Do you need a degree to become a UX designer? (2023)

A common question among aspiring UX designers is: do I need a degree to become a successful UX designer?

And the short answer is no.Of course, relevant experience and training are required, but employers are far more interested in what you can do than how you learned it.

While a design or technology-related degree can certainly prepare you for a job in UX, it's not a guaranteed key to success.

So, if employers don't just look at your educational background to judge your skills, then whatmakedoes she care let's find out This guide will show you what you really need to break into this field and what kind of education and experience will best prepare you for the job.

This is what we will cover:

  • Is a degree required to get a job in UX?
  • What does it really take to start a career in UX design?
  • The best UX training: A checklist
  • final thoughts

A quick note before we begin:If you are looking for accredited training to assist with official formalities (e.g. obtaining or maintaining a residency visa in a foreign country) you will likely need a college degree and/or a certain number of years of experience. Do your research to learn more about the requirements that apply to your specific situation.

Now let's get down to business!

Do you need a degree to become a UX designer? (1)

Is a degree required to get a job in UX?

Not so long ago that would have been a ridiculous question, because of course you need a degree to have a career and to ensure success. A college degree was the most accepted, trusted, and even prestigious way to show you were educated and experienced in a particular field.

Today, however, that is simply not the case.While employers will certainly consider your educational background, it is not usually the determining factor. Here are three reasons:

(Video) How to become a UI/UX Designer with no experience/degree (PRACTICAL STEPS)

1. Because the technology industry is rapidly changing and developing

While a degree may have an element of prestige and 'proven' knowledge, accredited institutions (and their curricula) are not always up to date, meaning your degree may or may not reflect a knowledge base and skillset that matches the current one . requirements in the industry.

Degrees also vary widely in quality and scope, which means that without a fairly detailed look at the courses you took, the tools you learned, the projects you completed, and the grades you earned Earning a degree can only give employers a general feeling. than you can know

2. Because UX design is an extremely practical field

Successful UX designers have a wide range of skills and competencies, and the vast majority of those skills and competencies are extremely practical in nature.

Employers know that getting a degree can make a candidate look great on paper and maybe not as good on the job. What they are looking for is a clear demonstration of practical skills. You can also indicate this in your CV without a university degree. That's how it goes:

  • Give employers a glimpse into your real work through a range ofhigh quality case studies in your UX portfolio(usually even before an interview)
  • Complete a design challenge as part of the interview
  • Provide references that can prove your excellenceUX design skills, as well asnon-design skills(like empathy and communication) that are absolutely necessary to be an active member of a team

3. Why a "foreign" background is often desirable in a candidate

More and more employers value employees with (apparently) unrelated backgrounds.With or without a titleWhen you bring external experience to a new role as a UX designer, you bring a wealth of new knowledge and perspective that can help you rethink problems and find truly innovative solutions.

Of course, you need enough experience to be able to demonstrate your skills in the ways already described. Added to this is the abilityidentify and communicate your transferrable skills, and you are on the right track.

With that in mind, let's take a look at what you really need to get started in UX design, and then dive into what type of training will best prepare you for this first role.

What does it really take to start a career in UX design?

In short, what you need most is:

  • The core set of UX design skills and
  • The ability todemonstrateYour UX design skills and core competencies in a clear and dynamic way

Let's break down these two essentials into small portions.

Basic UX design skills

Do you need a degree to become a UX designer? (2)

(Video) Do I Need a College Degree to be a UI/UX Designer?

There is a wide range of soft skills and industry skills that are essential, as well as some cross skills that are either necessary (depending on the company and position) or that will really make you stand out in a sea of ​​applicants. Here's an overview of the skills you need to be successful as a UX designer:

interpersonal skills

  • Collaboration (and Feedback)
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • critical thinking
  • curiosity
  • Growth mentality (continuous learning)

industry knowledge

  • User Research and Testing
  • Key UX Results (persons,Customer-Journey-Maps, etc.)
  • Wire model
  • prototypes
  • Writing user experiences
  • UI design and visual communication

cross skills

  • business vision
  • research and analysis
  • Customer service
  • coding and development

If you would like more information on these skills and competencies, please contact ourGuide to UX Design SkillsIt's a great place to start.

How to demonstrate your UX design skills

With or without a degree to demonstrate your UX design skills,How do you show employers that you have what it takes?It all boils down to this:

  • The quality of your cover letter and resume (a great opportunity to sell your transferable skills)
  • Your successful UX portfolio
  • The interpersonal skills you demonstrate throughout the interview process.

Let's take a quick look at each of them.

A great UX cover letter and resume

Here it is. The golden rule for writing a great UX cover letter and resume:

Every cover letter and resume you submit should be tailored specifically to the company you are hiring for the position you are hoping to land.

These two short documents are an excellent opportunity to communicate your transferable skills in a way that employers can see the real value your past experience would bring to the company.

We have even more tips on this in ourUX cover letter guide.

if you are oneGraphic designer is looking for a job,a teacher who wants to get interested in UX design, or another background: You probably have many transferable skills that can boost your confidence when starting a new career. Make sure you identify and highlight these skills!

A UX portfolio that beats the job

Your portfolio is your best opportunity to really show not only what you do (the results of your work), but also who you are as a designer.

(Video) Do I Need College Degree to become a UI/UX Designer? Career Path for UIUX Designer

It also shows you the structure of your design process: how you approach problems, what kind of questions you ask, what tools you use, and how you reflect on your process to gain insights and improve next time.

And what's the best way to create a UX portfolio that achieves all of this?Write amazing case studies.

A case study succinctly tells the story of a particular project from start to finish, while highlighting key deliverables.

Want to learn more about how to write a good case study? Consult our guide:How to create a great case study for your UX portfolio.

Make the most of the interview

From a welcome screen on the phone, to a design challenge, to the number of rounds of interviews the company goes through to find the right candidate for the job, every step along the way is your opportunity to show the hiring manager and their peers the potential to show. Team:

  • How organized and prepared can you be?
  • What is your authentic communication style?
  • How do you tackle problems?
  • what kind of questions do you ask

To learn more about how to prepare for a UX interview, read our guide toThe 11 most important UX interview questionsYou have to be ready for it.

From cover letter and CV to portfolio and job interview:Be careful with them and pay a little more attention to how you incorporate these key components into your app package. This will set you apart from other applicants and give employers a clearer picture of who you are and what you do.

Do you need a degree to become a UX designer? (3)

The best UX training: A checklist

The most important type of training?You need a hands-on, guided experience that allows you to learn while applying ideas and concepts to real-world projects for your portfolio.

As we've said before, UX design is an incredibly down-to-earth and practical field. For most people who come to UX from a different background, whether it's a graphic designer, teacher, barista or whatever, the learning curve is usually in the technical skills of the industry.

(Video) UX Design Bootcamp vs Design Degree! Which One Should You Choose?

Soft skills and soft skills, and even some of the cross-skills we described earlier in this guide, evolve over time into any number or variety of roles.

UX-specific skills are the ones you probably need to focus on if you want to create a complete and impactful application suite (that winning combination of cover letter, resume, portfolio, interview preparation).

There are certainly degree programs that give you the opportunity to develop these practical skills, but there are also accredited degree programs:

  • Costs more than other training options
  • Takes longer, often with a greater total investment of time
  • Not always keeping up with industry demands
  • They are not the only type of training or qualification employers accept.

Boot camps and certification programs, on the other hand, are:

  • Generally more accessible than a headline.
  • Easier to complete in less time while keeping up with other commitments
  • More often in line with industry requirements
  • Widely accepted by hiring managers as an indicator that you've learned and applied the practical skills.
  • Generally more consistent withUX industry trends and best practices

With all that has been said, there are certainly pros and cons for each. If you want to understand them better, check out our guide on the pros and cons of aDesign degree versus a UX bootcamp. And don't underestimate the power of making your own.UX design related readingto learn and explore.

Whether you're looking for degree programs, UX bootcamps, certifications, or a good DIY UX education, here's our checklist to ensure you get the best training path on the way to your dream job. Whichever training path you choose, make sure it includes:

  • Learning materials to understand and implementdesign thinkingit's himUser Experience Design Process
  • Examples of the best design thinkingat work in the world: how it is and how it is done
  • Practical exercises in a variety ofDesign thinking exercises
  • Hands-on experience guiding projects through the UX design process from start to finish: conducting user research, creating personas, developing wireframes and more
  • Conversations with other UX designers, whether experienced, new or aspiring. Learning takes place in community!
  • A mentor with a lot of industry experience who will be happy to provide you with plenty of feedback on your work, help you fine-tune your portfolio, provide industry insights and advice on shaping your career.
  • Some job preparation: Individual advice on how to tailor your application package to appeal to the types of employers and teams you want to work for.

final thoughts

Do you need a degree to succeed in UX design? NO. Gone are the days when a college degree was the only acceptable way to prove yourself. If a course best suits your needs and goals, do it! But know that there are options.

What is more important isthe skills you can master and demonstratedynamic and practical. Whichever way you choose, make sure you:

  • Spend some time immersing yourselfdesign thinking
  • Work on some personal or volunteer projects that really interest you,Guide a digital product through the UX design processfrom start to finish
  • find oneExperienced mentor in UX designThis can guide and challenge you to become the best designer you can be
  • And get some job search tips specific to your background, location, and career path.

If you're interested in learning more about starting a career in UX design, here are some helpful articles:

  • Bootcamp UX vs. Design Degree: Was ist besser?
  • How to get a job in UX with no industry experience
  • Internship UX vs Bootcamp UX: Which is Best?
  • How to get UX design internship

FAQs

What qualifications do you need to be a UX designer? ›

You'll find it useful to have:
  • knowledge of development tools like HTML and CSS.
  • experience of using design software like Adobe Creative Suite.
  • experience of creating wireframes and prototypes by hand and with software.
  • an understanding of agile project development methods.

Can you get a job in UX design with just a certificate? ›

While having a degree in this field isn't required (in fact, this field is so new that few degree programs exist right now), training and certification will only boost your career path.

Can I get into UX design with no experience? ›

But even with the high demand in the industry, getting your first job in UX design can be difficult, especially when you don't have a ton of experience. However, with a little extra effort, strategic networking, and careful attention to your portfolio, you'll be able to land your first junior UX position.

Can you be a self taught UX designer? ›

Luckily, it's not impossible to teach yourself UX design. After all, the original UX designers that pioneered the field did something very similar to the self-taught designers of today, but with even less resources than are available now.

Can you do UX without coding? ›

No, most UX Designers are not required to code (at least, not at an advanced level). However, it's still to their advantage to develop an understanding and appreciation for what Developers do.

Does UX design pay well? ›

What is an average UX designer salary? The average base salary for UX designers in the US is $95,572 per year as of February 2023, according to Glassdoor [1]. The role was also listed as sixth in Glassdoor's list of 25 Highest Paying Entry Level Jobs [2].

Is UX design a stressful job? ›

UX/UI design is among the top 30% of careers in terms of happiness, but it can also be a source of stress due to lack of company awareness about UX, imposter syndrome, long hours and tight deadlines, challenging problem-solving and constant learning.

Is UX hard to get a job? ›

It is hard to get a job in UX because of several reasons. First of all, many designers are looking for a job. Because of that, competition is fierce, and companies know it. They can go for someone with a lot of experience, even if the job doesn't require it.

How fast can you learn UX design? ›

Depending on your current experience, you may be able to acquire the skills you need to become a UX Designer in as little as 12 weeks.

Can I be a UX Designer if Im not creative? ›

No! There is a decent amount of drawing involved in UX / UI Product Design. However, the purpose is to develop or communicate ideas, and that can be done very simply – meaning, it doesn't take a great deal of artistic talent.

How much is Google UX certificate? ›

How much does it cost? The Google UX Design Certificate costs as much as a Coursera subscription: $39 per month.

Is UX too late to learn? ›

If you're thinking about becoming a UX designer later in your career, you're in luck. The UX/UI industry welcomes individuals of all ages, and there are no official educational or experiential prerequisites to get started.

Is it too late to become a UX designer at 30? ›

While you may face different obstacles than your younger colleagues, becoming a UX designer (and succeeding!) in your 30s, 40s, 50s (and beyond) is totally doable. In fact there are even advantages and perks that you'll experience that your younger colleagues won't (at least not for a while).

How do I land a UX design job with no experience? ›

How to Get a UX Job with No Professional UX Experience
  1. Take at least one UX course. There's a ton of UX courses to explore. ...
  2. Shape your existing experience. Most UXBs come into this field thinking they have absolutely no UX experience. ...
  3. Fill in the Gaps. ...
  4. Gain UX experience. ...
  5. Finish your UX Portfolio and Apply.

Can an introvert become a UX designer? ›

As a UX/UI designer, the vast majority of your time is spent working on projects alone. This is why many introverts can find the field so fulfilling, giving them the freedom of working without the pressure of a group setting.

How do you become a UX designer from scratch? ›

How to become a UX Designer in five steps:
  1. Learn UX design fundamentals.
  2. Learn key design tools.
  3. Work on your own projects to develop your UX design skills.
  4. Develop a portfolio to showcase your UX design work.
  5. Apply to relevant UX design jobs.

Is UX design harder than coding? ›

Many people are considering the career change because UX design seems much easier than coding and still pays pretty well and you're working in tech.

Does UX design require math? ›

But all designers, not just UX ones, employ cornerstone principles of math every time they use a paintbrush, a pencil, or a touch-pad. In fact, some of the most fundamental techniques of design are rooted in mathematical concepts.

Do UX designers work from home? ›

Given the highly collaborative nature of UX, you may be wondering: Is it possible to work remotely as a UX designer? In a word, yes. The remote job market is growing, and UX design is no exception.

Is UX design a lot of coding? ›

Do UX designers need to know how to code? User experience design does not require coding. However, understanding the basics of coding can help you as a UX designer. Understanding how software development works gives you a better understanding of what's possible, allowing for more efficient work and better designs.

Can you make 100k as a UX designer? ›

As a Senior UX Designer, you will lead definition of the design work and deliver business outcomes across multiple product teams, with minimal guidance and coaching. $107,000 - $179,000 per year.

What entry-level job pays the most? ›

25 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs To Consider In 2023
  1. Financial Analyst. A financial analyst is someone who helps companies understand their current financial situation. ...
  2. Social Media Specialist. ...
  3. HR Specialist. ...
  4. Copywriter. ...
  5. Real Estate Agent. ...
  6. Sales Representative. ...
  7. Executive Assistant. ...
  8. IT Specialist.
Jan 1, 2023

What are the cons of being a UX designer? ›

Cons of a UX UI Career: * Some companies look at you as a “unicorn-designer” who can do anything… which means they might assign you tasks outside your skill set. * Since “Design” and “research” don't usually co-exist, some organizations will take your other skills for granted and assign you just design works.

How much does CVS pay UX designer? ›

The average salary for User Experience Designer at CVS Health in the United States is $49.15 per hour, which is 9% above the national average.

Why is UX so hard to break into? ›

UX is still having to prove its worth

Many think it's simply about visuals and layouts, not realizing the thoughtful research and problem solving that goes into crafting seamless experiences. Because of this, many UX teams have to constantly advocate for themselves and prove their value.

Is UX a fun job? ›

This daily interaction with other people makes being a UX designer really pleasurable. Learning new skills that improve your work, and getting other disciplines to see through UX eyes, can be really rewarding.

Is a UX Bootcamp enough to get a job? ›

Most UX bootcamps cannot 100% guarantee that you'll land a job. However, they can give you a huge head start! By choosing the right program and completing the required work, you can guarantee your own success in the job search.

Can I become a UX designer in 3 months? ›

A quick google search of “UX design bootcamps” will yield dozens of options—no two bootcamps are exactly alike. UX Bootcamps can take anywhere between 2 to 10 months to complete. In general, UX bootcamps introduce students to basic UX concepts and guide them through projects so they can begin building a portfolio.

Is UX design a hard skill? ›

UX isn't all about analysis and technical know-how. You have to be able to speak confidently, listen, and present your insights at every step. While the hard UX design skills serve as a prerequisite to landing the role, it's your soft skills that ultimately make you a stand-out designer.

Are UX designers in demand? ›

UX design was ranked by both Glassdoor and LinkedIn as one of the top 50 jobs to have in 2022 and as one of the top five most in-demand skills for 2020.

How do I land my first UX design job? ›

20 Tips from 20 Alumni on How to Land a UX Design Job
  1. #1 Build a Strong Portfolio. ...
  2. #2 Update Your LinkedIn Profile. ...
  3. #3 Get Real-World Experience. ...
  4. #4 Network. ...
  5. #5 Familiarize Yourself with Web Development. ...
  6. #6 Give Up Thinking You're an Imposter. ...
  7. #7 Don't Give Up on the Hunt. ...
  8. #8 Ask for Feedback.

Are UX designers happy? ›

First, some statistics. While UX can be a difficult career, most UX/UI designers are happy in their roles. According to Career Explorer, UX designers are happier than average, rating their career happiness at 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Will I get a job after Google UX design certificate? ›

The course covers enough to set students up for entry-level jobs in the UX design space and is a well-respected certificate in the industry. Still, students and graduates of the Google UX Design Certificate should anticipate competition when applying for entry-level UX design jobs.

Are UX certificates worth IT? ›

Together with your portfolio, it verifies that you've not only learned about such skills, but that you've also put them into practice with real tasks and projects. A UX design certification is an excellent entry point for new designers—but it can be extremely valuable for experienced designers, too.

Why are UX designers paid so much? ›

UI UX design requires a high level of expertise. This is why UI UX designers get paid so high. Most companies do not hire generalist UI UX designers. Instead, they hire specialists with the skills and knowledge to design user interfaces on online platforms, mobile devices, or software applications.

Can I get job as UI UX designer without degree? ›

All you need is to learn the right skills.

Nowadays you don't need a design degree or have any previous experience in design to become a UI/UX designer.

How do I start a career in UX design? ›

How to become a UX Designer in five steps:
  1. Learn UX design fundamentals.
  2. Learn key design tools.
  3. Work on your own projects to develop your UX design skills.
  4. Develop a portfolio to showcase your UX design work.
  5. Apply to relevant UX design jobs.

Can I be a UX designer if Im not creative? ›

No! There is a decent amount of drawing involved in UX / UI Product Design. However, the purpose is to develop or communicate ideas, and that can be done very simply – meaning, it doesn't take a great deal of artistic talent.

How hard is it to learn UX design? ›

UX design can be challenging to learn for several reasons, including: Degree of difficulty. The skills needed to become a successful UX designer are fairly advanced, even for people who have a bachelor's or master's degree in design-related subjects.

How long does it take to become a UX designer? ›

Taking a UX bootcamp is generally the fastest way to start a UX career. Instead of investing two years or more into obtaining a master's degree, most bootcamps allow students to learn UX design in less than 12 months.

Does UI UX design require coding? ›

User experience design does not require coding. However, understanding the basics of coding can help you as a UX designer. Understanding how software development works gives you a better understanding of what's possible, allowing for more efficient work and better designs.

Is UX design high paying? ›

What is an average UX designer salary? The average base salary for UX designers in the US is $95,572 per year as of February 2023, according to Glassdoor [1]. The role was also listed as sixth in Glassdoor's list of 25 Highest Paying Entry Level Jobs [2].

What is the fastest way to become a UX designer? ›

Take a UX design course.

Most take between two and four years to complete. If you're looking for a faster, more flexible alternative, then you might consider a UX design course. Many offer certifications that can help your resume stand out.

Can a shy person be a UX designer? ›

Can a shy person become a successful UX designer? Yes. The skills and abilities that a person brings to the job are more important than their personality type. Of course, it doesn't mean that shy person shouldn't improve their interpersonal skills.

Can UX designer be introvert? ›

As a UX/UI designer, the vast majority of your time is spent working on projects alone. This is why many introverts can find the field so fulfilling, giving them the freedom of working without the pressure of a group setting.

How do you land first UX design job with no experience? ›

How to Get a UX Job with No Professional UX Experience
  1. Take at least one UX course. There's a ton of UX courses to explore. ...
  2. Shape your existing experience. Most UXBs come into this field thinking they have absolutely no UX experience. ...
  3. Fill in the Gaps. ...
  4. Gain UX experience. ...
  5. Finish your UX Portfolio and Apply.

Should I learn UI or UX first? ›

Learning UI before UX is important because it allows you to practice observation, pattern recognition, and behaviors based on patterns. Working backwards through the understanding of UI will open the gates to designing a better overall UX design.

Videos

1. What Does A UX Designer Actually Do? (In 2023)
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2. How to Become a UI/UX Designer in 2023? | A Beginner's Guide
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3. Do UX Designers Need A Degree?
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4. Do you need a design degree to become a designer?
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5. How I became a UI/UX Designer in 3 months | No degree, no experience, self-taught
(Rachel How)
6. How To Get Started In UX Design - Without A Degree (2023)
(CareerFoundry)

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