Career Advice Please!


Hi guys,

My name is Hashim, 32 years old from sunny London England.

I’m at a crossroad in my professional career where I’ve been working in finance for 6 years.

A member in my extended family is a UX researcher and I was overwhelmed by the salary she is currently earning in the city. But most importantly than that; she finds her job fun and plays around with lots of different tech.

Although my academic discipline is German And Business Management, I have a natural inclination towards tech and web-design. I’m a self taught Illustrator user, love photography and I love analysing data. Ask me to problem solve and I’ll get to it right away. I’m a creative thinker by heart.

I’m thinking about pursuing a masters programme in UX and having watched different youtube channels and doing my own research, I think UX could be a perfect match for me.

I love the idea of becoming a researcher; that go-to guy who would be able to devote time in competitor analysis, analysing data and getting down to client expectations and requirements.

I speak fluent German and would love to use my secondary language skills as an advantage if there is any.

I would be over the moon for any of you guys to provide me with good or bad feedback and what steps you would recommend me worth taking.

Lastly, what’s the key difference between visual and interaction design?

Thanks for reading,

Hash :slight_smile:


Hey Hashim.
Welcome to the community.

How exciting. It’s fantastic that you’ve found something that you feel passionate about – and it’s even better than you chose so well. :wink:

The best place to start would be by reading this article. If you’re still interested, there is also a [URL=“”]whole book. Then I’d have a read through some of the posts here in the [URL=“”]Careers forum because a number of people have asked career related questions which you might find useful. Reading through the [URL=“”]UX Stories forum might also be helpful if you want to see the kinds of approaches that other people have taken to a career in UX. Lastly, it might make sense to take a couple of online courses for UX beginners, to get a feel for what UX work is really like. We have a comprehensive list of [URL=“”]online courses here (and we have reviewed a fair number of them).

And lastly, visual design is the way something looks, while interaction design is how it responds when you use it. Does that make sense?

I hope that helps. Feel free to come back with more questions if you have any.


Welcome Hash.

Hawk has given you some great advice. I’ll add a couple of things:

  1. Read JJG’s book The Elements of User Experience Design. It will give you the context you need for understanding interaction design and where it fits in the grand scheme of things.
  2. I understand the appeal of a specific User Research job. But I’d urge you to manage your expectations around finding a specialised role like that straight away. The most common career path is to become a generalist who gains experience in a range of areas that fall under the UX umbrella (usability testing, prototyping, visual design, web analytics) and then specialises. Be patient and be prepared to do a range of jobs that are close to where you want to head, and eventually you’ll be able to move across. That’s my experience, anyway.

Hope that helps.


Hi guys,

Many thanks in finding the time and getting in touch.

I will definitely action your points as this will provide me with an ever-increasing picture in how UX works.

I’m at a stage in my career where I’m considering to put my accountancy qualification on hold and invest 1 years towards UX interaction design masters. This will give me an introduction to the topic and I’ll have a chance to work, sleep, drink UX everyday for 1 year.

Would you agree that irrespective where you do a Masters/ postgrad or what your academic background is in UX, the portfolio is the most important document that an interested employer will judge me on?

Comparing a finance career with a UX one, I’m just staggered at what lengths employers are interested in obtaining the services of a UX expert, especially when the starting salary is pretty decent and there’s a bonus and profit-sharing incentive too.

Lastly, do you think UX is here to stay for a very long time and generally, are we at an infancy stage or would you say that right now in 2015, UX is in fashion and while the waves are high, it’s best to make the most of it before the market becomes saturated


I’ve found the portfolio is the most important “document” so it may get you in the door, but more than that it’s whether you have experience and what your processes are that are important. You need to prove how you handle problem solving in UX, what your process is etc etc. Employer’s judge you on a variety of things and the portfolio really is just the start, soft skills are also very important.

Salaries are very location based, and bonus’s and profit-sharing incentives are too. Not all UX jobs come with those, it depends on the work you are doing and who you work for.

We’ve have this discussion around the UX fad in the forum, and personally I think it is here to stay, but it may change names or become more integrated. I think UX to a degree is always going to be valuable for the people looking to make the most out of their product/service, as at the end of the day we are creating these things for someone.