Ultimate Guide to Kick-start your Career in Design Engineering


Design engineering is a very exciting profession, with many opportunities for creativity. Regardless of whether you are a mechanical or an automotive engineer, it can be a starting point for you to diverge into other fields because of the many opportunities it opens up.

So, without further ado, let's dive right into the realm of design engineering and how you can enter this career.



What Is Design Engineering? 

Design engineering is essentially a methodical procedure of bringing to life an idea or a concept of a product.  

Every product starts with a hypothesis. The hypothesis then evolves into an idea. This process is known as ideation. The idea is then gradually transformed into multiple prototypes and iterated until the architecture of the final product is as intended.  

As a design engineer, you will be required to ideate and design components or fixtures of a product. For example, you may be involved in the designing process of the chassis of a car, the swing arm of a bike, or the fairings for a rocket that carries satellites into outer space.

In much simpler words, design engineering transforms your imagination as an engineer into reality in the form of a finished product. 


Is Design Engineering Right for You? 

The profession of a design engineer is versatile: compared to other sub-fields of engineering, it is not limited or restricted to people of a particular niche.

So, it really does not matter much which engineering background you are from; you can always find your path into the world of designing. You can be successful in this field by developing relevant skills and learning industrial design software. 

Let's take a look at some prerequisites of becoming a design engineer. This will help you decide if this is the right profession for you.

  1. Be creative
  2. Good problem-solving ability
  3. Have an exploratory mindset


1. Be Creative

Design engineering is a profession where creativity meets engineering and functionality. Every product should not only be 100% functional but also be aesthetically pleasing.

Design always starts at the drawing board. Hence, you should be adept at drawing and sketching 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional objects. This skill can be easily gained through repetitive practice.


2. Good Problem-Solving Ability

As a design engineer, you are likely to face technical issues when creating or testing a product. In some cases, your conceptual design may be highly functional and efficient, but you may have to make modifications in a way that saves your company's time and money. 

In the face of these roadblocks, design engineers must rely on open-ended problem-solving. You must have a sharp mind that can quickly tune into looking at problems from various perspectives.


3. Have an Exploratory Mindset

An exploratory mindset is a great thing to have if you choose design engineering as a career path. To arrive at solutions for real-world problems, you need to think not only in one direction but also laterally. You should be open to criticisms and explore options that may even be unconventional and counter-intuitive.


How to Set Foot Into This Career Path? 

As mentioned before, placement for design engineers is open to almost everyone. With enough persistence and dedication, you can kickstart a career in this field. Here is a roadmap to get you started: 

  1. Learn 3D modeling software.
  2. Advanced courses for design engineers.
  3. Apply for jobs online and attend interviews.
  4. Networking.



1. Learn 3D Modelling Software 

The core strength of design engineers lies in their ability to work with 3D software. Being proficient in Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is essential for a sterling career as a design engineer.  

The type of software you use to model your design will vary according to the company you work for. For example, SolidWorks is a popular solid modeling tool, whereas Catia or NX-CAD is widely used for sheet metal and surface designs.  


2. Advanced Courses for Design Engineers 

Getting certified provides you with an edge over other aspirants looking to become design engineers. This also helps you stand apart from the crowd in the eyes of the employer. To succeed in this profession, learn everything from ideation to plastic design and mold design, including Body in White (BiW) design. 


3. Apply for Jobs Online and Attend Interviews 

Once you are well-versed with all concepts of design engineering, it is time for you to start applying for jobs. Do not expect to get hired in the first try. Although design engineering a refined niche, it is also very competitive. Hence, apply to as many design engineering jobs as you can and stay optimistic.  

Take advantage of any opportunities for walk-in interviews. It is a great way to quickly get in touch with the employer and maximize your chances of getting hired. 


4. Networking 

Maintaining a large and good network is recommended at every point in your career. LinkedIn is a great platform for you to start professionally connecting with people in the same field. A good network also eases the process of securing your job placement.



What Is Expected From You as a Design Engineer Candidate? 

Here are three expectations that every good design engineer must meet:

  1. Willing to be creatively challenged
  2. Passion for design
  3. Ability to socialize


1. Willing to Be Creatively Challenged 

Design engineers must try to incorporate client or company requirements in their designs while also keeping an eye out for labor and material costs. These challenges require not just mathematical or logical problem-solving skills but also coming up with creative solutions. 


2. Passion for Design 

Design engineer candidates must be passionate about design, functionality, and design software. You must have a natural sense of curiosity to examine the way things are built and pay attention to the significant but often overlooked aspects of design.



3. Ability to Socialize 

Design engineers are expected to be socially active and often work in teams. Since design engineering calls for solving real-world problems, it pays to look at the problem from the eyes of multiple people. Different perspectives are achieved only through meeting people and getting to know them.  

One way to meet new people and gain deeper insight is to attend the design events happening around you. Look up the internet and stay up to date on surrounding events. 


What Will You Learn as a Design Engineer? 

Growth for design engineers is immense from both a career as well as a personality standpoint. Design engineering exposes you to a great variety of fields and sculpts you professionally due to its nature of working hand-in-hand with multiple divisions of a company. Here are some of them: 

  1. Manufacturing methods
  2. Material sciences
  3. Marketing


1. Manufacturing Methods 

A design may be aesthetically pleasing and functional, but it must also be compatible with your company's manufacturing equipment. A design that can only be additively manufactured will pose a limitation if all you have access to are CNC machines. 

Once you understand the process of manufacturing, you can work in accordance with the limitations and availability of resources while also thinking outside the box. 


2. Material Sciences 

The ability of a product to tolerate real-world stress-strain scenarios relies on the material you choose for your design. Working knowledge of material sciences can help you identify the thickness and durability of various building elements. With this knowledge, you can improve the quality, usability, and aesthetic appeal of your design. 


3. Marketing 

It's necessary to familiarize yourself with marketing techniques so that you can help your company sell and price your designs in a way that generates maximum revenue. You might be required to work hand-in-hand with the marketing team to make the product more appealing to the general public based on the available analytics. 




So, is design engineering as a career worth it? The answer is a definitive yes!  

With the number of startups increasing by every passing day, your opportunity to start a career in design engineering also increases. Furthermore, with India expected to witness a manufacturing boom in the future, career growth for design engineers looks greatly optimistic!  

Skill-Lync offers curated engineering design courses that will elevate your skills to an expert level in an unprecedented amount of time. Learn more about our Design Engineer Master's Certification Program by clicking here


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