Learning development skills

On the applied research side, one of the continuous efforts at the Design Factory is understanding the skills needed for effective development efforts and how these can be acquired.

In one of our most recent efforts, we tracked down over 200 alumni from the PDP course already in the workforce, asking what they considered most useful in hindsight. See some of the results below!


In 2017, 272 PDP alumni who had taken the course between 1999 and 2016 reported through surveys and interviews what had been key learnings from the course and what they needed in their development efforts in their professional work.

Skills learned through the course

  • 64% multidisciplinary & multicultural teamwork
  • 31% managing people, projects & tasks
  • 30% development process & practices
  • 21% communication & networking
  • 15% understanding one’s role, confidence & curiosity

Where do PDP alumni end up?

  • 37% work in design or engineering positions
  • 22% work in a managerial position, double that for those who acted as student project managers during the course
  • 16% are entrepreneurs
  • 9% work in research
  • 7% work in consulting

Skills used in worklife

  • 69% attitudes like confidence, curiosity, and persistence
  • 34% user-centered design, prototyping and defining problems
  • 33% multidisciplinary and multicultural teamwork
  • 25% communication and networking
  • 16% managing people, projects and tasks


Tua BjörklundLearning development skills