Design education .What are your options?

Human beings are in essence designers because they solve problems on a daily basis. However, to follow a career in design, calls for more than a natural ability to solve problems. Ideally a designer should be trained to apply practical methods, incorporate prior knowledge, and combine these with natural talent to solve new problems. This is where design education comes in.

There are many fields of design, ranging from industrial and engineering design, through to interior, fashion, jewellery, software, communication design and more. All of these fields offer exciting and challenging careers - to "thinkers" and "doers" alike.

Although many people do operate as self-taught designers, it is imperative that a good basic education be the starting point. Training in design will equip the prospective designer with the relevant techniques, properties of materials, production methods and latest trends. Other reasons to opt for formal design training are that it opens up options, gives advice and direction, offers networking opportunities with other designers and make you more employable.

In South Africa it is possible to formally study most of the design fields – be it on a full-time or part- time basis. Potential students can choose from design, architecture and engineering courses offered by research universities, opt for more practical and job-orientated design training at universities of technology or register at a host of private colleges and design schools. Click here ( ) to find more information on design education options in South Africa.

Design and the role that designers play in our country’s economic and social development are widely recognised. Designers are often the creators of their own career opportunities, so an inherent feel for entrepreneurship would stand the would-be designer in good stead. If you combine initiative, enterprise, enthusiasm, commitment and perseverance with your natural talent, the sky is the limit for a rewarding career in design.