Foremost, deciding to study UX design is one of the best decisions you can ever make in your career. UX design is not just another skill to add to the long list of skills you have, it's one of the top skills in the tech space today, and it keeps getting more popular and increasing in demand. So, you have made the right choice to be a UX designer.
Now that you have decided to learn UX design, you have probably received many suggestions or read many articles on the best way to go about it. You are now stuck learning from a UX design Bootcamp or applying for a UX design degree program. As an upstart, you want to look before you leap. You want to be sure you are taking the correct route to become a UX designer. That's a genuine concern; you will get the answers you want in this article.
Research has shown that out of 300,000 students who graduated from a design degree program, only a quarter of them became highly skilled designers. More so, only a tiny fraction ended up with a UX design job. However, they got highly skilled jobs in other fields, not UX design.
Meanwhile, career karma reported that out of 44,254 students who graduated from a UX Bootcamp, about 79.3% got a UX design that requires the technical skills they learned at a UX Bootcamp. The stats show that the UX design Bootcamp model is working. Research revealed that most UX designers without bachelor's degrees got an excellent UX design job after attending a UX Bootcamp.
Typically, the way to get into any career is to sign up for a degree program in a university, get a certificate and be qualified to work in that field.
However, the increasing demand for tech workers and the skill gap in tech industries gave rise to bootcamps. So far, the UX design Bootcamp has proven to be an effective way of training aspiring UX designers.
Meanwhile, before considering the better option between a UX design boot camp and a design degree, let's see what you need to know before you can land a UX job.
What do you need to learn to be a UX designer?
UX design is a mix of soft skills and highly technical skills. User experience design focuses on how users interact with the product. It is hard to determine how another will feel about using a product since you have different preferences, but that can be made possible by applying some practical skills in UX design to understand users and create products that solve their problems.
To become a UX designer, you need to learn the following:
Through observations and inquiries, user research focuses on understanding user needs, pain points, and motivations. The goal is to know how the product will serve them better. Thus, the first technical skill you want to learn as a UX designer is user research; this is where it all started. UX bootcamps and universities offering degree programs in design prioritize this skill. To be effective with this, you need to learn how to engage users in conversations and get feedback.
Usability testing is a technique used in UX design for evaluating a product and testing it with representative users. The aim is to identify any issues in the usability and functionality of the product. The main concern of UX designers is how users perceive a product when they interact with it. Thus, as an aspiring UX designer, paying attention to usability testing in your learning is essential.
Design thinking is a process used to solve problems by prioritizing user needs. Some techniques involved in design thinking are Ideation, Brainstorming, Empathy, and Iteration. It is also a significant aspect of UX design.
There are other things like Prototyping, Wireframing, etc. So, whether you are learning in a UX Bootcamp or want a design degree, these are essential things to know before becoming a UX designer.
Now, let's get to it. Where is the best place to learn these skills? Which option is best? Get a design degree or attend a Bootcamp? Let's find out.
What is a UX design degree?
A design degree is an academic certification you get from an accredited university for studying a degree program in UX design. It is as simple as getting a university education in UX design. The certification makes you an expert in the UX design field.
A design degree program, like any other university degree, takes about four years to complete, with each course taught by professionals in the field. University degrees have a lot of recognition in the job market because of the learning structure that exists within the system. You will learn all about UX design. You will understand the advanced dynamics in UX design, like interaction design, design thinking, human-computer interaction, etc.
What are the benefits of pursuing a UX design degree?
The normal qualification required before starting a career is a university degree. But times have changed, and there are different methods of learning. However, a degree still has its benefits and relevance for the student and in the career world.
A UX design degree might be a traditional approach, but it still has its benefits.
It will be taxing for most UX bootcamps to successfully cover all that is obtainable in a design degree program. A UX design degree program will take you to an in-depth study of design theory, design principles, and their applications. You will learn why certain design principles should be used or ignored. It takes time, but the knowledge you gain is worth waiting for.
A university degree gives you some amount of credibility in the UX industry. As a UX design university graduate, you can quickly get attention from industry professionals. Although the UX industry thrives more on practical experience, high-end design jobs might require an academic certificate in UX design.
Although some UX bootcamps are popular in the tech industry, an accredited university in UX design gets more attention than popularity.
The cons of a design degree program
Most design degree programs are costly compared to UX design Bootcamp charges. Student debt is one of the most significant disadvantages of a university degree. What is the essence of completing a degree program only to start paying student debt with almost half of your monthly salary? Although the cost is still dependent on the institution relatively, most design degrees are more expensive than UX Bootcamps.
It takes a longer time to complete
It takes a longer time to complete a UX university design degree. It is unsuitable if you want to get a UX job with your skills quickly. You also don't get the kind of flexibility that is available in UX bootcamps.
More theories than relevant practical skills
Most UX design university studies offer more theories than practical experience. In the UX industry, both are important; in fact, practical knowledge is more needed.
Most UX designers today never studied the theories of UX design in a university. Yet, they occupy managerial positions in the UX industry because of their experience over time in the industry.
Possibility of outdated information
UX designs are evolving fast, and the process of changing curricula at universities cannot match the rate at which UX design is expanding. So, there is the possibility of feeding on outdated information.
What about UX Bootcamps?
A UX Bootcamp is an immersive study program that trains you from a newbie to a job-ready UX designer. We have online Bootcamp and in-person bootcamps. It might be challenging to find in-person bootcamps, but there are many bootcamps online; one is the GoCreate USA Bootcamp.
Benefits of a UX design Bootcamp
UX design has several benefits, we'll quickly check some, but for a more precise understanding, you can read up on the pros and cons of UX design Bootcamp.
Focus on Practicality
What you need most as an aspiring UX designer are practical skills. While it is true that you need to understand design principles much more, you need to know how to apply these principles. If you plan to be a UX design lecturer, you don't need practical skills, and you don't even need a Bootcamp; you need a degree in UX design.
However, a UX Bootcamp trains you to be job-ready. So, you learn hands-on experience in UX skills. It is one of the advantages that a UX design Bootcamp has over a university degree in design. A Bootcamp education gives you the competence to start working on live projects right after graduation. Little wonder there is a high conversion rate of Bootcamp graduates employed for their skills.
Faster to complete
A UX design Bootcamp is faster to complete compared to a university degree. There is no room for spending spare time on other unrelated things to the goal. The goal is to make you a competent UX designer ready to start working in the UX industry upon completing your training. A UX Bootcamp takes between 3 months to 6 months.
More affordable than degree programs
UX Bootcamps are relatively cheap when you compare them to degree programs. One of the factors to consider in a learning environment apart from quality is affordability. You can get quality training for a lesser amount from UX bootcamps. You don't stand to lose anything.
A good UX Bootcamp will help you build a robust UX portfolio. You needed a portfolio with good case studies to land a UX design job. For example, during your training at the GoCreate USA Bootcamp, the tutors will train you to design an impressive portfolio that will attract employers. The tutors will also guide you on the projects you will include in the portfolio.
UX Bootcamp Cons
UX bootcamps have their cons too. Let's check a few of them.
They are intense
UX design bootcamps are intense due to the short period of learning. It can be a pro for you if you are focused; however, it might be a disadvantage if you find it hard to concentrate when receiving such information. You can solve this by taking notes in class and going back to them again in your free time to assimilate the information better.
Lack of In-depth study on design theory
UX bootcamps are focused on getting you job-ready. So, there is more focus on hands-on practice than theories.
Which is best; UX design Bootcamp or a degree?
What is your take? Some parameters can help you make a better choice.
Parameters for choosing between a design degree or a UX design Bootcamp
The following parameters can help you make a better choice
Which one is more affordable for you? Bootcamps are more affordable than degree programs, so you might want to consider that when making your decision. There are free bootcamps that you can explore. If you are interested in that, you can register for the GoCreate USA Bootcamp here. For degree programs, you have to pay for books, administration fees, admission fees, and other fees required by the university.
It would help if you considered the flexibility of the learning style you want to choose. Is it rigid, or can it be tweaked to give you time for other things? Online bootcamps can afford you the opportunity to learn from the comfort of your room; an example is the GoCreate USA Bootcamp. If the program is not flexible enough, you might not follow through.
It is essential to conduct your research on the duration of the program. Some programs take years to complete, while others take a few months.
User experience design is a vast field, but anyone can learn it. It doesn't matter if you had a different career path before; you can still join the list of professional UX designers. This article highlights the differences between studying UX design at a university and attending a UX design Bootcamp. It will help you in making the right decision on learning UX design.