I’m so happy to have found this lovely community, but after some lurking I finally decided to make an account to join the conversation.
Thing is, I’m a complete newbie to UX–in fact, I only discovered its very existence several months ago. I was completely enthralled and have been reading up on it since, but somewhat recently I thought this could be something I could pursue professionally. I’ve just started looking into online resources and courses and hope to use this summer to do more serious studies.
However, I’m not here to ask about that. I was hoping for some input from professionals like yourself about whether I would be a good fit for this, but I have a rather unusual background.
I’m currently 30 years old and spent most of my 20s in University (I live in N-Europe where education is quite cheap) and have acquired 3 separate degrees: First I did a BA and MA and Linguistics but then finished a BA in Architecture last spring and currently work as an intern in an Architecture studio.
So I guess you see now what I mean with “unususal”! I suppose I have a diverse set of interests but I love intellectual problem-solving (and just learning things in general, especially languages) but I also have a creative streak and love drawing and design. After my years in Linguistics I grew really restless and Academia seemed off-putting in many ways, so I decided to pursue something creative. I got accepted into both Graphic Design and Architecture but decided on the latter, although in hindsight the former my have been a better choice. While the research/design part intrigues me, the technical part is absolutely daunting! And since I started interning I see even more clearly that the fun part is maybe 10% of the (very long) process.
I’ve been trying to pluck relevant factors from my studies that could translate into UX-related skills. From Architecture, I figure all design thinking is a plus, not to mention its focus on people and their experience of the environment. I’m also well versed in the Adobe Suite and have some basic HTML/CSS skills. My studies in Linguistics also focused on cognitive research, specifically, during my MA I was an assistant in a project centered around empathy and how different writing styles can affect the reader’s perception. I also did some peer tutoring and enjoyed helping people one-on-one but also tried some teaching but didn’t really like that as much. I miss contributing in a more direct way to people, but also not overly as I’m a pretty private person (I’m an INFJ in the Myers-Briggs test, for those into that).
Anyway, didn’t mean for this to be endless! But what I wanted to ask you:
- does my education seem like a practical background to build upon for UX?
- do you think employers would see it as a plus rather than a downside?
- would yet another u-turn in my studies put people off?
- is there some way to turn this all in my favour?
I feel like I’m already so old but haven’t started a proper career yet and this is really gnawing at my self esteem I’ve just been feeling so lost since I started interning, not really knowing what’s ahead. I honestly don’t feel like applying to a Master’s in Arch. My gut feeling tells me it’s not right, but I also know I don’t have endless time either. Not to mention another intense two years of study…I’d honestly rather want to start working and contributing. UX (and also UI, really) seems like a beautiful combination of my strength and interests but I’m hesitant to make yet another u-turn.
Oh, and to make things a little more complicated, I am currently 6 months pregnant! That’s absolutely a happy thing and I’m engaged to a wonderful man, but that does put a little time constraint on me. Although I also figured I could use some of the free time during my maternity leave to study UX, so maybe it’s a good thing.
Thanks for reading. Any advice or input is greatly appreciated.