UX certificate programs for learning user experience design
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Published on February 25, 2015
Completing a user experience certificate program shows that you have made a commitment to mastering many of the skills necessary for a successful UX career. Most UX certificate program generally include foundational courses, such as an Introduction to UX principles class, along with other courses that cover specialized topics such as mobile UX design and creating UX assets and documentation. Other related courses may include gaining skills with tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or Balsamiq in order to express your UX designs in digital format.
How long are UX Certificate programs
The length of UX certificate programs ranges from several weeks if taken on a full-time basis, to a full year if taken on a part-time basis. The length of each user experience certificate program depends upon your ability to commit to a full-time or part-time schedule.
Part time UX certification programs
Available part-time user experience certificate programs cover the same materials as full-time programs. Participants take the same courses, which are spread out over a longer period of time. Participants can choose to take as little as a single class in a month, or can accelerate their program by taking more UX courses in months when their schedule allows increased time for studying.
Other options for learning UX
If you don’t have the time to commit to a longer-term UX certificate program, you can still take individual UX courses and workshops. These courses are some of the same ones offered in the UX certificate program, and include Introduction to UX Design Principles among other classes.
Selecting the right UX certificate program
When investigating UX certificate programs, consider whether you want to attend a licensed school, which are generally more established programs. Licensed schools have received government approval for the programs they offer, and must abide by rules governing a wide range of things, from background checks on instructors, to having their financial stability audited, and offering strict refund policies. They are even bonded, guaranteeing that any tuition fees you pay will be available to you to complete the program. While there are many recent start-up businesses that have started to pop-up nationwide providing a different range of learning options, these do not offer the security of working with an established, licensed school when taking a UX program. American Graphics Institute offers a UX certificate program that is licensed in Massachusetts.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is 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 delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. 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 Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.