Careers

Study Design. Do Anything.

What can I do with a Design major?

Our recent graduates have gotten great jobs in technology, consulting, and government, while many also pursue graduate school in the humanities or sciences. A significant percentage also pursue full-time service work for a year or more, seeking to make a difference in the world by helping others.

Skills you'll learn

  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to draw on multiple means (visual, oral, written, media–related) to communicate novel ideas to others
  • Ability to take complex and often abstract problems or ideas and make them visual, physical, tangible; often translating the verbal into the non-verbal
  • Keen observation and the ability to see new and unexpected patterns
  • Integrate and use core creative abilities more often and more consistently than do students in almost all other fields of study
  • Capacity to bring people, power, and resources together to implement novel ideas
  • Ability to heed critical feedback to revise and improve an idea
  • Ability to risk failure by taking initiative in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty
  • Awareness of visual and tactile aesthetics, human behavior, human proportion, material, process, and the responsible appropriation of resources, during and after use

Ashley Ceniceros ’08

Internal medicine physician

“Working in the Design program with a lot of other really creative people allows you to learn to collaborate and bounce ideas off one another. Critiques and brainstorming are just a part of the process, and it made me work that into my everyday life. I learned how to look at every little thing critically and think about how to make it better," says Ashley Ceniceros who majored in design. “At my hospital and clinic, I use my design experience every day. At the core of design is learning how to find and define a problem, then develop a solution to that problem. Medicine is exactly the same thing"

  • Ashley Ceniceros ’08

    Internal medicine physician

    “Working in the Design program with a lot of other really creative people allows you to learn to collaborate and bounce ideas off one another. Critiques and brainstorming are just a part of the process, and it made me work that into my everyday life. I learned how to look at every little thing critically and think about how to make it better," says Ashley Ceniceros who majored in design. “At my hospital and clinic, I use my design experience every day. At the core of design is learning how to find and define a problem, then develop a solution to that problem. Medicine is exactly the same thing"

  • Brandon Keelean ’13

    Senior designer, 50,000 feet

    “Design is a way to solve problems. It’s a way of thinking where you iterate and explore lots of different solutions—and that’s really intriguing and exciting. “Every day is a new challenge, so instead of learning one specific knowledge base, I get to learn about a lot of them. Each new project is a chance to learn more about social issues or communication problems or corporations and what their goals and aspirations are.”

  • Mansour Ourasanah '07

    Senior Designer, Whirlpool's Advance Studio

    Mansour Ourasanah, an Industrial Design alum, is a senior designer for Whirlpool’s Advanced Studio in Chicago, where his role is to create innovative user-centric solutions for a new generation of global and hyper-connected consumers. His work focuses on the importance of storytelling in the design of products that address complex emotional and environmental challenges.

    His project, LEPSIS: The Art of Growing Grasshoppers — a vessel that can be used to grow insects for food in efforts to promote sustainable meat production and consumption amongst urban populations — is one example of his achievements in the design arena.

  • Justin Schneider '11

    Founder, Wolf & Shepherd

    Justin Schneider, Industrial Design alum, was awarded the grand prize at the 2015 McCloskey Business Plan Competition, hosted by the Mendoza College of Business. His company, Wolf & Shepherd, creates high-end footwear with high-performance comfort. Justin also won the Irish Angels award, giving Wolf & Shepherd the opportunity to pitch its plan to 90+ Limited partners of VC firm with 67% of companies pitching receiving funding from asking price. Justin Schneider was also recognized in January 2017, as a Forbes 30 under 30 honoree in the retail and eCommerce industry.

  • Eileen Murphy '14

    Product Designer, New York Times

    Eileen Murphy is a Product Designer at the New York Times specializing in video and virtual reality products across all Times' platforms and properties. Most recently, her team released The Daily 360, an unprecedented journalist endeavor to publish one new 360 virtual reality video on every platform each day for over a year. Eileen was the primary product designer for The Daily 360, creating an intuitive and cohesive watching experience across the NYT website, mobile site, iOS and Android native apps. 360 videos transport viewers directly to the center of the story; immersing them into the scene and allowing them to explore the surroundings for themselves.

93% of Notre Dame Design majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, or launched independent projects within six months of graduation.

66% find full-time jobs

  • Analyst, Treacy & Company
  • Assistant, Assembly Design Studio
  • Assistant brand manager, Whirlpool
  • Associate graphic designer, Accenture
  • Associate industrial Designer, Newell Brands
  • Associate visual communication designer, Radio Flyer
  • Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Creative designer, Myzone
  • Customer Success & User Research, Allseated
  • Department technical director, DreamWorks Animation
  • Design consultant, Deloitte
  • Designer and digital marketing associate, RMS Companies
  • Director of legislative affairs, Bachner Group
  • Graphic artist, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Graphic artist, Signature Promotional Group
  • Graphic designer, Fuzati
  • Graphic designer, Denver Broncos
  • Head designer, Brokeandboard
  • Industrial designer, Brunswick Boat Group
  • Industrial designer, Wilddesign
  • Interior designer, Havenly
  • Lead Designer, Resonado
  • Marketing associate, Flashtalking
  • Marketing associate, Resonado Labs
  • Marketing and sales analyst, Jacobsen|Daniels
  • Mechanical design engineer, Advantest
  • Product designer, Zotec Partners
  • Product designer, Expert Institute
  • Product designer, LinkedIn Corporation
  • Project manager, Digitas
  • Search and social analyst, Stardom
  • Senior graphic designer, Vedia NYC
  • Software engineer, Microsoft
  • Structural engineer, Interlake Mecalux
  • UX designer, Global Payments Inc.
  • Visual designer, Uptake
  • Workplace strategist, CBRE Group
     

Our alumni leave Notre Dame with an expansive worldview and a variety of real-world skills.

Employers love that our students are passionate, curious, and socially engaged. Once on the job, they find that our Design graduates are critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and collaborators.

They are the embodiment of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters’ motto: our students study everything so that they can do anything.

13% go to graduate or professional school

  • Architecture: Yale University
  • Art and technology: University of Florida
  • Fine Arts: Parsons School of Design
  • Graphic design: North Carolina State University
  • Industrial design: Interior Design Institute
  • Integrated innovation for products and services: Carnegie Mellon University
  • Landscape Architecture: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Going on to graduate or professional school after earning a degree in Design is a fantastic opportunity to branch out into a new area or dive in-depth into a subject focused on as an undergraduate. 

A senior thesis is a great way to prepare for grad school — it demonstrates the ability to do serious research and independent work.

5% enter service programs

  • Alliance for Catholic Education, Oakland, California
  • Franciscan Volunteer Ministry, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, Portland, Oregon
  • Teach for America, Miami, Florida
     

Postgraduate service can be a life-changing experience and provide Design students with transferable skills for the next step in their careers.

Every year, approximately 20 percent of the graduating senior class in Arts and Letters make a one- to two-year commitment to serve in areas such as public and private education, family and children services, after-school programs, developing countries, and non-governmental organizations.

9% launch independent projects

Note: Outcomes data comes from First Destination reports, a survey of recent graduates conducted by the Notre Dame Center for Career Development and Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research. Status is known for more than 90% of each graduating class. 

Independent projects include activities such as writing a novel, making a film or fine arts project, traveling the world, caring for a family member, etc.

Further Reading

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