Designing Your Career

This online course uses a design thinking approach to help people of any age and academic background develop a constructive and effective approach to designing their vocation. This course is primarily comprised of 5 career-oriented vocational way-finding concepts, illustrated through videos and expanded through personal reflections and exercises.

Designing Your Career is a course created by the Stanford Life Design Lab that helps individuals design their lives and careers.


There are no prerequisites for this course. People of all backgrounds, and at any stage of their career are welcome.

Course Staff

John Armstrong, Lecturer and Fellow, Stanford Life Design Lab
Ben Bowman, Stanford Life Design Lab Intern
Kathy Davies, Managing Director, Stanford Life Design Lab
Dave Evans, Co-Founder, Stanford Life Design Lab
Bill Burnett, Co-Founder, Stanford Life Design Lab

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not a student at Stanford. Can I still take this course?
Yes! This online course is based on a class Designing Your Life. One of the goals of using the online medium is to make these ideas available to anyone who could benefit from them.

I see "Design" in the course title. Will we learn Design Thinking?
The content, exercises, and activities in this course are applications of many of the components of design thinking, and this course is a practical way of using design thinking for your career. However, this course is not intended to be an introduction to design thinking. For an intro to design thinking, check out this virtual crash course. For a more on applying the design thinking process to your life and career, check out the best-selling Designing Your Life Book.

How much work will this be?
This course is designed to be flexible and adaptive to the needs of each user. The course is structured around a set of videos, with activities and exercises that correspond to each video subject. You could choose to breeze through the course in an hour, or you could choose to dive deep, take extra time to reflect, consult with other resources, and finish over the course of a few weeks. This course is a tool; it's up to you how you use it.

Is there a Statement of Accomplishment available for this course?
No. This course is intended to be reflective and give you some tools to engage with the resources around you.

I'm a student at Stanford. Are there similar courses I could take?
Yes! You can check out our main course offerings here. Each course is tailored to a specific student population.

Course Page
Paid after free trial
Online, self-paced, EdX
Stanford School of Engineering