Every so often, I get emails from industrial design students or recent graduates who want to know how they can get a job in the bike industry. I usually ask them to send me any bicycle related projects in their portfolio that I can consider for posting. Quite a few people in the industry read this blog, so the exposure doesn’t hurt if you have a concept that you are particularly proud of. Beyond posting your concept though, I can’t really offer much help (remember, I design products outside of the bike industry). I can say that now is probably the best time ever to get a job designing bicycles; all you have to do is look. I pointed out recently that bicycle sales are on the rise and I think that trend will continue as the industry expands further into markets that it has not traditionally tried to reach. That, of course, means that the number of opportunities for designers at bicycle companies will continue to grow.
In just the past couple of weeks, I have noticed or heard of several bike industry design jobs. An ID position at Giant was featured as the job of the day on a Core 77 post not long ago. Soon after I saw that one, I received an IDSA newsletter, which had a listing for a design position at Serotta. You can read more about that one on their website if you are interested. Finally, I have heard from several people about a few open ID positions at Trek. As far as I know, they are still looking for a staff designer and for an experienced designer to work on helmets. On top of those three, I have heard from headhunters about a few other positions in the industry that are open right now and I am sure there are several more that I don’t know about.
Yep, it’s probably as good a time as ever to break into the bike industry, but I imagine that means stiff competition for design positions as well. The best advice I can give to design students is to work hard and make sure that your portfolio reflects your interests. If you want to design bikes, then take the initiative and work on some personal projects in your free time. If you have any sketches or renderings that you are particularly proud of, send them to me and you might just see them show up in a post.