Career Change to UX and Not Sure Where to Begin


#1

I am brand new to this site, and I’m desperately seeking advice. I’m looking to break into the UX space; however, struggling to find a direct answer on what to do.

A little about me: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising/PR with a minor in Graphic Design. I’m well versed in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver. I have a novice knowledge of HTML and CSS and that’s all. I have little to no practical experience within the actual field; however, I was a technical recruiter for several years. It’s what has prompted me to make the change.

Basically, I’ve watched the videos, read the forums, reviewed the bootcamps and researched colleges, and I’m simply needing to pull the trigger. The issue is that there are so many options out there, it’s hard to know which one will set me up for the best chance at success.

With my background in IT Recruiting, I know that employers can be sticklers when it comes to experience and technologies. I’ve researched UX jobs in my market and everyone is looking for both Front End Developer Experience (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, JQuery, etc.) and a UX background. My developer skills obviously need to be honed in and developed; however, I can’t seem to find a program that would assist in both Web/Mobile Development and UX Design.

I’ve looked at careerfoundry, treehouse, going back to school for CS degree. I’m ready to drop $$$ wherever I need to! I simply want to make sure I take the first step in the right direction.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!


#2

Welcome! :slight_smile:

Ugh. Welcome to our world. This is NOT what employers should be looking for and we fight it daily!

That said, in many places that is the reality. Don’t go back to school and do a CS degree. If you want a degree, you’d be better off getting one in Psych or HCI.

How motivated are you at self learning and how quickly do you want to get this done?

I’m going to call in @jdebari for her thoughts on which of the bootcamp programs offers the most tech/front end focus (and for your thoughts in general please Julia!).

My gut feeling is that you’d be better doing a really solid UX bootcamp and teach yourself the front end stuff online. It’s very easy to learn if you’re committed.


#3

Hi @89_k_a_m_79,

Bloc.io would probably be the best option for UX and front-end. It’s definitely important to focus on the UX concepts first and then think about branching out into front-end coding.

As @HAWK mentioned this is a common issue in the industry. When you are Interviewing make sure to find out why they need front-end coding. Is it to prototype? There are tons of tools out there. Is it to talk to developers? You can learn a lot without doing actual code. If it is to write actual production code you may want to ask why the company doesn’t value UX enough to have UX as its own role.

Good luck!


#4

This is super helpful!!! Thank you! I wasn’t sure if I should head in the web development direction first or the UX. That clears it up a little! I also appreciate the interview tips. I hadn’t thought about those scenarios.

I’m pretty motivated and not bad at keeping myself accountable with self-teaching. I’ve already started ramping back up on the HTML and CSS space since I know that pretty well. I’ve also got family support to keep me motivated and accountable. The biggest thing is finding either mock projects to work on, or freelance work for a beginner. I’ll work for free to get experience! (I have a full time job currently so I don’t necessarily need the income)

I haven’t done a lot of research into Block.io. I’ll need to check that out further. I did a lot of reading on careerfoundry’s site and their UX program looked pretty solid. Any suggestions between the two?

Again, thank you for responding so quickly! I really appreciate it!


#5

Totally welcome. It’s why we’re here.


#6

Hi,

CareerFoundry offers a specialization course Frontend Basics for Designers as part of their Certified UX Designer course.

cheers,
Martin


#7

@89_k_a_m_79 wow, sorry it took me so long to respond a second time!

CareerFoundry just revamped their course so I am not sure how it compares now to Bloc.io. Before, based on your interested, I would have definitely said Bloc.io, but now you might want to talk with people at each company and compare them since they are pretty similar.