Postgraduate at Regional Uni OR Online Bootcamp?

I have an important choice to make, and I am counting on your input.

The dilemma: I have an opportunity to sign up for a postgraduate degree (User Experience) offered at a university in Poland. On the other hand, maybe it would be better to invest in a globally recognized online bootcamp?

Postgraduate Program

  • Cost under $2,000
  • 2 semesters (1 academic year), weekends only
  • 230 hours, including 50 hours of project work w/ mentors
  • 30 person cohort, year-long group project (groups of 3)

Assumed Pros: face-to-face interaction with mentors and peers; experienced mentors [not all academics it seems]; opportunity to network with local startups [via partnerships] [might help with landing first job/internship]

Assumed Cons: program director seems legit, but this is still a traditional, Polish public university program. What if lectures and projects are too basic, stale [theoretical] or behind the curve; no recognition of program value beyond Poland [will anyone in US/West know or care about such a credential?]; location dependence for a year; group projects might suck hard

Online Bootcamps
DesignLab, Bloc, etc. [Online-only, because I cannot afford more than $5-6k]

Assumed Pros: Far more globally recognized; likely more flexible and project-oriented; faster paced; more likely to develop network in US/EU

Assumed Cons: Online-only [lack of face-to-face]; less connected to local community [first job networking]

I think the local program is a great way to introduce some much needed face-time to an otherwise individual, self-paced experience (MOOCs, books, blogs, boards). It is also a way to network with the local community and maybe even land a job or an internship. However I am afraid that this might prove a stale academic experience, and the money would be better spent contributing towards a well established bootcamp. As my goal down the line is to work in Western Europe or US, perhaps a globally recognized bootcamp would also prove more legitimate credential then a postgrad degree from a no-name Eastern European uni?

Let me know what you think! :slight_smile:

I should add that:

A) It would be best to ASK the people who graduated from the program about it, unfortunately that’s not possible & there’s no time (I need to sign up by Monday!)

B) Right now I have no UX experience, my plan is to try to find work in Warsaw, Krakow, Tallinn or other young market. I would like to move to a more mature market (like London, Berlin, or Sillicon Valley) … once I have 5+ years of experience.

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Is it possible to do both? the postgrad seems like more bang for your buck. face to face is much better than online and also in the US the credentials matter less than your portfolio. I would request demos or portfolios from either program to assess them.

Doing both is an option I guess, but given financial and time constraints, I would prefer to pick just one (+ self-study) and then get to real work hopefully :slight_smile:

Looking at portfolios of participants, such a good idea!

@hundertwasser - It’s my understanding that, overall, @tylernectarux is right in more places than just the US. In the short time I’ve been here I’ve seen more consensus on that point than any other.

Best of luck on your journey. Let us know what you decide!

Hey there,
It’s a bit hard to make a judgement about the degree because I don’t know anything about the Polish education system but networking is a very important part of UX so if you don’t have the opportunity to go to meet-ups or other in-person events, the degree sounds pretty good.

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