for the Shortage of High-Quality Industrial Design Educators
John Novak, Assistant Professor | University of Louisiana, Lafayette
Over the past decade, industrial design has been described repeatedly as one of the hottest career choices of our time. We’ve seen the practice featured on national television, in major business magazines, and in highly publicized exhibits. In spite of the recent economic downturn, many jobs have remained secure, and we have experienced some handsome salary increases as a profession.
Unfortunately, university industrial design programs nationwide are experiencing difficulties caused by the scarcity of qualified candidates needed to fill vacant faculty positions that are being created by both program growth and the retirement of aging faculty. It seems that universities (where industrial designers may be needed the most) may have forgotten the principles of supply and demand, and are seemingly oblivious to the marketing savvy required to attract talent, which is not limited to the competitive workplace, but to design education as well.
This paper discusses compensation, incentives, tenure, and lifestyle as topics in the text, but in addition to these, perhaps there are other issues that can provide an understanding of why talented designers are not being attracted to education.