Our world is rapidly evolving, and with it, the demand for technology is on the rise. As a result, the demand for UX designers is growing with it. For those seeking a fresh start in their career, UX design can offer good pay, opportunities for growth, and a variety of roles within the field to choose from. But starting over can be intimidating, especially if you lack the prior experience and portfolio to tick off that job description’s must-haves. We understand how discouraging that can be. In this beginner’s guide, we'll address these concerns and help you feel empowered to enroll in a UX bootcamp.
I’m thrilled to say, yes! While you do need relevant experience to land a great job, you don’t need any specific experience with UX design to start a bootcamp. The mass appeal of UX being multidisciplinary is that your experiences in other fields equip you with transferable skills that not only assist you in your transition to UX design but make you interesting to potential employers who are looking for a unique perspective.
Meet Leslie Garcia, an Avocademy graduate who started the program with no experience, and is now working as a product designer. Leslie became her father’s caregiver at 22 years old, and is proof that our unique circumstances are what makes UX better. These experiences allowed her to enter a bootcamp with a hands-on perspective on what humans need, and where UX can be improved. The bootcamp took her skills and applied them to real-world projects, equipping her with the skills and portfolio to make her job-ready.
Note that bootcamp requirements vary, but most are made for beginners looking to start from scratch.
Now that you’ve met Leslie, let’s explore what skills could be useful, or even necessary to your bootcamp experience!
While we’ve shown that you do not need all the technical skills prior to enrolling in a UX bootcamp, you’ll need to have some basic computer skills. In a UX bootcamp, you’ll be taught various tools, software, and frameworks, so it’s necessary to know how to navigate a computer easily before jumping into more complex systems.
UX designers create solutions to meet the needs of users. For this reason, it’s important to be skilled in problem-solving and critical thinking so that you can identify, anticipate, and understand current or potential problems to create effective solutions.
As the name might imply, user experience is about the human experience. UX design is a collaborative field that requires teamwork and strong relationships. To be successful, a UX designer must build strong relationships, be empathetic, communicate concepts clearly, build trust, and conduct user research directly with the user in a way that welcomes honest feedback.
This one is optional, as a bootcamp will provide you with this knowledge, but it could be helpful to brush up on some basics before your first day of bootcamp!
Lastly, you should really have the desire and dedication to pursue UX. UX can be an easy field to get the hang of, with the help of a bootcamp, but that alone won’t guarantee you a job. It’s important that you enjoy learning, and continue that energy throughout your career because the needs of the world and its users are always changing.
All these skills can come from a range of backgrounds, including: psychology, education, graphic design, copywriting, caregiving, computer science, and retail.
Check out this Guac article for specific ways to transfer your skills to UX design.
Before you join a UX design bootcamp, read about UX design basics so that you can explore why you’re motivated to pursue this career. While it’s a great alternative to formal education at a university, it’s still a financial and time commitment. You should understand the purpose of UX design and why you want to be part of it. Finding your reason for making the jump will help you weigh the worth of a program, as well as clearly set your educational and professional goals.
You can prepare for a UX bootcamp by:
Another useful way to prepare for your bootcamp is by practicing programs like Figma! Figma is a great place to start as it can be easy to learn and available for free via web application. But don’t worry if you need some help! That’s why you're joining a bootcamp with access to lessons, mentors, and peers. Make sure to utilize a support network, whether that’s your family rooting for you, or working with your peers to support each other’s goals.
Don’t let a lack of prior experience stop you. A bootcamp will give you everything you need to make the switch in under a year. Sign up for a free mentor call so we can help you feel confident in enrolling in a UX bootcamp today!
Amanda Molina is an SEO content writer who loves palm trees, books, and glassblowing. She enjoys her avocados diced with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.