, will have good access to and excellent preparation for high-impact design opportunities today and in the future.
Design@Large is professional development requirement for all MDes students that allows students to explore potential career directions while they are pursuing the degree. For this requirement, students identify and engage in an experience outside of an MDes course or studio and apply what they have learned in a broader context. Students may engage in an internship, research project, a new start-up or business, or government, service or non-profit organization to satisfy this requirement.
For more information and to see examples of students’ Design@Large experiences please see Design@Large.
Careers in Creative Technology
“As a discipline, creative technology… is about understanding both the design and the technical world that design has to live in, shortening the feedback loop by having both design and engineering embodied in the same person.” Shana Hu, UC Berkeley alumna
Read more by Shana Hu who shared her insight and experience as a creative technologist on the Applied Creative Technology team at Pinterest in this article, “Applied Creative Technology at Pinterest,” published online on Medium, September 4, 2019.
UC Berkeley & The Bay Area’s Innovation Ecosystem
The San Francisco Bay Area is a vibrant hub of technological innovation, design leadership, and societal change – an ecology in which the MDes is embedded. You’ll engage with practitioners and leaders across a wide range of sectors in the Bay Area, accessing this ecosystem and forging lasting connections throughout your time at Berkeley.
“Silicon Valley hires more alumni from University of California, Berkeley, than any other school, according to a new analysis from online recruiting company HiringSolved.”
Melia Robinson, Business Insider, March 2, 2017.
Read more in this San Francisco Business Times article, “Silicon Valley hires the most alumni from these 10 universities — and none of them are Ivy League,” by Gina Hall, published on May 2, 2017.