So you want to be a designer...

But what does that really mean?

The design and creative technology industries are broad and encompass many unique career paths. The School of Design and Creative Technologies (SDCT) groups these paths into two departments: Design and Arts and Entertainment Technologies. Below you'll find a handful of specializations that fall within these fields.

Although the departments are separate, there is substantial overlap between many of these disciplines. Students who choose to pursue a degree in Design will learn skills that are relevant for careers in Arts and Entertainment Technologies and vice versa. The School of Design and Creative Technologies encourages students to explore the many options their studies may afford.

Careers in Design

At its core, design is about solving problems with people in mind. In addition to encompassing a vast array of specializations, design also plays a role in engineering, architecture, computer science, entrepreneurship, and more. This list is not exhaustive but rather provides an overview of the design skillsets taught at SDCT.

Product Designer

student sits on star-shaped chair designed for Objects and Spaces classes

Product Design is the creation and iteration of consumer products. This includes the form, aesthetics, and function of a tangible product or service.





Interaction Designer

consumer interacting with Panoptica website on a desktop computer

Interaction Design (IxD) is the design of interactive products and services. IxD goes a step beyond product design by focusing on the ways in which users interact with a product or service. IxD is also a large component of User Experience (UX) Design.




UX/UI Designer

screenshot of back-end of UX/UI creation process in Unity

UX/UI stands for User Experience and User Interface Design. UX focuses on how a user interface works, while UI is concerned with how it appears. The two terms are often grouped together, but they are distinct from one another. Learn more about the difference between UX and UI here.



Industrial Designer

student showcases clothing line designed for senior capstone

Industrial Design (ID) was born out of the Industrial Revolution and traditionally focuses on a product's physical appearance, functionality, and potential for mass production. Today, ID is highly iterative and interdisciplinary, requiring industrial designers to wear many hats throughout the design process.




Graphic Designer

person using their smartphone to interact with VR-enabled posters designed by SDCT students

Arguably the best recognized design discipline, Graphic Design is a form of communication using visual elements, including typography, photography, iconography and illustration.





Healthcare Designer

Jose Colucci gives a tour of the Design Institute for Health. Photo by Lawrence Peart.

Design in Health reimagines health systems to work better for people by embedding human-centered design practices in medical education, clinics and hospitals, the patient experience, and more.





Careers in Arts and Entertainment Technologies

Our Arts and Entertainment Technologies (AET) program is designed to facilitate the creation of new works and inventions that expand and transform the arts. AET emphasis areas focus on the intersection of design and technology in the world of new media. As with Design, this list is not exhaustive but rather provides an overview of the skillsets taught at SDCT.

Game Design

a behind-the-scenes look at animating 3D robot hands in realtime

Game Design is an expansive field that entails skills like worldbuilding, scripting, modding, sound design, 2-D and 3-D art, and more. Drawing from the fields of computer science, creative writing, and graphic design, game designers make the creative decisions that bring video games to life.

Potential job opportunities upon graduation: Level Designer, Technical Artist, Environment Artist, Producer


Digital Visualization

UT Austin student animating for the 2019 VR Game Jam at the School of Design and Creative Technologies

Digital Visualization careers include visual content providers and artists for a wide range of activities including: motion graphics and digital video editing, 3-D modeling, character animation, concept art and many other commercial and conceptual artistic pursuits.

Potential job opportunities upon graduation: 2-D Production Artist, 3-D Production Artist, Animator, Motion Graphics Artist, Concept Art Developer, Art Director




2-D/3-D Animation

Sketch for Intro to 2D

Animation is the process of creating a series of images that translate into movement, as seen in movies, commercials, television programs, and video games. Animators may specialize in a specific facet of the animation pipeline, such as characters, scenery, or technical direction.




Themed Entertainment

AET student presentation of projection, lighting and interactivity projects from Matt Smith's class at SDCT

Themed Entertainment converges lighting, projection, digital media, gaming technology and interactive systems to enable digital live experiences. Designers who specialize in themed entertainment utilize these tools to create engaging, immersive, and interactive live environments.

Potential job opportunities upon graduation: Lighting Programmer, Media Programmer, Interactivity Designer, Lighting Designer, Media Designer, Interactive Systems Developer, 3-D Mapping Specialist



Music and Sound

Wide shot of student performing in the foreground while instructors observe in the background

Music and Sound designers are skilled in the hardware, software and creative practices of contemporary music and sound design. The music and sound design process entails audio processing, synthesis, and sampling to create original tracks and sound for games, screen, branding and interactive live events.

Potential job opportunities upon graduation: Sound Designer (for theatre, film or games), Film Music and/or SFX Composer, Game Music Composer, Game Audio Specialist, Sound Engineer, Songwriter/Performer, Commercial and/or Brand Music Composer



Experience Design

Experience Design (XD) is the practice of designing engaging experiences for people. A designed experience can include products, processes, services, events, journeys, and environments that focus on the quality of user experience.

Featured: Collaborative Escape Room Project

UT Austin students and faculty from the College of Fine Arts and Cockrell School of Engineering designed and built a futuristic, climate-based escape room using input from scientists.

The project was based on a concept by Sven Ortel and Michael Baker: "In the near future, four researchers are stranded on a distressed weather research station in the Gulf of Mexico during a violent hurricane. With their rescue pod disabled and the storm gaining strength by the minute, they must find a way to warn the mainland of the coming disaster and escape the station before it’s too late."

Learn More

Ready to Apply?

If the School of Design and Creative Technologies sounds like a good fit for you, we encourage you to apply! Learn more about our admissions processes here.

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