For the purpose of the PhD research, we decided to focus on academically trained designers as a definition of designer. The existence of design as an academic degree justifies the original inquiry ‘why aren’t there more designers in the c-suite of F50’. While design training is a growing trend among large corporations, executives have training in many other areas and that does not in itself invalidate the need for specialization. Designers should also aspire to manage design and/or any other area, since many other executives may manage areas different from the ones they were academically trained on.
While secondary research identified bachelor’s degree training for many of the executives accessed through publicly available data sets, there is some visibility of MBA training but very little visibility of other formal design training. There are many discussing as to what consists adequate design training, if it is more time related (1 week vs. 1 year), or origin related (a bona fide design school). We did not attempt to judge or qualify design training, it became a data point open to insight generation.
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