There are many advantages to attending a UX design bootcamp, including price, flexibility, and training to be ready for the job market.
UX design as a career path has become increasingly popular due to its high job satisfaction, remote opportunities, and high pay opportunities. The tech field, including UX design, has skyrocketed over the past several years.
Students interested in a UX design career path have several options to pursue a UX/UI design certification or education in the field. One of the most cost-effective and comprehensive routes to becoming a UX designer is attending a UX bootcamp.
What is a UX Bootcamp?
A UX bootcamp is designed as an immersive educational program to prepare UX designers for the job market. UX bootcamps are a fantastic way for motivated students to quickly achieve a competitive advantage in the job market. Because bootcamps focus on job readiness and practical design principles, many students find this option comparable to a college degree track to UX without the price tag.
UX design bootcamps are an attractive option for those looking to become a UX designer with little to no previous experience. Because UX bootcamps are comprehensive, they are a common avenue for those at the start of their careers and those interested in making a career change.
UX Design Bootcamps: A Flexible Education Option
UX design bootcamps are accelerated programs, so completion time ranges between three months and one year.
Most programs can be completed on a full-time and part-time basis. This flexibility is one of the main advantages for those pivoting in their careers and planning to continue working while completing the bootcamp. The pace at which one can be completed varies on the institution – some are self-paced, and others adhere to a timeline and corresponding class schedule.
Bootcamps offer another element of flexibility as well: remote learning. Many UX design bootcamps offer either fully online or in-person learning systems. Some programs offer a hybrid of online and in-person instruction.
The time commitment for online and in-person bootcamps usually falls within the same range, as does cost. Online programs are also an excellent way for those without in-person bootcamp options to obtain an education and job experience.
The time commitment of a UX design bootcamp is an important consideration when deciding which one fits within your budget, lifestyle, and career goals.
The Cost of UX Design Bootcamps
The cost of UX bootcamps varies as widely as the particular programs do. Some come with a price tag of $15,000, while others are offered at $6,000. The time commitment, level of collaboration with mentors, instructors, and other students, as well as pace and client project opportunities, are all factors that contribute to the overall cost of a bootcamp.
UX Design Bootcamp Structure
As discussed above, UX design bootcamps offer a comprehensive, immersive learning structure for students who want to understand design fundamentals and leave the program as a competitive candidate in the job market.
To meet these needs of UX design students, bootcamps often direct a lot of focus into real-world experience with real clients.
The first portion of most UX bootcamps focuses on design principles, common programs (such as Adobe XD, Sketch, and Figma), and industry context. Understanding how UX designers fit into the tech ecosystem is an important step in learning how to collaborate in a UX design career.
These programs teach students to go through the design thinking process, perform market research and user testing, and communicate their designs clearly to other industry professionals.
During this bootcamp segment, students are given assignments to complete that reflect the responsibilities of a UX design career. Depending on the bootcamp chosen, instructors give detailed feedback and grade assignments that promote student improvement and opportunities for questions. Some bootcamps also assign group projects, which encourages students to collaborate.
Since UX design is often a very collaborative field, many bootcamps also facilitate collaboration between students of other concentrations in their bootcamps (such as development students) and group projects completed with a student’s fellow UX design cohort.
Most programs also connect students with a mentor that can answer additional questions and prepare students for the soft skills related to UX design.
The latter segment of the UX design bootcamp focuses heavily on preparing students for the job market. Many bootcamps offer students the opportunity to work with an actual client and create a project to add to their portfolio — a fundamental aspect of a UX design job application.
During this phase, students are also coached by their mentors in interviewing, resume design and writing cover letters, and how to find the types of positions that appeal most to the student and their career goals.
The need for UX designers has increased dramatically in the last several years. As a result, more UX design bootcamps have become available to fit the various needs of prospective designers. Choosing the right bootcamp is a big decision that should be considered carefully. Below are some of the most popular and well-known bootcamps to help students enter the workforce as UX designers.
Best UX Design Bootcamps
Career Foundry: Career Foundry is one of the best UX design bootcamps because of the comprehensive design of its program. Career Foundry offers students an all-inclusive curriculum and mentorship for each student. The bootcamp also offers a job guarantee and has placed its graduates in successful companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and eBay. Career Foundry offers its students the flexibility of a self-paced learning program, making it an ideal option for those with a busy lifestyle or working throughout their careers. Career Foundry offers UX and UI bootcamps and career specialization.
Springboard: Springboard is a well-known name in the tech industry. Their primary focus is on their student mentorship program, which offers unlimited weekly calls to a student’s mentor. Springboard also focuses on creating a job-ready cohort of graduates, like resume writing and interview preparation. This program, like Career Foundry, comes with a job guarantee.
Springboard offers its students a full-time program with both syllabus and self-paced options. The full-time program can be completed in six months.
One important caveat to Springboard is its rigorous admissions process, which includes a requirement for previous job or educational experience. This program also provides payment options for students and creates an environment for collaborating and networking both during the program and after graduation.
General Assembly: Another popular option is General Assembly because of its flexibility. This institution offers both remote learning and in-person learning (in select cities) and the option to attend either full or part-time. The program also boasts an alumni network and events, which cater to graduates ready to begin their job hunt. General Assembly comes with a low price tag of $3950, and students can earn their certificate in as little as ten weeks.
Bloc (Now Thinkful): While the name of this program may have changed, the quality of education it offers its students has not. This program gives students both full-time and part-time learning options, and it’s completed entirely online in 5-6 months.
Skillshare: From a deep-dive on inclusive design to everything you need to know about the popular design platform Figma, Skillshare has you covered. Courses are offered in digestible video formats and cover a wide-range of UX topics.
Things to Consider When Choosing a UX Bootcamp
A UX design bootcamp is a big investment, financially and time-wise. It’s important to consider all factors before deciding which one is the best fit.
Time commitment: One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a UX design bootcamp is the time to complete. A wide range of design bootcamps offers an even more comprehensive time to complete the program. Students should consider whether a full-time or part-time program best suits their needs. Whether a student is also working, has children, or many other factors go into choosing the full or part-time option.
Learning style: Some students learn best when collaborating with others. Some work best independently. And some thrive on feedback from instructors. Some students require more time with a mentor than others do. A student’s specific needs should be compared against the program to determine its fit.
Remote or in-person: Some UX design bootcamps offer in-person learning, and some specialize in remote education. Some UX design bootcamps offer both options or a hybrid program. Location, job market, commute, and more are all things to consider when deciding which bootcamp is the right fit.
Price: While all UX design bootcamps cost significantly less than a degree in design, some are priced much higher than others. How much to spend on a UX design bootcamp is based on the factors above. For example, if someone needs a program that offers frequent interaction with their mentor, this should be compared against the student’s budget. Budget is another important factor, as are income and working situations during the completion of the bootcamp.
Curriculum: Understanding the different options offered by bootcamps is crucial in comparing and contrasting them against each other to choose the UX design bootcamp that is the best fit. Researching the instructors and the content provided in the course are both good places to start when evaluating a program’s curriculum quality.
Reviews: Thousands of students take UX design bootcamps every year, and many of them share their experiences online. Researching other students’ experiences, needs, and career goals can help define the most important factors to pursue in a UX design bootcamp and gain real-world accounts of enrollment in the program.
Choosing the right UX bootcamp comes down to time, budget, learning style, and curriculum to determine the UX bootcamp that best fits students’ lifestyles.
It’s important to research several bootcamps to accurately compare them against each other and ensure that a student’s learning style and career goals are addressed within a particular bootcamp.