Choosing a career path can be tricky, especially if art and design are involved. When it comes to UX designing, it’s a relatively new and emerging field. So, if you have dozens of confusions being a novice or someone who has scored some degree of UX experience and wants to lean in more, let us tell you it’s completely alright. Just sit down, take a deep breath, and consider these questions before you dive in straight.
Questions like, should you join a Bootcamp or go for a full-on degree? Is certification enough to get started? Should you go for a skill-based program? And more could be on your mind. If these sound relatable to you, then you’ve stopped by the right place! In this article, you’ll explore the personal priorities to consider before you choose UX as a career, types of courses, and essentials for selecting a program. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Deciding on a career is a lot about finding your calling. It’s a very personal and subjective choice. So, before you decide on what and how to study, consider your instincts and situational priorities.
Instincts because they allow you to understand what you exactly want from your career. For instance, some may want to make money, and some may want to raise the bar with their exceptional designs. And then, you consider situational priorities to ease the learning process. Below given are the few priority factors every UX design aspirant should consider-
Where?- Unfortunately, many of the highly developed corners of the world do not have shiny opportunities for UXers. Newbies should wisely consider where they want to study and commit to a job by looking at that area’s network and growth prospects.
How?- You have to explore a bunch of courses to crack how you want to study. For some, an online course is enough as they know how to stay motivated; some may believe in practical learning and start working or scour more through higher studies.
What?- Your education will win you the title you aspire for. So, you have to decide whether you want to be called a certified designer, a designer with a master’s degree, or a designer simply with first-hand experience.
When?-The timing is again, extremely subjective. Do you want to study design without any skills? Or do you want to take up a course after becoming financially stable?
How Much?- You cannot rush your resources without thinking twice. First, consider whether you are prepared to invest your time and money into studying design or would you rather pursue a job. Calculate how much time a course or job will take to land you to where you wish to be finally.
The kind of program you choose should meet your needs and aspirations. Broadly speaking, these are the primary courses you may consider-
There are four major categories of courses UX designers can consider. Certified vs. non-certified courses, employment vs. skill targeted courses, guidance programs, and syllabi-based courses.
Certified vs. non-certified courses
If authorized education means a great deal to you, gaining UX certification may be the right option. Also, if you are located where certification is mandatory, it becomes a necessity rather than a choice. But, as everything has its pros and cons, certified courses can be costly and time-consuming compared to non-certified courses. In addition, you can find many non-certified UX courses equipped to be primarily focused on your targeted career goals.
Employment vs. Methodology targeted courses
Employment-focused UX programs teach designers all the key designing steps and design deliverables. Generally, they are of a shorter duration offering some career guidance. So, they can serve a decent purpose to novice designers. On the other hand, courses focused on methods and strategy can benefit people with some experience. They may not be very budget-friendly, but they can provide an exclusive focus on UX design. In addition, they are typically designed to expand the horizon of designers and enable them to design with innovation and contemporary cultural trends.
UX programs that value guidance and expert support can vary. Some programs arrange periodic guidance sessions with experts and students, whereas others are inherently guidance-led. The one that suits your learning style and boosts your confidence is ‘the one’ you need to chase.
Schools follow different approaches to teach UX design. Some may offer structured live classes, while others simply provide learning material with assignments. You have to select the course according to your suitable learning preference. Before enrolling, read the course outline carefully and understand all the information regarding instruction methods.
Essentials of UX Design Program
Whether you choose a Bootcamp or a master’s degree, some principles are inherent to learning UX. An empathy and portfolio-focused program that ensures you seek knowledge from industry experts may fulfill the preconditions to make you a brilliant UXer.
It should balance out the study of people and technology- Indeed, UX designers must be proficient with design processes as well as design tools such as Figma, Adobe, and more. However, creating a design in sync with all the intricate details requires being human-centered and empathy-driven. After all, UX is all about delivering an exquisite experience to people.
It should focus on the portfolio- UX is a field where portfolios hold immense relevance. So, before enrolling in a UX program, ensure that it allows you to procure hands-on project experience and build a shiny portfolio.
Taught by UX professionals- While doing your research for UX programs, chaff out the ones taught by the field experts. Dig out some more information regarding the experience of the organization or teachers who’re offering the course to select the most legit one.
Studying Design Will Be Worthwhile
UX is an interdisciplinary field, a blend of computer science, humanities, and, of course, design. So, before you start the grind, take a closer look at the UX course, ensuring it’s a synthesis of human and tech studies because, ultimately, UX is all about creating an amazing user experience for humans. Not to forget the course’s curriculum and job prospects, which should better be in sync with your final goals. Most importantly, remember UX is an ever-expanding field. Many people jump into it without understanding what lies ahead. So, as technology and cultural trends evolve, designing will also evolve simultaneously. Thus, it’s imperative to choose wisely, keep learning, and set your strengths if you wish to establish your mark!