Thank you both for the replies! I have actually decided to go for a bachelor’s (higher education degree in the US) in ux/ui design. And here is why:
I currently only hold what is known in the US as an associates degree. Basically it is just a junior level of higher education. I have been wanting to make a career change for some time, and I have been obsessed with reading about UI/UX design for the past several months. At first, the logical thing to do seemed to dive into a bootcamp. Instant compressed knowledge. Then my head exploded with the sheer number of bootcamps available. As I continued to fall into this rabbit hole I realized not all bootcamps are the same. I began to discover free mini bootcamps, bootcamps from no name institutions, small paid bootcamps from industry professionals, bootcamps from respected technology schools local and global, bootcamps from regular universities, and bootcamps from universities rated in the top 50 in the US.
And then the worst was realized: Large universities do not even teach their own bootcamps. They hire the services of these online educational institutions called HackerU and Trilogy and lord only knows what else. I was ecstatic to attempt a bootcamp from a well known university. It has always been a dream to get a higher education from one of those schools. And even though the bootcamp is handled by the above mentioned companies, one would still get a certificate of completion from the university itself.
Further readings of the UI/UX world confirmed exactly what the both of you have mentioned: The industry prefers experience and a great portfolio…but to a certain point. I started peddling through hundreds of job postings for a UI/UX designer. What I discovered is the junior positions typically post: Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. Fair enough. I’ll be able to survive with a bootcamp training and some training somewhere. But then I noticed something with the senior UI/UX job postings. They required a minimum of a Bachelor’s AND experience. This was critical to me because I have been denied higher paid employment for a lack of proper education in the past.
I understand portfolio may be king, but I do not want to miss the opportunity of a higher tier position just because I lack the education. So my roadmaps originally looked like this.
- Do a bootcamp, get experience, find a job.
- Do a bootcamp, get experience, find a job, get more experience, complete bachelor’s.
But now my roadmap looks like this:
3) Complete bachelor’s, do a bootcamp or 2 in between, get a experience, get a job.
At first I was worried about the time frame with getting a degree, but everywhere I read that this field is not going away anytime soon. It is a field far from being saturated with growth opportunities for decades to come. And the more I dive into uxmaster, the more I realize there is amazing content to go through! Kasturika, thank you for the links. I will be sure to go through them this weekend.