Can you become a UX Designer from scratch in 6 months? (2024)

Can you become a UX Designer from scratch in 6 months? (3)

I’ve read plenty of articles about this concept of 6 months to be a UX Designer.

“In our 6 month Bootcamp, you will have a job guarantee”

“People from our program have received jobs within a year completion of these programs”

For the people who want a quick answer. It Can Happen, you can definitely find employment. Now for the pragmatic answer: Absolutely Not. Not only are you competing against graphic designers who have 7 years experiences who upskill into UX Design, there are plenty of Masters of HCI or IxD students who have 2 years of experience to offer. You are coming in at a severe disadvantage if you plan on doing just a bootcamp in 6 months. Let explain why it’s skeptical for even a trained Senior UX designer to turn you into a junior designer in that short of a window.

Visual Design

Visual design takes time to learn and while UX is not just focused on the visual elements, it is still important to know how to create beautiful wireframes that A.don't take up too much time and B. Accurately creates the look and feel of the application.

Like many other graphic designers, I attended a university focused on design theory and color theory and critical art theory. Here’s just my two cent’s: you don’t need a bachelors in design, you could learn from YouTube and free or cheaper options at the same value. At a whopping $30K USD per semester for my degree from USC, I got the network and name recognition. The network? Worth absolutely every damn penny.

The degree? It’s a piece of paper, don't look too deeply into it. You wont find a pot of gold there.

Even still, many graphic designers pivoting into UX Design have 4 years of visual design on you. What you are trying to do unorganically is brute force visual design principles in 6 months.

You are competing against Visual Designers, Graphic Designers, Presentation Designers who have 4 years experience in design that you are trying to recreate in 6 months.

Time & Networking

Say it with me! Time and Networking!

Why did all UX bootcamps make the program 6 months? Time & Networking.

What do they need time for? You are a complete unknown entity. Bootcamps want to package and sell you to companies as a UX Designer.

Would you trust a mechanic, a plumber, an electrician who’s been on the job, for less than 6 months?

Maybe. But what if I told you the same mechanic, plumber or electrician went to trade school for 2 years? You’d feel much more comfortable with option 2.

So why would it be any different for hiring recruiters to look at you any different. Certifications & Bootcamps vs Master Degree of 2 years.

Now there is one equalizer with the time equation: Work Experience.

The only way, I see UX bootcamp students rivaling the work of a Master’s degree is work. Hard proof that what you did as a UX Designer will trump any educational degree.

Now, lets get into the networking aspect. I’ll keep this history lesson short. Bootcamps thrived off of the rising cost of college tuition and many young adults took it upon themselves to make financially savvy investments. The first to succeed as a bootcamp were developer courses. Soon following were UX bootcamps in the early 2010’s that saw massive ROI’s not only for the students but the bootcamps themselves.

Many bootcamps, GeneralAssembly, Designlabs, Brainstation, Flatiron School and many others invite back former bootcamp graduates to talk about their process to getting a job and becoming a qualified candidate.

What these bootcamps want you to continue is brand-building. During and after the program, you now need to go explain your value proposition to any organization on how you will not become just overhead.

6 month’s experience will always be a risk from an employer’s standpoint.

What UX bootcamps do is overlook that number by finding former alumni to say “Hey! remember how you turned out? We taught them the same way you did, so take them as an intern and if the ROI fits, onboard them.”

Bootcamp’s have an extensive amount of alumni willing to help new grads find jobs after teaching these new grads as much as they can within 6 months. These bootcamps are hoping that these grads can learn the rest on the job.

I think Bootcamps are a financially savvy investment that can lead to fulfilling employment in UX Design. However, the articles that I read where it goes “ I finished UX Google Certification in 2 months”, “How I became a UX Designer after 3 months” are misleading and should be labeled clickbait at best. Did they have transferrable skills? Did they work within the company to gain their trust in switching? Did they have an education background in research, design or project management?

People get wide-eyed about people finishing their certifications and bootcamps in short amounts of time and they shouldn't. It should be: Are they a UX Designer who’s capable of the position? If they can confidently say so after a 6 months bootcamp, Why Not?

Can you become a UX Designer from scratch in 6 months? (2024)
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