Having successfully completed a degree in political science in German, Alex found himself in the eclectic city of Berlin, where he began teaching business as part of a scholarship program. However, he soon grew tired of the constant chopping and changing of different schedules, and yearned for something that was more comfortable, stable and engaging.
After a round of job hunting, Alex landed a startup job as an SEO editor and began writing for a large telecommunications company on digital topics—catapulting him into the world of tech. Before long, he found he was totally enthralled by design—and decided that this was the industry he wanted to be in.
“I found that I was observing her work with CareerFoundry, and she was having a lot of fun and learning a lot. So I decided to do that instead.”
Alex felt that UX design was a natural progression from the computer programming subjects he’d already been studying in his own time. At an abstract level, he liked the fact that UX offered a good balance between understanding the needs of both the users and the business. At a more concrete level, he liked the fact that the course would endow him with hard skills in areas like information architecture and the design thinking process.
On starting the course, he immediately found it invigorating to be in a learning environment again. He felt that he was in a space where he could make mistakes and improve without any huge consequences, and enjoyed the dynamism of implementing the processes that he was learning about, getting timely feedback on his submissions from his tutor, then going on to iterate to make them even better.
It was through this process that Alex honed his skills in UX research and prototyping, learning all the practical steps required to take a product from the very first low-fidelity wireframes all the way to functioning, high-fidelity prototypes. In doing so, he began to appreciate just how much work goes into the applications that we all use on a daily basis.
“There are so many websites and applications out there that you take for granted. When you log into your Gmail or PayPal, you just think that they work the way they work because you’re not a part of all the many design decisions that go into creating every single feature. Being exposed to that world was really enriching.”
Alex’s passion for UX obviously impressed potential employers—within just two months of completing the course, he’d landed a job. He accredits his success to taking full advantage of all the services on offer—from the unparalleled support provided by our Career Services Team to our unique Job Preparation Course, which constitutes an optional module of all our career change courses, and teaches you everything from how to write an effective cover letter to how to make your LinkedIn profile shine.
Alex is now a junior UX designer at a design agency. He loves the fact that his job gives him a variety of tasks to work on, and he feels like he’s learning something new every day.
“When I think about where I was last year and I think about where I am today, it’s a perfect reminder that I’m doing something that had inspired me previously and that I made happen. It’s so cool to think, now I have a job that I want to be in and that I feel I have a future in. That doesn’t really get old.”
So, what advice would Alex give to people considering a career change?
“It’s great if you have a support network around you. There are always circumstances going on in your life that need to be considered—and of course, there’s a risk, but there’s a huge payoff if you go for it! UX is an industry where people are always looking for new employees and new talent.”
According to Alex, there are two things which are vital to landing a job quickly. Firstly, you need to really focus on building up your portfolio while studying with CareerFoundry. Secondly, you need to get involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible. That means going to meetups, requesting a coffee here and there with experienced designers, and generally just getting acquainted with your local design community. This is the best remedy to the old Catch-22: You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job.
So what’s next for Alex? Well, he’s in UX for the long run, and aims to grow into a senior role, so the story’s only just begun!
Right at this very moment, you’re just 10 months away from being a fully-qualified, fully-hired UX designer. Take your first step and speak to one of our program advisors today about how you too can succeed in a new, creative career in tech.