How To Find a Job or Graduate School in Human-Computer Interaction, Interaction, or Industrial Design

(Updated January 2016 to add the Coursera on-line course sequence (by Prof. Scott Klemmer) and my short, two-week course on Udacity.)

I'm frequently asked how to find a job or a place to study, either in industrial design or user-interface design (Human-Computer Interaction). Rather than answer it anew each time, let me summarize my answer here.

The basic question goes something like this:

"I am a student (or someone who is very excited by this field, but without experience) and I want to now how to get started. How do I find a job? Do I need a graduate degree? If so, where? ..."

The answer is simple: You either need real work experience or a graduate degree, or both. I cannot tell you what to do. Good advice has to come from someone who knows you, who knows your interests, training, and skills. I cannot acquire that in an email message or two. So, seek out knowledgeable mentors where you live. Seek professors that you trust. Go to meetings of societies (see below). Read magazines and journals to learn who is doing what, where: then write to those people about their work.