Many UX bootcamp graduates have come into the field with absolutely no prior experience—Cecile, for example, came from a psychology and culinary background! There are so many examples of our graduates coming from completely different areas of work and landing great jobs in UX.
Why are so many people changing careers to UX design? For many, it’s the reported excellent work-life balance that a role in UX design can provide, the opportunities available for UX designers (perhaps more so if you’re looking to relocate), and—depending on industry and location—the salary expectations.
So, what does it take to retrain and get a job as a UX designer? Here are a few simple yet effective steps you can take:
- Learn the basic principles
- Find a course that suits you
- Build a design portfolio
- Network, network, network
Let’s look into each of those points a little more closely.
1. Learn the basic principles
In short, a UX designer makes a company or organization’s products and services usable and accessible for its users, improving the user experience wherever possible. While advocating for the user first and foremost, a UX designer must also ensure that their results align with the goals of the business. For more information on design principles, you can check out our guide: The 5 Key UX Design Principles You Need to Know
2. Find a course that suits you
Here, I want to emphasize the “suits you” part of the heading. When it comes to retraining to change careers, there will be those who are able to complete a design degree at a university, while others will be working full-time already and will need to make their own study schedule. Some may prefer structured, attendance-based programs, while others may prefer an online program or bootcamp. Whatever the situation you’re in, it’s important that your course fits your lifestyle, while also accomplishing your personal needs and wants. So, think about your course needs, then go over our guide to the best UX design certification programs on the market to figure out which course is right for you.
3. Build a design portfolio
When it comes to beginning the job search after your UX bootcamp or design course, you will absolutely need to have a design portfolio ready to show recruiters and potential employers. Why? Well, according to UX design recruiter Tom Cotterill, a design portfolio is arguably more important than even your CV, because it allows you to show off your personality and design thinking before you go into your first interview. If you’re stuck on where to begin, check out our top tips for creating an outstanding UX design portfolio.
4. Network, network, network
Finally, networking is a skill that will be useful not only in your career-change journey today, but for the rest of your working life! Hopefully Cecile has given you some inspiration in her interview, but for some extra advice, check out this workshop recording: How to Network: A Long-Term Strategy.
To conclude, changing careers into UX design can seem challenging, but if you come at it prepared, it will be a really rewarding and fulfilling experience. If you’re still weighing up your options, why not take our free introductory UX design course or talk to a program advisor?