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)
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.
“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 about the career paths of recent UC Berkeley alumni that are bringing together design and technology in innovative ways.
- Shana Hu | B.A. Computer Science ’16: Creative Technologist at Pinterest
- Diane Wang | B.A. Computer Science: Lead UX Designer at Google’s Daydream Labs
The Growing Reach of Design
- The Design Management Institute’s 2015 Design Value Index shows design-driven companies outperforming the S&P 500 by 211% from 2005 to 2015.
- New Enterprise Associates’ 2016 Design in Startups Survey found that 87% of startups believe that design is important or very important; 31% of startups surveyed, in fact, had a designer founder.