It can typically help to have some business management skills, such as brainstorming and business plan writing before starting to learn prototyping. This is because the ideas generally need to exist and be in at least the early stages before prototyping begins. It also typically helps to have computer skills, strong reading skills, communications skills, and good people skills. Additionally, graphic design skills can be useful for creating visual images of products so potential customers can see a realistic representation of the item that is being prototyped.
People who are creative and analytical are typically best suited for roles in prototyping. This is because it generally takes creativity to develop new products, and then analytical skills can be applied to figure out ways to polish it and make it more user-friendly. People who enjoy a challenge can be well suited to this area because it can sometimes take multiple attempts to finally arrive at an end result that delivers a positive user experience. Additionally, people who are enthusiastic about using technology on a daily basis tend to be well suited for prototyping roles.
People who work in prototyping typically make either digital products or physical products. Some common job titles include prototype engineer, prototype scientist, and prototype technician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary in the US for prototype specialists who worked in software development as of 2017 was $107,600. Prototype specialists also can typically find work in fields like graphic design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and industrial design.
Some topics you can study that are related to prototyping include UX design, research techniques, and low-fidelity prototyping techniques. Software prototyping techniques could also be explored. You could study technical writing to learn about ways to prepare a written design rationale. You could also study cultural attributes that affect ways to design for specific populations. Creativity and entrepreneurship are related topics you could study if you enjoy the idea of entering into your own business venture with the prototypes you develop. Additionally, you could study specific industries and how they relate to prototyping, such as aeronautics, game design, and metallurgy.
This FAQ content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.