A Guide To The Best UX Design Schools And How To Choose One

Something to stare at!

To lay it out plainly, UX is significant on the grounds that it attempts to satisfy the client’s requirements. It intends to give positive encounters that keep clients faithful to the item or brand. Also, a significant client experience permits you to characterize client ventures on your site that are generally helpful for business achievement.

We will address many questions as we go along with this article, that will ease of making your next career move.

Coding Bootcamps vs College: What’s the Right Choice?

Universities have earned a reputation of graduating students that, over the course of their careers, become good professionals. A reputable university often produces, in average, excellent professionals (in part because they only enroll excellent students, but this is another conversation). Also, universities are usually enduring institutions. Many have existed for a long time and will continue to do so. Design bootcamps are usually young and have not earned yet the confidence that they are able to consistently graduate students that become good professionals.

  • The knowledge and depth is constrained mainly by the small duration of the bootcamp
  • In my experience, rushing through content does not result in longing knowledge. Without time for exploration, students might be able to only reproduce the situations they have experienced during the bootcamp.
  • Students have little time to grow into adulthood. While this works fine for people that are transitioning from other careers, students fresh out of high-school may leave the bootcamp still very immature and probably not ready for employment.

You can still do a design bootcamp and turn out to have a successful career, just keep in mind that your career path might look very different from someone who went through the traditional university training.

Factors to consider while choosing a UX Design School

Choosing the right graduate school can be trickier than you imagined. You’ve probably seen how people choose schools based on image rather than expertise. It rarely turns out well. Since this is a post-graduate pursuit of education, by now you should know that choosing the right school requires an in-depth look at what it has to offer. Prestige may be appealing, but it’s not — and should not be — the deciding factor.

Core Subjects

Don’t get so tempted with the program titles. Each and every program proposes different core subjects and optional tracks that help you design your learning path with specialization. Hence, the first factor you should be looking at is core subjects.

Here are the questions that you should ask yourself after learning about their core subjects.

  1. Do I want to focus more on UX Design or UX Research?
  2. Does the program have subjects that goes through the practicality of design principles & design theory?
  3. Does the program provides you support to learn more about different design tools?
  4. Do the core courses require you to be from the technical field or Engineering background as a prerequisite?
  5. How much is the contribution of core subjects to the total credits you take? (Because you will need to take your desired specialization)
  6. Which are the departments that form the course department? (Design, Engineering, Architecture, Computer Science)
  7. Is UX / HCI provided as a specialization towards a different degree i.e Computer Science with HCI specialization, Information Science with User Experience specialization etc.

This are some of the important factors that should be considered when looking into core subjects. Go through their catalog to learn more about the courses / offerings.

Research Areas

If you are targeting a public university that is research savvy, it becomes very important to look at university’s research ranking profile, research areas and faculty’s contribution to the research towards HCI or UX.

CS Rankings is an amazing website, that shows you the research stats for the university in a specific field. Here is an example of research contribution done by University of Washington in the field of Human Computer Interaction.

University of Washington HCDE Program

Visit https://www.bestuxschool.com/university-of-washington/ to learn more about UW HCDE program🚀

Few factors to consider when looking for the university research stats in term of HCI:

  1. Faculty Research Areas.
  2. Labs & Infrastructure provided to conduct research
  3. Publications / Conferences Attended
  4. Opportunity to conduct research under their guidance.

Lab Facilities

Usability Research Labs

University has multiple interdisciplinary labs to provide students research opportunities in their desired field. Take this as a great opportunity to deep dive into the field, understanding the complexity, and a great way to network your way out. This is also a very important factor for the people planning for PHD.

Important factors to look when searching for Lab Facilities:

  1. Does the university have a accessibility lab?
  2. Does the university have a User Research Lab?
  3. Does the department contribute to CHI Conference held specifically for HCI aspirants?

4. Does the department conduct cross subject research? (Something like Healthcare + UX, Fintech + UX etc)

University of Maryland, Baltimore County has ISRC (Interactive Systems Research Center) which helps designing, building, or studying uses of interactive computing systems

Visit https://www.bestuxschool.com/university-of-maryland-baltimore-county/to learn more about UMBC HCC program 🚀

Networking Opportunities

Networking Opportunities

Universities have strong ties with industry and usually call experts from the industry for conferences and lectures. Hence this gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with what’s happening in the industry, as well as ton of networking opportunities.

University of Washington, HCDE Program has a seminar series that goes with title UX Speaker Series a 10-week seminar series on User Experience (UX), where we welcome industry experts to speak about current issues and research in the field.

Student & Professional Organizations

Student & Professional Organizations

It also becomes extremely important that the program or the university hosts different global groups or organizations locally through student groups to promote lifelong independent learning though frequent peer-to-peer workshops and challenges right on campus.

Depaul University’s HCI students contribute to organizations such as XD Roundtable and Chicago Interaction Design Association, both of which provide opportunities to network with HCI professionals.

Visit https://www.bestuxschool.com/depaul-university/ to learn more about Depaul University HCI program 🚀

Entry Requirements

Just Kidding!!!!

Does the program require you to have 3.5 + GPA? Does the program require you to come from a strong technical background? Does the program require GRE? How to fulfill English Requirement? How to draft your personal Statement?

Different Factors that come in play for admission requirement:

  • GPA
  • English Proficiency
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume / CV
  • Portfolio
  • Application Fee
  • Letter of Recommendation

Find answer to all this questions at www.bestuxschool.com where we show updated admission requirements for different UX / HCI programs.

Georgia Tech HCI Program Admission Requirement

Cost

Don’t end up in huge student debt.

It’s no surprise that these programs come with a hefty cost. It’s one of the factors that should never be taken lightly. Don’t get tempted with university’s location, campus, other offerings, and fake promises. Focus on your need, make a budget and make sure you shortlist your university likewise. US is already a lot into student debt, make sure you don’t become a contributor 😉

Indiana University HCI/d Cost of Attendence

Visit https://www.bestuxschool.com/indiana-university-bloomington/to learn more about Indiana University HCI/d program 🚀

Career post graduation

Career Opportunities

It is but obvious, we need a job. All the effort, hard work finally pays off when you get a job.

Universities don’t land you job, they help you get a job.

Different Factors to take into consideration:

  1. Different job titles.
  2. Starting Average Range of Salary.
  3. Location where people settle.
  4. Range of companies that hire graduates.
  5. Placement Rate.
RIT HCI Careers

Visit https://www.bestuxschool.com/rochester-institute-of-technology/ to learn more about RIT HCI program 🚀

Location

You are suppose to be lost to find peace.

Do you want to be around Silicon Valley, the tech Hub, or do you want to enjoy the beauty of Europe while graduating in fresh air.

Different factors to consider when choosing which country to study in:

  • Post Graduation Opportunities.
  • Cost
  • Admission Requirement.
  • Demand of your graduate degree.

❗A simple hack here would be to search job opportunities on LinkedIn for your desired location and job title.

Stop. Breath

You are a human being. You have limited powers.

Going to a grad school is a big decision. Many of you are going to take huge loans, moving to a different country, different city and it can all be very overwhelming. Relax! You are not alone. Choosing a university / program is no rocket science, but make sure you think of what you are getting into, think twice, thrice, ask people, ask alumni and drink a lot of coffee ☕

Credit

bestuxschool — Detailed information about Top HCI / UX Programs all over the world.

bestuxschool.com/

Connect with me

Shivam Gohel — I am a Software Engineer at Infostretch with 2 years of professional experience working with their Center of Excellence (CoE) Lab making web better day by day.

Software Engineer @ Infostretch