Stickynotes episode 23, Dec 3 2020
Details from this session
How do you get into UX as a first job or as a transition from another role?
User Experience is an attractive job role. Lots of people want to enter the field either straight out of school or by moving from another career.
But because it’s attractive, there are lots of other people trying to do the same thing. What can you do to improve your prospects?
- Qualifications help. A degree or equivalent is pretty much seen as the entry level. Coming from another field, you might be able to demonstrate experience equal to a degree.
- The degree doesn’t have to be in UX specifically, but it really helps if it’s related (for instance psychology if you want to do UX research)
- Bootcamps, certifications are unlikely to hurt you, but the question is what have you DONE with the knowledge you gained. The certificate itself means very little. The actions you’ve taken as a result mean a lot. Employers are looking for practical examples that they can use to gauge how well you’d fit in their work environment.
- READ THE JOB APPLICATION – if you apply for jobs, make sure you’re giving them the information they asked for in the format they asked for it.
- If you don’t have the mythical 3 years experience everyone seems to want for entry-level positions, find ways to gain experience such as doing voluntary work for a charity (evaluate/redesign their site, help with other communications related activity) or through a bootcamp that involves real-world projects. Also, consider the reason companies ask for this: they want you to be able to fit in and start working right away. What other experience can you draw on to demonstrate your abilities?
- Starting as a freelancer when you have no real skills is likely to hurt your short- and long-term prospects. What work can you really do for clients at this point? They wont’ train you, they expect you to be able to perform a set piece of work for them. Also, if you start out charging low rates, it’s hard to subsequently start charging more.
During the session we mentioned several resources:
Cory wrote The UX Careers Handbook (amazon link) with its associated web site.
Cory also created a LinkedIn Learning course on Planning a Career in UX
Chris has a course on Getting Started in UX which is primarily a jumping-off point to all the other UX content on LinkedIn Learning.
Chris also has a brand new course on Finding a Job in UX
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