Over the past ten years, UX design has evolved from an emerging niche to one of the hottest, most in-demand career paths on the tech scene. At the time of writing, a quick search for UX design jobs on Glassdoor reveals over 5,000 open positions in the United States alone. We truly are living in a golden age for UX design, and the industry is showing no signs of slowing down.
The tech scene develops quickly; companies rise and fall, trends appear and disappear, and new tools and software continue to revolutionize how we work. In the exciting, ever-changing field of UX, educational institutions have struggled to somehow remain relevant and train the next generation of UX designers in the skills they need for today’s—and tomorrow’s—job market. Where traditional educational establishments have struggled to keep up, UX bootcamps have stepped up to fill the void.
Back in 2014, the founders behind CareerFoundry set out with one very ambitious goal: to create an innovative, flexibly-paced online bootcamp that would transform even the most tender-footed of UX hopefuls into job-ready UX designers in 5-10 months. Fast-forward to today and we’ve educated well over 2,000 students across 5 continents—and boast a solid 96% graduate placement rate. So, how did we crack it?
From the guidance of dedicated career specialists to the wisdom of expert mentors, we’ll take a look at how CareerFoundry has perfected an educational model that guarantees you a job in the field of UX design.
- The course content
- The mentors and tutors
- The specializations
- The career services
- The network
- Wrap up
1. The course content
Not all bootcamps are created equal—and one clear distinction between a good UX bootcamp and a great one is the quality of the curriculum. CareerFoundry’s curriculum is produced exclusively in-house by subject matter experts and is regularly updated to reflect current industry trends.
The Certified UX Designer Course is broken into three sections which take you from designing your very first app to whipping up a killer portfolio that introduces you as an adept designer to your future employers. Along the way, students get to grips with user-centered design, the design thinking process, foundational design, usability testing, and just about everything in-between.
Student feedback and in-depth research are also used to continually optimize the course content. The result? A highly personalized learning experience that will see you thrive in your career as a UX designer. All with the benefit of flexible, self-paced learning—meaning that no matter whether you’re a parent, full-time worker or you’re simply looking to get qualified but don’t have the time or the capital to go back to university, you can study in your own time, and in your own way.
2. The mentors and tutors
Between managing your timetable, navigating a new job market, and figuring out your personal brand, even the most motivated career-changers need guidance. Enter: mentors and tutors!
While other bootcamps may provide you with a mentor, we team you up with two experts; a senior UX designer with at least eight years of experience in the field, and a course expert who has at least two years experience in the field.
Mentorship is core to CareerFounrdry’s educational model. As such, mentors at CareerFoundry are no ordinary mentors: they’re your window into the design world. As subject matter experts with years of experience in the field, your mentors act as your teachers, cheerleaders, and confidants throughout every step of your UX journey. They’ve walked the path before you, navigated the same pitfalls you’re facing, and can coach you one-to-one every step of the way. Through regular skype calls, your mentor will offer you reviews of your portfolio, a fresh pair of eyes on your projects, and some much-needed encouragement when faced with a challenging task.
A tutor, on the other hand, is a course expert who is there to answer your everyday questions and provide actionable feedback on your tasks within a speedy 24 hours. By adopting this ‘dual’ approach of having both a mentor and a tutor working in tandem to help you succeed, we banish the common concern about loneliness and isolation that surrounds online learning.
New to the wonderful world of mentorship? Check out our blog post on how to make the most out of your mentor!
3. The specializations
What’s more in-demand than UX designers? UX designers who are also competent in user interface design, voice user interface design, or frontend development. To meet this demand, CareerFoundry has introduced specializations; add-on courses that provide opportunities for graduates to expand their skill set.
Graduates can level up their coding skills with the Frontend Development Specialization, flex their creative skills with the UI Specialization, or stay ahead of the trend by mastering tech’s “next big thing” with the Voice User Interface Design specialization with Amazon Alexa.
But why take just one specialization, when you could take two? In the face of an evolving tech landscape, roles are constantly merging and expanding to encompass skills and responsibilities in a range of UX-related disciplines. Having two specializations under your belt won’t just give you a competitive edge in the job market, it will also make you something of a UX-unicorn—which will most likely result in a higher pay-packet. Win-win!
“When I job search, I see that most positions either prefer or require competency in multiple areas beyond just UX. It can only help to have a background in other specializations in such a competitive market!” Stephanie, UX design graduate qualified in both frontend development and UI design
The cherry on top? These additional skills be acquired within just two months! Check out this awesome frontend development portfolio from UX graduate Virginia Yu.
4. The career services
Some bootcamps offer their students a career specialist or a tutor who’ll hold your hand throughout the job-hunting process. At CareerFoundry, we’ve got an entire team—and a very special course—dedicated to ensuring you land the job of your dreams.
The job preparation course is an optional free module designed to assist you with all aspects of finding a new job as a UX designer. Students who opt in to the job preparation course are assigned a Career Specialist who’ll be your fairy job-mother (or father). Your Career Specialist will help you to define your personal brand, teach you how to network like a pro, create a job search strategy, get your interviewing skills up to scratch, and help you tidy up your LinkedIn profile.
And if that’s not enough, CareerFoundry offers refunds to students who don’t land a job within six months of graduating. But as our aforementioned 96% job placement rate suggests, that’s pretty rare…
The best part? Your career specialist won’t dump you once you land a role. Many CareerFoundry students still keep in touch with their career specialists years into their career, and reach out regularly for advice about anything from professional development to salary negotiation.
5. The network
Thinking that studying with an online UX bootcamp means you’ll miss out on vital opportunities to network with potential employers? Think again! Upon finishing the course, CareerFoundry graduates automatically become part of an active alumni network. Highlights include a weekly-updated alumni job board featuring job opportunities exclusively from the CareerFoundry community, and alumni Slack channels that are organized by location, making it super easy to connect with other alumni, ask about local job opportunities, and swap job-hunting tips and tricks.
If face-to-face networking is your jam, CareerFoundry hosts a Smörgåsbord of community events and meetups. Local student-organized meetups also take place regularly in cities all over the globe—from Munich to Chicago. If you can’t find a meetup near you, don’t worry! Our Career Specialists will work with you to kick-start your own.
Check out our blog post on the expectations vs. the reality of studying with a UX bootcamp.
6. Wrap up
The rise in demand for talented UX designers has brought with it the rise in UX bootcamps—all of which offer their own, unique learning experiences. But few UX bootcamps combine comprehensive curriculum, personalized mentorship and student-focused learning quite like CareerFoundry. And now? Now we believe we can take any motivated committed individual from beginner to hired professional in as little as ten months—guaranteed!
Still not convinced? Our alumni success stories speak for themselves!