Learning UX design: Where to start?

Whether you’re a user research pro looking for new skills or an industry beginner in search of a start qualification, this quick guide is for you.

Thinking about becoming a user experience designer? It's a great choice! The UX industry is booming right now. Talented designers are in high demand but in short supply, so there’s a great chance of getting a job. 

In fact, LinkedIn research shows that UX design is one of the most in-demand skills in 2022, with an average salary of $92,000. Not bad!

Naturally, every budding UX professional needs to start somewhere. Whether you're just beginning your career or want to add more skills to your resume, our overview of the best places to learn UX design will get you off to a flying start.

Our guide to the best UX design courses 

Just as a UX designer would, we've made things as intuitive as possible by dividing the course options into three distinct sections: online programs, intensive boot camps, and college degrees. There are some great YouTube videos out there—like this one from AJ&Smart and this one from CareerFoundry—but as these videos say themselves, you can’t beat a structured, organized UX training course.

To save you hours of research, we've also included the must-know facts about each course, so you can quickly find out what you'll learn, the skill level you need to start, and the all-important price.

Ok, now that's covered, let's get going…

Online programs 

Google UX Design Professional Certificate

Quick facts 

  • Skill level: Beginner 
  • Course duration: three to six months, depending on the intensity of study 
  • Price: $39/month for Coursera membership

Hosted on Coursera, this certification is a fantastic introduction to the world of UX design. You'll learn about UX in a business context, become proficient in Figma and Adobe XD, and create a professional UX portfolio that you can take to job interviews. On top of this, you'll also receive a Google Career Certificate, which will look great on your resume. 

One thing to note is that this course is foundational. So, if you're looking to brush up on pre-existing UX skills, you may find it a little basic. However, if you're just getting started, Google's certification is a great way to increase prospects of an entry-level UX designer job. 

Coursera's UI and UX Design Specialization

Quick facts 

  • Skill level: Intermediate 
  • Course duration: four months 
  • Price: $39/month for Coursera membership

Coming at you with another Coursera option! The UI and UX Design Specialization is a series of four courses from the California Institute of Arts, designed to help graphic designers and website builders create impactful online experiences. 

The course says it's for beginners, but, because it looks at UX through a graphic design lens, we recommend only taking this course if you have some prior experience with visual communication. 

Udemy's UX & Web Design Master Course: Strategy, Design, Development

Quick facts 

  • Skill level: Beginner 
  • Course duration: It's up to you - learning is self-directed! 
  • Price: $70 

Udemy's course is another great one for beginners, offering a comprehensive crash course on UX design within a business context. Unlike some of the other courses out there, Udemy's offering is specifically tailored to small business owners and budding entrepreneurs, empowering them to build better websites and applications without leaning on freelancers or design agencies. 

Career Foundry's UX Design Program

  • Skill level: Beginner 
  • Course duration: Six months at 30-40 hours/week or up to 10 months at 15-20 hours/week
  • Price: $6,3423 

Last but not least is Career Foundry's course, designed for beginners and people seeking a career change. With this course, you could become a fully-fledged UX designer in as little as six months.

What's nice about this program is the strong human element. You'll receive access to a mentor, tutor, student advisor, and career specialist. As an added bonus, Career Foundry will give you your money back if you don't land your dream job within six months after you graduate. That's how convinced they are that they can get you career-ready.

As a side note, if you're not yet ready to dive into the complete UX Design Program, it may be worth checking out Career Foundry's YouTube channel. They have hundreds of videos on UX design that are great for self-directed learning.  

Boot camps 

Springboard UX Boot Camp 

Quick facts 

  • Skill level: Beginner to intermediate 
  • Course duration: nine months of part-time study 
  • Price: $1,800/month over 9 months or $11,900 upfront 

Springboard's UX boot camp is an intensive, in-depth course designed to help you kickstart a career in UX design. While it's a little more expensive than some other options, it boasts a few extra perks, including 1:1 calls with a career coach, mock interviews, and an externship with a real-world company. 

The program is open to everyone, but there is an admissions process. You'll need to complete a skills survey that assesses your visual, creativity, and communication skills, along with a brief interview. 

UX Design Institute Professional Diploma in UX Design

Quick facts 

  • Skill level: Beginner 
  • Course duration: Six months 
  • Price: $3,285

What better place to learn UX design than the UX Design Institute? This professional diploma is credit-rated by the UK's Glasgow Caledonian University. Over ten in-depth modules, you'll learn everything there is to know about UX design. But this course is way more than just theory. You'll also work on 16 real-world projects throughout the program, all of which can be added to your professional portfolio.

You'll also get a dedicated course mentor, live webinars with UX experts, and 1:1 coaching, so you'll finish your diploma feeling ready to breeze through the interview process. 

Memorisely's UX/UI Design Boot Camp

Quick facts 

  • Skill level: Beginner to intermediate 
  • Course duration: 10 weeks  
  • Price: $3450

Want to improve your UX design skills quickly? This boot camp might just be for you.

Over ten weeks, you'll take part in a stream of live online classes where you'll learn everything there is to know about UX design. These classes are highly interactive, too. With just 20 students per session, everyone has the chance to contribute and get their voice heard. 

While the program is excellent for newbies, it's also a good option for junior designers that want to learn about the latest and greatest workflows and tools. 

College degrees

As demand for UX skills continues to soar, many universities and colleges around the world have expanded their curriculums to include UX-related degrees. 

In the US, for example, the Austin Center for DesignGeorgia Institute of Technology, and MIT all offer Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) degrees, which explore the relationship between people and digital interfaces. 

For international students and aspiring designers, not all of these courses are based in the US. In Europe, Goldsmiths University, the University of the Arts London, Barcelona Technology School, and many more offer UX-focused academic degrees. 

We want to emphasize that you definitely don't need a degree to have a flourishing career in UX design. It's just one of many pathways you can take as a first step into this exciting world. 

Wrapping up

At this point, you might be wondering: "which option is best!?" The answer is…All of them! Any of these courses will put you in great stead to kickstart a fulfilling UX design career.

The option you choose will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances; things like your budget, your preferred learning style, and availability. 

Ultimately, one of the fantastic things about UX design is that there's no one path to success. You can learn the skills you need, in the way that suits you, and have a fantastic career. 

Plus, if you ever need a little support on the user research front, UserZoom is always here to help you uncover supercharged UX insights. 

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UserZoom Academy is designed to equip UX practitioners, from beginner to expert, with the skills and knowledge needed to create better digital experiences, boost their professional development, and promote UX awareness across their organizations.