Preparing for a UX career while in college


Hi all,
This is my first time posting here. I have just completed the second year of my degree in Applied Psychology (the focus of this is on technology) and have two more to go. I am pretty sure I would like a career in UX. I was just wondering what steps I can take to best position myself for a UX job and make myself stand out to employers once I graduate. It seems tough to carry complete personal UX portfolio projects as gathering data and carrying out research is difficult without resources or help. Should I focus on building visual UI skills for now?
Thanks :slight_smile:


Hey @Mango – welcome!

This is something that we hear quite a bit, so there are a few posts that I can point you to that might help.
Entering the UX world while doing a Masters degree
Some useful information about putting together a portfolio (even if you’re not working in UX)
Some general info about starting out in a UX career
Some helpful info about what it’s like working in UX
Another helpful thread about the same sort of stuff

Have a read through those and if you have more questions as a result, fire away! :slight_smile:


Ah great, thank you very much :slight_smile:


Hi Mango;

I’m in a computer information system (CIS) program right now with the same goal, UX/UA. I have the same questions. Good luck.


Hey James,
Same thing applies - have a read of those articles and I’d be happy to answer any further questions that you have
And welcome on board. :slight_smile:


Welcome, Mango. =)

Studying Applied Psych is going to give you an inroad to the heavy-lifting end of UX, which is both a competitive advantage as well as a funnel towards certain types of work. I personally think it’s a great way to approach UX and wish we had more people with that background.

As is mentioned in those threads Hawk pointed you to, developing your general ‘T-Shaped professional’ UX skills (including visual UI and information architecture) and getting some practical experience will be the most productive things to work on. Your areas of speciality may well be a reason people might hire you, and your general experience and aptitude will be what sets you apart.

I’d encourage you to still go for some lightweight or personal projects that give you an end-to-end view of a whole project, as you’ll connect the dots in your head and get some real-life practical principles in place early in your career that can be hard to get from working on larger projects.


That’s a pretty amazing idea to be chasing for a personal project! I’d love to hear more as you go. =)