What Major? So confused

Hi There!

I’m about to turn 37yrs old this July. I have some college credits, close to an associate’s degree in arts. I would really like to make a change and work toward a possible career in UX design, especially UX research. I am legitimately confused as to what degree I should pursue. I do not have a strong background in math or science but I am always willing to learn. I have a tendency to lean toward the creative end of the spectrum. I also love writing. There are degree programs in IT/Software Dev and there are programs in Graphic Design/ Web Design. Both have a course or to involving UX.

Which makes a better foundation for a career in UX? I absolutely love psychology but a bachelors in Psych doesn’t get you very far. I’m pretty old to consider going for a Masters. Plus, I have budget restraints. That is part of the reason I have to pursue my education online. My age, my kids and my current station in life drive me to want to make a living doing something lucrative and enjoyable. Am I dreaming the impossible dream?

I could really use some guidance. Honestly, the admission counselors at all of the schools I’ve looked at so far only care about getting $$$$.


Hi Jamie @Jwyck ,

User experience design is a vast field. You don’t need to have a background in math and science to become a UX designer. A knowledge of psychology actually does help in UX design, as a lot of work revolves around understanding people (the users).

When UX began booming as a career, a lot of graphic and web designers transitioned to UX, and so it became a bit of a norm, that UX designers should have sound visual design and programming skills. These do help but are not essential – especially now when a lot of tools do the heavy lifting. A UX designer’s scope of work now is much more vast and includes sub-specializations such as User Researcher, Information Architect, etc.

I don’t have a formal degree in either arts or science. I did learn HTML, CSS and experimented with web programming several years ago when web design technologies were relatively new and not as complex or powerful as they are now. This background did help me when I stumbled into UX design quite by accident.

There weren’t many UX design programs when I started. And those that were were at fancy design schools that had limited intakes and were very difficult to get into. I learned about UX design on the job, and I am continuing to learn about it even now.

I’m not sure if my story will be helpful (or more confusing) to you, so to help, here are some articles:

All these articles are from the literature section of The Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF), and you can find several more insightful articles related to UX design (and psychology) there for free.

These will hopefully help you make an informed decision about which path to take :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

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