The field of packaging includes disciplines of engineering, graphic design, project management, advertising, and material science. Every product manufactured from health care and beauty products to washing machines and drugs require packages to protect and sell the product.
Almost every firm that makes a physical product has a packaging department with 20-40 individuals engaged specifically in packaging technology and applied engineering. A huge multinational like Johnson and Johnson can employ hundreds of individuals involved with some area of packaging their products.
The Packaging Program is one of a handful of programs in the USA providing technical expertise in the multidisciplinary field. The number of potential jobs for graduates and careers available with a background in packaging is driven by the uniqueness of the skills learned by the students but also by the fact that there are very few places to learn the skills necessary to design and develop package systems.
The number of positions available combined with the fact that there are only a handful of schools in the USA teaching Packaging creates a situation where Packaging has a 100% placement rate. In fact there are more jobs available than candidates available to fill them. This has been the fact for the last 40years since Michigan State University began the first Packaging program at the request of Industry looking for people with package design skill sets.
Career development is another key advantage of an individual involved with packaging. Packaging professionals engage with almost every group in an organization, marketing, production purchasing, legal, product development, and graphics. A firm values individuals that have a broad picture of the operations and packaging interacts with these groups as part of their daily tasks. This makes individuals with packaging backgrounds valuable to a company as they understand how all of the operations combine and work together to accomplish corporate goals.