UI design is widely considered one of the most exciting fields in tech—with even the most senior product designers expected to have UI design skills.
Where universities have failed to keep up with the demand for talented UI designers, bootcamps have risen to the challenge. Praised as being a “fast track” to well-paying design jobs—and with lower tuition costs, flexible learning, and a practical curriculum, bootcamps were created to increase access to education in tech.
But are bootcamps worth it? And with more bootcamp UI design courses cropping up, how do you choose which is right for you?
In this post, we’ll uncover the top UI bootcamps, detail the benefits of a bootcamp course—and discuss what you can expect after graduating. Of course, you can leap right in and see if UI is right for you with our free short course!
Here are the topics we’ll cover:
- What is a UI bootcamp?
- The best UI design bootcamp courses
5. Flatiron school
- How do I choose the right UI bootcamp for me?
- FAQ about UI bootcamps
1. What is a UI bootcamp?
User interface design, more commonly known as UI design, refers to the visual design of a product’s user interface. It’s the process of creating interfaces—namely apps and websites—with a focus on look and style.
How do UI design bootcamps work?
So what is a UI design bootcamp? A bootcamp is a condensed, immersive education program that aims to take aspiring UI designers to job-ready graduates in anything from a few months to a year.
By focusing on high-impact learning and practical, real-world projects, bootcamps fuse fundamental UI design theory with the industry skills in high demand. The result? A comprehensive, well-rounded learning experience that will take you from a total design newbie to a qualified UI designer.
Bootcamps were created in direct response to the growing demand for talent in disciplines like web and software development. As they swiftly rose to favor as the preferred entryway to a career in tech, they eventually grew to include vocations such as UI design, UX design, digital marketing, and data science.
While UI design programs are significantly under-represented in the bootcamp world compared to UX, many UX design bootcamps are recognizing the growing demand in UI design courses—and are increasingly offering UI design components.
Many online bootcamps are flexible and self-paced, meaning students can fit their studies around a full-time job. Some bootcamps offer virtual classrooms with fixed lessons over video calls or chat. On the other hand, in-person bootcamps take place in a set location with fixed start dates and class times.
2. The best UI design bootcamp courses
So, with some understanding under your belt, let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
Duration: 6–12 months
Our renowned UI Design Program is one of the few UI-specific programs currently on the scene. The program has been created to take you from a total novice to a talented professional, focusing on UI design theory and practical application.
Broken down into six achievements, you can expect to get hands-on from the very beginning. Towards the end of the program, you’ll create an app from scratch—gathering user requirements, developing user stories, wireframing, and iterating through the design/critique loop until the project is finished to a professional standard.
Everything you work on throughout the course goes towards your professional portfolio, and you’ll be supported throughout your journey by your very own mentor, tutor, and career specialist to help you land a job within six months of graduating (or your money back).
Want to learn more about the program? Speak directly with a program advisor.
Duration: 5–6 months
Thinkful offers a “designer track” program, which combines both UI and UX design to give students a versatile and competitive skillset. Boasting a holistic approach to design, students get 360 support as they build their portfolio with 3-6 real-world projects throughout the program.
Learn.UI design is an online video course that takes a straightforward approach to teach the fundamental tools, methods, and processes of UI design to tech hopefuls.
Students gain access to 41 video-based lessons that they can watch at their own pace, dozens of downloadable assignments, printable cheat sheets, and an online slack community.
Duration: 9 months
Similar to Bloc, Springboard offers a UX/UI design career track, which combines both disciplines into one course.
With a curriculum split into 35 units, you’ll work on substantial design projects and complete a real-world externship with an industry client. After nine months, you’ll graduate with a UI/UX design portfolio. As the course is billed monthly, students who finish early have the option of paying less for their tuition.
5. Flatiron school
Duration: 15/40 weeks
Flatiron offers both immersive on-campus and online programs in several locations across the world.
Their UX/UI design course aims to teach beginners the skills to get a job in as little as six months with a 24-week, innovative curriculum taught by industry experts. The course combines flexible online learning in the initial phases with an immersive on-campus experience for the client and portfolio phases.
Price: $12,500 (full-time) $13,00o (part-time)
Duration: 9/24 weeks
With locations worldwide and remote learning an option, Ironhack is an easily accessible option.
Ironhack’s UX/UI Design Bootcamp stands out for its comprehensive curriculum that covers the entire design process. Over the course of nine weeks, participants dive headfirst into user research, wireframing, prototyping, and interactive design, gaining hands-on experience with industry-standard tools.
At $12,500 for learners studying full-time and $13,000 for part-time students, it can be a bit pricey, and it doesn’t offer a job guarantee—but its strong focus on portfolio development and career support means graduates do have an edge in the job market.
3. Are UI design bootcamp courses still worth it?
While we’ve gone through the ins and outs of a UI design bootcamp course, you might still be wondering: do bootcamps actually work, and are they worth the investment of my hard-earned cash?
According to UI design program graduate Amanda Chiu, it was her comprehensive, in-depth bootcamp education that proved to her future employer that she was right for her dream job:
“I was asked to break down my entire educational experience from CareerFoundry. She wanted to know just how thorough my education had been, and how well prepared I was for a job as a UI designer. She was highly impressed.”
Learning efficiently and logically with a structured course is the best way to make sure you’re covering all the fundamental concepts of UI design in plenty of detail whilst skipping the irrelevant (or even incorrect) information that proliferates on the web.
If you’re interested in learning more about the current job market for UI designers, read our full guide on the UI design salary.
8. How do I choose the right UI bootcamp for me?
So far, we’ve unpacked what a UI design bootcamp course is and what you can expect as a UI design bootcamp student. Next up, let’s look at how to decipher which UI bootcamp course will align with your personal career goals.
While UX bootcamp courses are pretty well established, UI design bootcamp courses are still fairly up and coming. That doesn’t mean there’s not a lot to choose from! Every UI bootcamp is unique, and it’s essential to take the time to consider which course best suits your needs. When making the choice, here’s what you need to consider:
1. Lay out your schedule
How many hours of study can you realistically commit to learning UI design per month? Do you plan on studying while maintaining a full-time job? If so, you’ll likely be better suited to a flexible, online bootcamp, which allows you to go at your own pace.
2. Analyze the curriculum
Is the curriculum curated from outside materials, or is it produced in-house by subject matter experts? How does the program break down what you learn within the world of UI design? Will you get to work on your own project(s)? Is the curriculum up-to-date with the latest methods, tools, trends, and software?
The quality of the course content makes a huge difference to how qualified you’ll be in the field of UI design. Make sure the curriculum is comprehensive!
3. Does the course align with your career goals?
Troll through some entry-level UI design job descriptions on sites like Indeed or Glassdoor.
In what ways will your chosen bootcamp prepare you for these roles? Does the school offer in-house career specialists who can support you throughout your job searching process?
Does the bootcamp hold regular networking events, providing opportunities to broaden your horizons and seek out job opportunities? Is there a strong focus on ensuring you graduate with a robust portfolio that you can show to future employers and clients?
4. Make some alumni acquaintances
Find out what roles and careers the students went on to do, and attend events that will allow you to connect with current students and alumni.
Hearing the stories of the people who studied the course in question will help you to gauge whether it’s right for you. Try to connect with an alumnus who comes from a similar background as the field you’re currently in. Through them, you’ll get more of an insight into how your career path might look.
5. Look at what add-ons they offer
Many UI bootcamps offer additional “specialization courses” to bolster your qualifications further and broaden your skillset.
For example, besides UI design, you could do a specialization course in frontend development or voice user interface design. These additional skills will give you a competitive edge in the job market.
6. Crunch the numbers
A bootcamp course is no small investment, and while the evidence shows that they are more than worth the money, it’s still worth ensuring you’re getting bang for your buck. What payment options do they offer? Is there a way for you to stagger the cost of tuition?
So there we have it: everything you need to know about UI design bootcamp courses!
If you want to dive right in and discover if a career in UI design is right for you, take our free short course! Or speak directly with a program advisor.
If you’re interested in gleaning some advice from someone who works in the field as a UI designer, check out this video:
If you found this article interesting, take a look at some of these articles on the blog:
- Are UI designers in demand? Here’s the current industry outlook
- 9 inspiring examples of great UI design
- What is a user interface, and what are the elements that comprise one?
FAQ about UI bootcamps
1. Is a UI bootcamp worth it?
Yes, a UI bootcamp can be worth it for individuals looking to start a career in user interface (UI) design. Bootcamps offer intensive and focused training programs that provide hands-on experience and practical skills necessary for a career in UI design.
Participants can gain a solid foundation in design principles, learn industry-standard tools and techniques, and build a portfolio of work to showcase their skills to potential employers. But it’s important to research and choose a reputable bootcamp with experienced instructors and a comprehensive curriculum that aligns with your goals and needs.
2. How much is UI design bootcamp?
The cost of UI bootcamps can vary depending on several factors, including the duration of the program, the reputation of the bootcamp provider, and the location of the bootcamp.
On average, UI design bootcamps can range from a few thousand dollars to several tens of thousands of dollars. Some bootcamps offer flexible payment options, such as upfront payment or installment plans, while others may provide scholarships or financing options. Research different bootcamps, compare their offerings, and consider factors like curriculum quality, alumni success, and instructor expertise in addition to the cost when making a decision.
3. Do UI bootcamps work?
Yes: UI bootcamps can be effective in helping individuals transition into a career in UI design. Bootcamps provide an immersive learning experience, focusing on the practical skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field. They often have a project-based approach, allowing participants to work on real-world design challenges and build a portfolio of work.
Additionally, many UI bootcamps offer career services, such as job placement assistance, networking opportunities, and industry connections, which can further enhance the chances of securing employment after completing the program.