How long to find a job for a newbie?

Hi all! I’m completely new to UX, but thinking seriously about taking the UX design course through Career Foundry. My background is in book design and publishing, with a stint in project management working on higher education e-book learning platforms (so I know XML and basics of HTML/CSS), and now I’m working in marketing. I love what I’m reading about UX, and UI to some degree as well. I’ve always been attracted to web design and development, and think that UX would be a good fit for me.
However, for a late 30-something with 2 unrelated degrees, how likely is it that I would take a 6-month course through Career Foundry or similar and be able to get a full-time, decent paying job? Is that totally unrealistic? Would I look at starting out through unpaid internships or the like? I’ve heard you prove yourself through your tangible experience/code/projects, so do you really need to build an extensive portfolio on your own before seeking real employment in the industry?

Thanks in advance for any guidance and suggestions!

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First off I would encourage you to research here and elsewhere about different UX training providers. I recently graduated from Career Foundry in the UX program and have written my thoughts about the program here on this site (sorry I don’t have a direct link for you)

As you probably know, Career Foundry offers a “get a job you love in 6 months” money back guarantee, I believe some other schools do similar offers. Location is going to matter but having two degrees, some HTML/CSS/SML knowledge and a project management background I say your chances are looking good but yes indeed it’s all about the number and quality of projects you can show in your portfolio and your networking skills. As you are still under 40 I don’t believe age is going to be a factor against you either.

At the completion of the CF course you will have one major project to show off in your portfolio which you will be working on throughout the course. Right away you can see you are going to need to find other projects to work on, if just for your portfolio. Try and get at least 3 projects in your portfolio even if they are student projects is the advice I’ve seen given out.

These UX courses are not inexpensive with a few exceptions such as Dr. Travis’ course offered through Udemy which right now is only $35 or $50 - something in that range. There is also, treehouse and many other online sources of training in UX that are not necessarily in the category of an extended “bootcamp” like CF or General Assembly or others.

I have heard stories of people training in UX or UI getting job offers even BEFORE graduating from their bootcamp but you can’t count on that happening to you. All in all, I have no worries about your prospects, go for it! Remember, self-study is an equally viable route…employers don’t really care all that much about IF or WHICH program you graduated from, it’s all about can you do the work? Can you show similar work you’ve done in the past? That’s what matters more, IMHO (insert standard disclaimers here!)

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Here you go: CareerFoundry vs Bloc vs DesignLab

This topic might also be of interest to you @m_rhodes80 (and welcome on board BTW Maya, glad you’re here): How big a deal is being older when starting out in UX career?

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Hi, I can’t see you’d have any trouble at all depending on where you live.

I am 35 have a degree in art history but 15 years of web design. I did a one week NNG last year and did the certification. I applied for 1 job a month later and got it. My portfolio is all web design rather than UX. I suspect I may have had a harder time goiing for an agency job but I like in-house jobs as I like being able to work on long projects rather than tight deadlines.

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Thanks so much, Steve! Greatly appreciate your feedback and thoughtful comments. I think it’s helpful to go into this with eyes wide open and understand that one course does not prepare for a career, just as in any other industry. We all want quick fixes though!
Thanks so much!

Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for sharing! That’s really encouraging! How do you like UX as compared to web design? Do you miss the design-heaviness of web design, or do you do a lot of “design” in your UX job?

Thank you, Hawk! Very helpful!! smile

TBH it’s not a massive difference except for the pay cheque!

I like that I can back up my ideas with evidence which makes it harder for the boss to say ‘lets do it like that because I want it that way’ I feel like my colleagues have more respect in my ideas.

My last job was getting very front-end code heavy (thus the reason for leaving) so I’m actually doing more design now than I was. My old workplace replaced me with a coder.

Sounds like a perfect switch then! Thanks for sharing, Rachel!!

All depends on the qualifications, exp, location, skills etc.