One of the most popular topics of discussion at our UX Mastery community forums is training. The myriad of online courses (both free and paid), immersion programs, mentored programs, and full blown degrees makes the decision a difficult one.
We decided that the easiest way to help point you in the right direction is to pull together the information and opinions of community members that have taken some of these courses, so you can get it right from the horse’s mouth.
Here are some experiences from UXMastery community members:
Do I need to get a UX degree?
“If I get some supplemental training would employers respect that? Or do most employers want you to have a specific degree in UX or web design?”
- “I’m wondering if an online class here and there will be enough to prove I have the skills needed.”
- “I don’t really want to go back to school since I am already in debt from my animation degree. I would like to take some classes or certificate programs to help me fill in the pieces that I’m missing. I feel like I have a good base to work with.”
UX Academy, CareerFoundry, UXTraining.com or General Assembly?
“I’m considering a career change to UX, and after watching the UX Basics course on Treehouse and reading How to Get Started in UX, I’ve been comparing my options for further education.”
- “UX Academy combines Design 101, UX Research and Interaction Design courses and adds units on Intro to UX, Prototyping and Testing, and Professional Skills as well as capstone projects that help build your portfolio. Job preparation includes portfolio review, mock interviews, and a job network.”
- “I signed up for UXTraining.com and I highly recommend it. While it doesn’t have projects or mentors it’s cheap, has a great presenter, and provides some nice touches like a downloadable copy of presenter Colman Walsh’s actual usability testing script as well as a recording of a usability test that he conducted.”
- “I think CareerFoundry is a bit better for freelancers because it does have a bit of focus on working with clients.”
There are so many online courses out there. Which ones are good?
Treehouse, Udemy, Coursera, Lynda.com – and the list goes on – all offer a range of interesting courses. Where is the best place to start?
- “I attended Coursera’s Human Computer Interaction course. It was a great experience.”
- “I’ve snagged all of David Travis’ courses, on the general all encompassing subject of UX, his Ultimate Guide to Usability is the best I’ve come across.”
- “I’ve recently signed up for the interaction-design.org/ courses and I like the quality of content and interaction so far, so I’m going to recommend them.”
Is training enough, or do I need relevant experience as well?
“If you were a hiring manager at a tech company, would you hire a person whose only formal experience with UX is General Assembly’s immersive program?”
- “If I were doing the hiring, I’d take someone with relevant experience over someone who has completed a relevant degree.”
- “I’ve spoken to staff from GA and students who have graduated from the Sydney UX intensive, and they’ve said good things.”
- “At my company we hired someone as an intern from the GA Immersive program and after her internship she got a full time job offer.”
Find out more about the General Assembly Immersive Program (and get lots of other great advice).
What tools shall I learn to get a head start on my training?
“At the end of the day, if you know how to drive a nail, just about any hammer will work, so focus on learning to drive the nail first.”
- “I have about 3+ weeks before my CareerFoundry course in UX begins. Is there anything I could start learning now on my own to get a head start of sorts?”
- “I was thinking of learning UXPin or maybe some other wire framing tool? Any thoughts?”
What course does UX Mastery recommend?
There are so many options out there and a lot of ‘what’s good’ depends on your personal requirements. To get you started, here are some useful resources.
User Experience as a discipline is not yet well-established in many universities. There are, however, degrees in related fields that you can study at a tertiary level. These include: Interaction Design, HCI, Information Architecture, Digital Design, and others.
Here is a list of the degrees that we know about. If you know of one that isn’t on the list, make sure you let us know!
We particularly like Colman Walsh’s uxtraining.com resource, which Ash reviewed last year. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, we have good news! Use the discount code MASTERY30 for a 30% discount off the cost.
(Full disclosure – we have an affiliate agreement with uxtraining.com so if you do decide to enrol in the program, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale, to help pay the hosting bills.)