Next Steps toward UX Research Career

Hi all! I am glad to find have found this space for UX folks. I am “new” to UX, having first seriously started looking into it a couple years ago. I first graduated in 2016 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies (essentially psychology). Since then, I have worked full-time customer service while getting a degree in French (graduated 2019). I have really enjoyed the research process throughout academia, and at one point was even able to conduct some light user research while working for a SaaS company.

In summary, while I do have a good glimpse into UX, I’m not quite comfortable-enough to build a portfolio. However, I am most interested in research, and would like to brush up on my statistical analysis knowledge (and other areas pertaining to user research). I want to begin working in the private sector, and possibly transition into civic tech after a certain point.

As such, I am looking into certification programs and would like some advice on options considering my background and goals. The question I am asking you all is – which of the following programs do you think is most built around user research? Better yet, if you have completed one of these programs, what did you think about the emphasis on research? Also, if you know of any other programs, I would love to hear your suggestions!

Online, low-cost options (preferred):

Since I can only list two links as a new member, what about the following options (more costly, but through accredited universities)?

  • User-Centered Design Certificate from University of Washington - I’m in Seattle, so I can pursue this.
  • User Experience Design certificate from UC San Diego
  • Certificate in User Experience Design from University of Baltimore
  • UX Certificate Program from Bentley University
  • User Experience and Customer-Centered Design Certificate from California State University

Lastly, would you consider this cert advisable?

  • Certified Usability Analyst from Human Factors

Thank you for any input!