The topic of UX Design certificates has greatly risen in prominence in the last two years due to a peculiar, bimodal development in the tech labour market. On one hand, skills in UX Design have exploded in popularity, and are among the most in-demand by companies of all sizes. On the other hand, the rise of AI tools for design and the 2022/23 spike in tech layoffs left many with an uneasy sense that it’s not enough to have skills in UX Design, those skills ought to be validated.
Thus, questions that were formerly less urgent are now being asked by newcomers and veterans of the industry alike: is a certificate necessary to get a job in UX Design? If so, which certificate is best? Is it even worth getting a UX Design certificate at all in 2023, or are there other, better ways to develop one’s career?If you have been asking yourself similar questions, then worry no more. Today we’re here to answer them all.
- Understand the basics: what is UX Design?
- What are the top UX Design certificates?
- Top UX Design certificates list
- How do I pay for a UX Design certificate?
- Are UX Design certificates worth it?
- Can you become a UX Designer with a certificate?
- What do I need to become a UX Designer?
- Which degree is best for UX Design?
- Can I learn UX Design in 3 months?
- Are UX Design courses worth it?
- Conclusion: Hybrid Certificates
Understand the basics: what is UX Design?
UX stands for user experience, and a UX Designer is a professional who comes up with the functions, the looks and the overall structure of a digital product, in such a way that their work will shape the final experience of the user.
There is potentially a lot more to be said on this topic, and if you’re not familiar with these terms, we strongly recommend you check out out our guide on the difference between UX and UI Design, and that on the differences between UX and Product Design.
What are the top UX Design certificates?
The tech industry has many different sub-industries, and a certificate will hold a different status depending on what your field is. As we noted in our parallel 2023 guide to Data Science certificates, in that discipline it’s all about studying by yourself and then paying to take an exam – a thoroughly independent process.
The world of UX certificates works rather differently. Almost every UX Design certificate out there requires not that you prepare independently but that you take a course, with its own, proprietary curriculum. Becoming certified may often involve joining a classroom or a team. The value of the certificate, then, has more to do with the contents of the course than with the prestige of its provider.
With that in mind, let’s start with one of the most important resources you will need. Here is a complete list of the top UX Design certificates available on the market in 2023.
|WBS CODING SCHOOL||UX/UI Product Design||€10,500||15 Weeks||26 Weeks|
|Coursera||Google UX Design Professional Certificate||€36-€53 per month||N/A||6 months (10 hours per week)|
|Designlab||UX Academy||$7,249||15 Weeks||30 Weeks|
|General Assembly||UX Design Course||€3,500||1 Week||10 Weeks|
|Springboard||UI/UX Design Bootcamp||$16,200||N/A||9 Months (15-25 hours per week)|
|Nielsen Norman Group||UX Certification||$5,550||N/A||Self-paced (circa 30 hours)|
|Nielsen Norman Group||UX Master Certification||$16,650||N/A||Self-paced (circa 100 hours)|
|Human Factors International||Certified Usability Analyst (CUA)||€2400||10 Days (80 hours)||N/A|
|CareerFoundry||UX Design Program||€8990||5 Months (30-40 hours per week)||10 Months (15-20 hours per week)|
|Flatiron School||UX/UI Product Design bootcamp||$16,900||15 Weeks||40 Weeks|
|Udemy||User Experience Design Fundamentals||€94.99||N/A||Self-paced|
|Udacity||Become a UX Designer||€927||N/A||3 Months (10 hours per week)|
|Skillshare||Intro to UI/UX for Graphic Designers||€8.50 per month||N/A||Self-paced|
|LinkedIn Learning||UX Design (umbrella category)||€39.33 per month / €235.92 per year||N/A||Self-paced|
|SuperHi||Intro to User Experience Design||$149||N/A||Self-paced|
|UX Academy||UX/UI Design Bootcamp & Internship||£2500.00||12 Weeks||N/A|
|Openclassrooms||UX Designer Training||€5760||12 months||750 Hours (self-paced)|
|Simplilearn||UI/UX Design Expert||€1700||N/A||4 Months (5-10 hours per week)|
|Thinkful||UX/UI Design Bootcamp||$14,823||5 Months (50 hours per week)||6 Months (20-25 per week)|
With that foundation firmly in place, let’s now have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions related to the topic of UX Design certificates.
How do I pay for a UX Design certificate?
The chart above shows the different pricing ranges for modern UX Design certificates, but it’s important to point out that depending on your global region, financial sponsorship options usually exist. Very few of these learning programs require you to pay the entire sum upfront, and most of them will feature alternative payment arrangements as well as links to sponsors on their websites. In some cases, such as for example the German Bildungsgutschein, the sponsorship will cover the entire cost of the course.
Are UX Design certificates worth it?
Our verdict is that a UX Design certificate is worth it if you choose the right one. You need a program with an up-to-date learning curriculum and which lets you build a solid portfolio. The skills and the portfolio you pick up while gaining the certificate are what is really valuable, not the certificate in and of itself.
For these reasons, you will want to go for a certificate if you are a beginner or an intermediate in UX Design. However, if you are an established professional who already has strong skills in UX Design and simply wants to buff up their CV, then you’re looking in the wrong place. Certificates in this field are intimately related to learning programs, and if the learning program isn’t teaching you anything new, you would do better to improve your CV in some other way.
Can you become a UX Designer with a certificate?
Provided you choose the right provider and put the work in, then yes, you can start a career in UX Design by getting a certificate. Remember that the way this works is that the course will let you pick up the skills and then start building a portfolio, and it’s those things that will get you your first job. The certificate by itself won’t do very much for you.
What do I need to become a UX Designer?
An aspiring UX Designer needs to have a reasonably good aesthetic sense (not Michelangelo levels, but good), an inclination to work with modern digital tools, and the disposition to work in a team. The digital bit is the one that intimidates most people, but also, fortunately, the easiest to teach.
Which degree is best for UX Design?
Aside from programs specialized in UX Design itself, university degrees that synergise well with a career in this industry include those in graphic and interaction design, in psychology (particularly of the types with business applications), and almost anything that is about programming, though front-end coding is generally the most relevant.
Can I learn UX Design in 3 months?
While you should not expect to go anywhere near mastery of the field, in 3 months of intensive study it is possible to learn sufficient skills in UX Design to find an entry-level job. Let’s be clear, however, that such a thing won’t be a cakewalk. To learn these skills so quickly you’ll need to work very hard, and choose a learning program that is both intensive and exhaustive – particularly if you’re starting as a total beginner.
Are UX Design courses worth it?
This is basically the same as asking whether a certificate is worthwhile, since UX Certificates are awarded at the end of a course anyway. Whether a UX Design course is worth it will depend on how it fits with your profile and your professional plans. Some courses just give you a quick rundown of the main concepts and tools involved in UX Design, others provide a proper first step and platform to launch a successful career in the industry. If you do your research and pick a course that provides what you were looking for, then yes, it’s very much going to be worth it.
I hope this article has made it clear that certificates in the world of UX Design enjoy a bit of a hybrid status. On one hand, they are a recognized, viable way to open a path into the world of professional UX Design. On the other hand, and differently than in some other industries, the certificate by itself won’t be enough – you need a portfolio to go with, and ideally you should start building that in the same course that awards you the certificate.
Once you have that portfolio and that certification, however, expect a great deal of options to open up. Among other things, you will be qualified to learn the more specialist skills of UI Design, as well as enter the more expansive (and better paying) world of UX/UI Product Design.
UX Design is a field of huge and expanding opportunity. If you have that type of work in you, then know that you will find someone to welcome you.