Do you need a UX Certificate or Degree
- Published on September 18, 2020
User experience, sometimes simply called UX, is growing in significance within many organizations. Companies that previously had only developers and business analysts have realized that UX plays a significant role in the success of apps and websites. As companies look to hire UX professionals, it can leave professionals wondering if they need a UX certificate or UX degree to get a user experience job. Here we explore the impact of UX certificates and UX degrees along with other user experience training on the job market.
Who really needs UX Certificate
Those who are just getting started in the user experience field benefit from a formal UX certificate or degree program, while those who have been working in related fields may only need selective UX training, such as UX courses on specific topics in the field of user experience. Many UX professionals working today did not earn a degree in a UX-specific field, but learned their trade on the job. While on-the-job experience is helpful, it is not an option when companies are looking to hire an individual with UX skills that are ready-to-go. For those without previous experience, a formal UX education provides an opportunity to build a portfolio of work that can show both the user experience process as well as demonstrate skills. Those currently working in the UX field may consider obtaining UX Certification to validate their existing skills.
How a UX Certificate Helps
While the demand for user experience designers exceeds the number of people with formal UX training, most employers are not willing to hire individuals based upon their interest in the field. Employers want job candidates with both an interest in the field and related skills which enables them to start contributing to design and development projects. Job seekers can use a formal UX education to demonstrate formal education and interest to a future employer. As you learn essential UX design principles you can also start building a portfolio of projects which can be showcased to current or future employers. The UX classes or certificate can also be added to LinkedIn profile and resume
Learning UX for Experienced Professionals
The process of learning UX is not limited to those who are seeking to break into UX careers. Designers with years of traditional design experience and seasoned developers with familiarity overseeing technical aspects of creating sites or apps also benefit from expanding their knowledge to include UX. Similarly, business analysts and product managers also benefit from learning UX best practices. Experienced professionals may also find that taking a few UX courses such as the UX Design Principles course or Information Architecture course and the mobile UX course provide the foundation skills they need. The individual UX classes can also help determine if the UX field is of interest to them before committing to a longer-term UX educational program.
Is there a UX Certification Test
Practicing professionals who wish to show their skills can take the UX Certification test. It is an ISO standard test administered by the User Experience Qualification Board. In the United States the UX Certification Test can be taken at American Graphics Institute. A preparation course for the UX Certification Exam is available.
Regardless of whether taking an individual course or a longer-term program, the UX job outlook remains bright. The role of UX designer was 14 on the list of top 100 hot jobs assembled by CNN, and placement rates for those in reputable UX programs exceed 90%, providing another good reason for learning UX.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, educator and author based in Boston. She has worked in the field of user experience design for more than 15 years.She has designed websites, ecommerce sites, apps, and embedded systems. Jennifer designs solutions for mobile, desktop, and iOT devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors.She has served as a Designer in Residence at Microsoft, assisting third-party app developers to improve their design solutions and create successful user experiences. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern UX Design, and worked closely with major tech companies to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including XD, Sketch, Balsamiq, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blend for Visual Studio. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.
Jennifer is also the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices. Jennifer holds the CPUX-F certification from the User Experience Qualification Board and assists others in attaining this designation in leading a UX certification course at American Graphics Institute. She is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design.