Career Guides 07 Jun 2019

Can a Bootcamp really teach you all you need to know for a career in UX?

The role of UX designer is one that the IC Creative team is seeing demand for more frequently. As companies discover the importance of ease of use and the customer journey, UX jobs have been popping up everywhere. However, the UX industry is a relatively young one, and there’s no prescribed path for those wanting a career in UX design.

There are many UX Masters degrees now offered at UK universities, but for those who’ve long-since left the world of full-time education, going back to school and giving up an income can be a tall order. Especially if you already have years of experience in a related field.

In answer to the industry’s need for this new skill set, UX Bootcamps have been appearing all over the world. But can you really learn all you need to know from these bootcamps, or are you better off getting your foot in the door and working your way into your dream UX job?

What are UX Bootcamps?

UX Bootcamps come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are from as little as 10 weeks full-time; others are a 32-week part-time course. If you look hard enough, you’ll most likely be able to find a bootcamp to fit your situation.

Bootcamp graduates are generally well respected within the industry as self-motivated and determined. However, bootcamps aren’t just for UX newbies – they are really useful for keeping employees up to speed too.

They offer a great opportunity to build your network with other UX professionals, with tutors often coming from industry, rather than from academia.

However, even after taking a bootcamp, it’s quite possible that those without real-world experience will struggle in a real-world UX team. Bootcamp courses tend to pack a lot of learning into a limited amount of time, so they can be fast-paced.

They’ve also received criticism for being too generalist, leaving those with a specific interest area to deep dive on their own to build up the knowledge that will give them an edge in the discipline of their choice.

The biggest reservation that many industry recruiters have with UX Bootcamps though, is the lack of real-world application and knowledge. To be properly prepared for a career in User Experience, you’ll need to connect with a company and build up some experience by volunteering or taking some work experience. If you’re joining a small company or a start-up where there may be a limited amount of support, it’s this real-world knowledge that will determine whether you sink or swim.

However, having a theoretical underpinning to your UX knowledge is essential. Whether it can be replaced entirely with hands-on experience, will depend largely on your own learning style. But, if you are to have a successful career in UX design, you’ll need to know how to sell-in concepts and manage workplace politics effectively, as well as work with UX design and development at a practical level.

Bootcamps don’t prepare you for this, but then, isn’t this a learning curve that we all find ourselves on when we first leave full-time education? Those who have had experience in a related industry may be lucky enough to find they can navigate it faster that most.

IC Creative is recruiting UX specialists for companies that are making the customer experience easier, more convenient and more enjoyable, all around the world. To find out about the UX roles we have available, visit our website here.

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