Next Level

RIT Launches new MicroMasters Program in Design Thinking

Feb 13 2018 - 7:53am

Above image of Dan Harel, courtesy: Elizabeth Lamark

The site of IDSA's Northeast District Design Conference 2018 is launching a new Design Thinking MicroMasters program with edX—the nonprofit learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT. The courses through Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will teach how design thinking can be used to solve problems creatively, collaboratively and empathetically. Participants can earn a credential to show employers, and apply that credential toward earning an accelerated and reduced-cost master’s degree in professional studies from RIT.

“Design thinking is an inclusive and creative methodology that promotes user understanding and collaborative product development process to solve problems,” Dan Harel, adjunct professor of industrial design at RIT who will be teaching the offerings, tells us. 

"As a university with expertise in technology, arts and design, RIT is uniquely positioned to deliver this program because of their multidisciplinary expertise and focus,” says Anant Agarwal, edX CEO and MIT professor. 

Did you know:

  • A recent McKinsey poll shows 84 percent of global executives report innovation is extremely important to their growth strategies, but 94 percent are dissatisfied with their organizations’ innovation performance.
  • reports the corporate world has seen an explosion of innovation programs in the past few years, with 38 percent of the leading 200 companies setting up innovation centers in a global tech hub.
  • The top in-demand skills, as listed by World Economic Forum, include complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and emotional intelligence.

The Design Thinking MicroMasters program begins in April 2018. "It's allowing multiple stakeholders to discover tools that make design process unique, powerful and successful for meeting user’s needs and wants," says Alex Lobos, IDSA, graduate director and associate professor of industrial design. "RIT is excited to offer this MicroMasters to the EdX community, making the course and its important content available to a wide range of users and learners around the world. We're excited for the continued attention, recognition and value that design is receiving in today’s marketplace."

In 2016, RIT became one of the first universities to offer a MicroMasters program with edX.

RIT is the site of IDSA's Northeast District Design Conference, set for April 13 to 14, 2018.