First, a little about me. I live in Austin, Texas. I just graduated college this past May, obtaining a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Anthropology. I’m turning 29 in a few weeks, so you could say that I’m a little late to the post-undergrad scene. It was a long and circuitous route, but I graduated with a 3.46 GPA.
As for my “professional career”, I can’t say that I’ve had the chance to have one. It’s kind of hard to have one while obtaining a degree. All I have is retail and call center experience. You know, the typical string of high school / college student jobs.
I’ve been trying to go the free, learn online route and I’ve been reading books. But thanks to college, I know my learning style. I learn best in an in-person structured environment, where there are projects, deadlines, fellow students, and teachers to whom I can ask questions and receive mentorship.
Given that, I have all but decided upon attending General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive course this December. I’m willing to fork over the cash, as I see it as an investment in a bright future.
There is one red flag however. It seems like this course is full of people who are transitioning from a previous career. I’ve even heard that you have an uphill climb if you don’t have any prior experience with visual design and/or CSS / HTML and an overall Tech background (which I don’t have).
I worry that after spending $13,945, working my butt off, and graduating, I will find that employers won’t give me a chance. They will look at my age and my lack of any professional experience and laugh, regardless of my portfolio.
And so my backup plan is to get a Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) degree from UT Austin. Yes, it would be way more expensive – about 2.6 to 2.3 times more. However, I would receive about 57 weeks of learning versus GA’s 10 weeks. And I would get a more thorough theoretical understanding, and perhaps a better portfolio. And my MSIS degree would give me the boost that I may require in the eyes of employers.
I would love to hear from you that I don’t need an MSIS, and that that as long as I work my butt off, I will succeed with GA’s UXDI course. It would be cheaper, quicker, and I may even have a job within a year. But either move will be a substantial financial investment. I just want to make the right investment.