UX Master Program vs UX Bootcamp

I am currently at the finish line of my UX Masters Program and have some thoughts to share.

As I was contemplating choosing my future career steps after obtaining my Sociology Bachelor’s degree, I couldn’t decide what to do. The best decision I made was taking a gap year. During that time, I came across Figma and decided to take a full course on it. It was during this course that I got to know the profession of a UX Researcher, which sparked my interest.

After this, I began grappling with a choice: a UX Master’s Program or a UX Bootcamp? Here are some points that helped me make a decision:

1.Time length doesn’t mean everything.

Most bootcamps are shorter than master’s programs, and it could sound like a drawback. The marketing might try to convince you that with shorter programs, you will not get all the necessary knowledge. But the truth is that a lot of programs already include courses that are not only about design itself, such as user research, product management, or web development classes.

Keep in mind that any course could be unnecessarily extensive. You need to pay attention to the lecturers who are going to teach you. Do research on their experience and education in advance.

2. The value of higher education.

It’s no secret that since the time of COVID, the form and structure of education have changed, and we have re-evaluated some things. It has become clear that many classes can be easily taught online, and home assignments have become more creative, allowing students to reflect more, rather than just filling in multiple-choice answers on a test. In my opinion, there is an inevitable process of devaluation of higher education, where students do not see the point of studying at universities because it might be easier and cheaper to gain knowledge from informal institutions.

However, I have come to understand that currently, higher education institutions also play a role in socialization. The master’s program will give you more peer connections, more connections with teachers, and a more enriched studying environment. I see many bootcamps, such as those for UX Design or Data Science, as fast-food products that aim to earn more money on courses without really giving students a full range of knowledge and experience.

I see a lot of bootcamps, for example for UX Design or Data Science, as a fast food products, which are aiming to earn more money on courses, without really giving the students a full range of knowledge and expirience.

3.Motivation is king.

Only the lazy ones haven’t written about the oversaturation of people in the UX industry. The point is the following: it is easy to gain knowledge about UX design. People enter courses just to get certificates, without any understanding of how the industry works or any proper career plan. Given this, some teachers at bootcamps are not motivated to teach you properly or provide additional help. And we find ourselves in this vicious cycle of unmotivated lecturers and students, without passion, but with a desire for “easy money.”

When choosing a master’s program, try to talk to teachers directly to understand how much they are willing to contribute to your professional development or to see how passionate they are. However, most importantly, you need to be motivated yourself!

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