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How Can You Learn UX Design?

career change Jan 11, 2022

UX design is a new and exciting field, attracting new and excited faces. The question now is, how do I learn the skills of the trade? There are three typical ways to learn UX Design:

Each one comes with its own pros and cons. And of course, combining some (or all) of them is going to cover the most bases. But let’s discuss the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

UX Design Learning Pathways Pros and Cons

 

  • Attending a bootcamp

 

Pros:

  • Bootcamps are typically the quickest way to start a UX design career, with most taking 2-10 months to complete. 
  • They are focused on the topic with no extra fluff. Bootcamps also tend to prioritize practice-based learning, which is important in UX design.
  • Because they’re relatively short, bootcamps are nimble and can adjust their curriculum quickly. This is a feature not to be underestimated in a tech field like UX design, where everything can change in a matter of months.  

Cons:

  • What you get can vary from bootcamp to bootcamp. Some provide you with a mentor who can offer invaluable career guidance, while others only provide you feedback from your fellow students. 
  • Prices vary greatly too, from around $2,000 to well over $10,000. As such, a UX design bootcamp can be a sizable investment.
  • Bootcamps are considerable time investments as well. They take a few months to complete, and because they’re so short, bootcamps will require you to learn a lot of content and tackle many projects in a limited time, which can impact your daily schedule.

 

  • Getting a degree

 

Pros:

  • Getting a traditional degree will allow you to delve into topics more deeply and learn more about the design theory behind practical UX design. 
  • Pursuing a degree will also give you the opportunity to foster a mentor relationship with a professor who is likely a professional in the field. 
  • As experience-based as UX design is, degrees still hold value on the job market and are required by some employers. Degrees are also a boost to your resume for employers who don’t require them. 

Cons:

  • Degrees are the most expensive option by far, with some going into 6-figure price tags.
  • Degrees also take a long time to attain (typically 1-3 years), considerably longer than bootcamps. 
  • Degrees can vary greatly with what they offer. Some may provide practical learning and mentorship, while others may focus too much on theory and not enough on application.

 

  • Learning on your own

 

Pros:

  • Teaching yourself is usually the cheapest option.
  • Self-direction offers unlimited flexibility, as you can do it whenever you like without any externally-imposed deadlines. 
  • Learning on your own will likely lead you to explore the world of UX design deeply and connect with the community. 

Cons:

  • Self-direction leaves you without a mentor, who can be invaluable in both learning your craft and navigating the industry. Lacking the feedback of a professional is a considerable disadvantage. 
  • Without external deadlines or guidance, you will need to keep yourself accountable, which can prove tricky. 
  • Teaching yourself is difficult to convincingly sell on a resume. Potential employers will need to take a risk on you without the security offered by accredited colleges or bootcamps. This can be partially mitigated by a solid portfolio.

Ready to Start Your UX Career?

Want to discuss your education options with a UX design professional? Schedule a free mentoring session! We will help guide you to success in UX design. 

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