How much use can one get out of a 10-week intensive UX Design bootcamp? (40-hours/week, 2-3 portfolio pieces, resume/job placement help afterwards) With no prior tech experience, can you expect to find a job after? Or are employers still generally looking for Graphic Design/Computer Science Degrees? Any input helps!
I think you have to tailor your education/training to the type of job and organization you are looking to join. As far as I can see, there are three essential elements:
- Ability - if they are paying you to do a job, then they need to be confident that you have the skills and knowledge
- Experience - if you are not working on a standard project or just carrying out orders, you need plenty of experience dealing with people and projects of different nature to be able to problem solve and work out the best solution. It is not necessarily true that people with more experience can do the job better, it is just more likely that they have come across similar situations before. This counts a lot if people don't know much about you and have to just look at your CV.
- Temperament/Attitude - you need to be easy to work with in the UX field because you have to communicate with different people about different things. This is something that is not easy to acquire if you don't have the right mindset to start with.
I should also mention that it goes without saying anyone in the UX field should think on behalf of the user rather than making themselves out to be the expert. After all, best practices and guidelines don't mean anything if they don't apply to the users you are dealing with. It is important to do the research and test to validate your assumptions.
The best UX designers I know don't always have the degrees/qualification or even experience. They simply show the best empathy for the users and go about things in a very structured way to solve a problem.
While every employer is different, in my experience, for UX work, employers have wanted:
- a portfolio
A degree of some sort certainly helps, but, at least up until now, most people have degrees that aren't directly UX related (though often indirectly).
Is a UX Bootcamp worth it? Impossible to say. It all depends on what you take away from it and what you are looking for. They claim resume/placement help afterwards, so that's a good sign if your objective is a job in this field. However if your past experience isn't tangentially related to UX, you should probably expect going in starting with an internship or entry-level UX position.