In 2024, Reddit is the go-to choice for advice and opinions backed up by experience on your topic of choice. Whatever your interest, there’s a discussion community (or “subreddit”) for you.
It’s the case for UX, too. Reddit has long been the spiritual home of forward-thinking digital nomads, with a wealth of information and advice written by and for a broad UX community.
In this article, we’ve scoured the subreddits for you, collecting the hottest UX bootcamp Reddit advice and related questions and highlighting the most upvoted responses, edited only for language or comprehension.
Let’s jump right in.
The Best UX Design Advice From Reddit
1. Is doing a UX bootcamp worth it?
The most upvoted response tells a bootcamp success story. For this UX designer, the educational framework and networking opportunities offered by a bootcamp provided the perfect foundations to excel in their career:
“The main factor is whether you have the knowledge to figure out everything you need to shift your career into UX, and if you have the discipline to acquire it.
Personally, I preferred to pay for the structure of the curriculum, camaraderie from the classmates, and support from the teachers. I just don’t think I would have been able to achieve the same thing in the same amount of time.
Five or six years ago I did a bootcamp and, within 6 months, got an offer from an agency that works in-house at one of the big tech giants. Two years ago, I moved in-house with the company, and I’ve worked there since.
I had 12k debt from the bootcamp, plus around 15k in credit card debt and college tuition. I am currently debt free, planning on buying a house with stock in the next few years.
Some say the bootcamp thing is not worth the investment but for me it was totally worth it, one of the best decisions of my life.
Job prospects? Do not know. Bay Area always has some company hiring UX, but it has declined due to covid. But remote has gone up because most of the job can be performed remote. Sign up for email alerts for ux designer in Glassdoor and LinkedIn and others in areas you want to work to get a sense for job prospects.”
2. Do people actually get hired after taking a bootcamp?
The top-rated comment comes from an experienced UX designer, with some insightful stats on the career outcomes for UX design bootcamp enrolees.
This Redditor details their experience hiring applicants with bootcamp credentials, observing that, while bootcamps provide UX designers with the basic tools to tackle projects, coaching and experience on the job are also critical:
“I’m a designer who, in a past role, worked on a team that hired lots of entry-level positions out of boot camps (we have a few popular ones in our region).
I’d say about 40% of the people end up as designers, 30% as researchers or copywriters, and the rest often struggle to get jobs and end up pursuing other opportunities.
Bootcamps are effective at teaching you a basic toolset that can be applied to projects. In the real world, few projects follow that model, but we don’t expect entry-level designers to be self-starters and fully able to navigate a project independently; we anticipate that with adequate coaching, curating the right types of projects for them to tackle and placing them in a highly collaborative environment, they will expand that toolset and understand which tools make sense for the right job. Just as when I was in college, I had a hammer, 2 screwdrivers, and a set of pliers, but now have multiple power tools, wrench sets, etc.
I always look for strong design rationale (why did you make that design decision?), clear communication skills (a portfolio or slide deck introducing yourself and your work help), and solid critical thinking (when did you decide to stop ideation and start researching, how did you structure and conduct research, how’d you define requirements). Universally, bootcamps will tee-up success in these areas, but I’ve seen plenty of people fall short.”
3. Soft skills in UX careers
In r/UXDesign, a Redditor prompts senior UX designers to reflect on lessons learned after several years in the game:
The top comment is a no-holds-barred breakdown of difficulties and challenges UX designers should expect to encounter on the job.
The Redditor touches on UX design bootcamp teachings and how these are applied in real work scenarios:
“Most people don’t want great designs from you; they want someone who is easy and enjoyable to work with. You’ll spend most of your time managing egos, not design work.”
Another top-voted response posits, “That marketing yourself is half the work required to make career progress. Sharp business acumen, as well as skills in advertising and graphic design, are underrated and necessary for long-term success.”
So when looking at bootcamps, find one that stresses soft skills.
4. Must UX designers know all the tools to be employable?
In r/uxcareerquestions, a Redditor expresses concern over their grasp of the interface design tool, Figma.
The top comment for this question reassures the original author that UX design success is not dependent on fluency in any given software or system.
Figma may be the go-to program for UX firms in 2023, but that will change—as it has done many times before. Rather, designers should look to fit the needs of any given role on a case-by-case basis:
“Re: about your ideas, not what tools you use. I think it’s really about whether you can do what the employer needs from the role. A large percentage of shops are using Figma now, so that’s a part of the need. Why not just learn it? (I’m old, so my tool was still Illustrator when everywhere else was getting into Sketch.. so I feel ya, but I had to get over it)
Also, I can see the downvotes in my future, but very few companies are really hiring UX/product designers for their ideas. I feel like the belief that they are is one of the biggest factors in grouchiness about the career.”
5. Which bootcamp?
One Redditor asks which bootcamp is best, and the top-rated comment actually attended the CareerFoundry UI program. They caution that one has to be prepared to put the work in, although notably, the user actually went out of their way to do additional work!
“I graduated from CareerFoundry’s UI course and got a job as a product designer in 1.5 months. It’s a decent course, but you have to put in the work – on the side, l watched YT videos on breaking into the industry, listened to design podcasts, and consumed tons of design content on Twitter, IG, LinkedIn and TikTok to make sure my work/knowledge was up to date. Also, find designers that work for design-first companies like Apple/Twitter/Airbnb, etc, on LinkedIn or folios and take notes on how they put together their portfolios.
It’s a great time to enter UX; everyone is looking for screen-based designers right now. With a few right moves, you can make it.”
Reddit is a deep mine of information and discussion on the latest UX design topics. It’s a great place to seek advice on the current UX jobs market and what steps to take next to further your career in the field.
Reddit’s users have different opinions on UX bootcamps. Some Redditors offer up success stories about their experience of UX design bootcamps and the careers that came after, while others warn of risks around subscribing to an expensive bootcamp, with no guarantee of employment, in an already saturated jobs market.
However, subreddits do seem to agree that the networking and employment opportunities that continuing education allows are vital.
One common theme is that a strong portfolio and good ideas are crucial in a job application. If you’re considering doing a bootcamp, one that stresses the importance of building these—or even includes doing so as part of the curriculum—is critical.
For more insight on the world of Reddit, check out these CareerFoundry articles: