Torn between uni choices!


#1

Hey everyone,

I am currently in the last year of high school and have decided to pursue UX as my long-term career. I am very torn about which degree to go after and thought some advice from some fellow UXers would help. What are you guys’ opinions on the following degrees i.e. What it’s like to to be in the UX programme- the people, atmosphere, resources, syllabus, teaching environment, student experience, is it worth it etc. ? The unis that I am more inclined towards are- UCL, UAL, NYU, SCAD, and U of T.

The degrees I have applied for are:
Loughborough University BSc User centred design
University College London (UCL) Arts and Sciences (BASc)
UAL London College of Communication BA (Hons.) Information and Interface Design
University of Leeds BA Digital Media
The Glasgow School of Art BA (Hons) Interaction Design
NYU Integrated Digital Media (BS)
Savannah College of Art & Design BFA UX Design
University of British Columbia BA Media Studies
University of Toronto Interactive Digital Media (Specialist), Honours Bachelor of Arts / Master of Information
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University BA(Hons) Communication Design

I was initially very keen on the SCAD UX Design course but am held back for safety reasons- drugs, alcohol, gun, racism against Asians and personal security issues are some things that I am very concerned about. I read the security report on the Savannah campus and there are 100+ drug/alcohol reports. Is SCAD Savannah a safe environment to be in? What are the things I need to be aware of?

I am also quite worried that the learning atmosphere might not be as active/motivated and the overall quality of students might not be as good as traditional universities of higher rankings where students come from better academic backgrounds and are more motivated to do better. Is the statement true?

Also, what are the prospects of computer programming in these courses- How advanced does it go? What are some tips you can give me in my portfolio submission?

If you have taken any of the degrees listed above, I would really appreciate your honest opinion! Thank you so much!

Serene


#2

Hey Serene,
Welcome!

To be honest, I can’t comment on those specific degrees because I have no personal knowledge of them. What I can tell you is that there are many, many paths into UX and the best one for you will depend on your strengths and personal passion.


#3

Same, I can’t comment on those courses either but I couldn’t agree more with @HAWK - there are so many different ways in! I studied industrial design at university which involves designing physical products that are mass produced and I know amazing UXers with backgrounds in: psychology, marketing, teaching, writing, information management, fine arts, architecture, graphic design, all types of engineering and science.


#4

I can’t speak specifically about SCAD because I’ve never visited, but I can tell you that I have no desire to visit Savannah. Georgia is hot, uncomfortable, and the political and social climate isn’t one I want to be a part of. Savannah in particular has a history of racism and is a very violent city for America. In all honesty, out of all the colleges you listed, SCAD would be at the bottom of my list.

I’d recommend sending this question individually to each school’s admissions department. Chances are they can give you better information.

@HAWK is dead-on here. One of the strengths of UX is that people from all walks of life are finding their way into the profession, leading to a variety of viewpoints and knowledge to contribute. I myself was homeless and working as a call center rep when I started my UX career. I now work as a full-time UX Engineer for a company that was just acquired by E*Trade.

In the end, I’d be so bold as to say that your degree matters less than you might think when it comes to future employment possibilities. Whatever path you choose, begin putting your learning into practice as soon as possible. Work on practical projects, build your portfolio, and show you can do the work. That experience will be far more valuable to employers than a degree - and when paired with one, you should have your pick of the litter when it comes to entry-level UX jobs after school.

Good luck!