Become a UX research specialist or UX generalist?


The expectation of designer in my current role is full stack UX - research, running design workshops, prototyping, testing, UI design. While I am able to deliver in all of these areas I’d like to focus on research.
I’ve managed to stay flexible and employable as a generalist so I am afraid to focus on a single UX skill but I really enjoy research.

I have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and transitioned into UX from 20 years as a visual designer. I kicked of my UX transition 4 years ago with workshops, online courses and learning on the job.

Will focusing on UX research decrease my employability?
What institutions and programs offer good quality training that is or related to UX research?
Which programs do hiring managers value?

Grateful for any input and experience anyone can share!

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The job market for UX research is slimmer than it is for design. From a pragmatist standpoint, you’ll have more opportunities as a generalist of design specialist.

I’m not aware of any specific UX-research programs out there. It may be something I put together myself here in the next month or so.

I’m not really sure what you mean here - can you clarify your question?

Hi! Thanks for the response!

Looks like I should clarify some things:

I would be open to studying things like anthropology, service design, sociology if there was an emphasis on research. Doesn’t have to be specifically UX research since I think UX research leverages anthropology and sociology.

Well first I corrected my typo :wink: What I meant is, is there are some programs/certifications - like Nielsen Norman Group, IDEO - for UX and design thinking that are highly regarded and well known. Boise State University has a UX research cert. program but I don’t know much about that school. Would it make a difference choosing a program that is better known?

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