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UX/UI Design: How to Choose Your Degree

The field of user experience/user interface or UX/UI is all about developing appealing, functional products, applications, and website. You may wish to explore this career path further, but you’re not sure what your degree options are. Which areas of UX/UI should you earn your degree in?

Although UX/UI does entail marketing and branding, a graphic design degree could be the launching pad you need to kickstart your UX/UI design career. With a graphic design associate degree combined with a specialty certificate in UX/UI, you’ll learn soft and hard skills to make you a more efficient and effective UX/UI designer.

You may still be on the fence. If so, we recommend you keep reading. This guide will explain the importance of the right UX/UI degree, whether you need a degree to work in UX/UI, and where to enroll.

Which Degree Is Best for UX/UI?

From industrial design to marketing, software applications, and web design, UX/UI encompasses many areas, just as we touched on in the intro.

That gives you a multitude of career ideas to explore, enough so that you might be feeling torn or even a little overwhelmed. In order to learn the right skills in UX/UI, you’ll want to earn a degree that teaches the skills employers want so you can land an exciting job in UX/UI.

A graphic design associate degree or bachelor’s degree is likely the right choice as long as the school provides specific skills training in UX/UI. On the road to earning your degree, you’d collect the skills that today’s UX/UI designers are most renowned for.

For example, Bryan University offers a Certificate in UX/UI Design that transfers directly into an Associate Degree in Graphic Design.

With the right Graphic Design and UX/UI degree program, you’ll learn the right combination of soft skills and technical skills that employers want in their UX/UI designers.

Foundational UX/UI Skills that Employers Want

  • Design software: You’ll learn the software programs that UX/UI designers use each day, such as Adobe XD and Figma.
  • Building a design portfolio: Your design portfolio is a must when attending networking events and job interviews alike. You’ll learn how to construct a professional-looking portfolio that shows your best work and grabs attention.
  • Soft skills: Working as a UX/UI designer is about utilizing a mix of both hard and soft skills. Your soft skills include problem-solving as internal conflicts arise, developing and strengthening interpersonal relationships, and communicating both verbally and non-verbally.
  • Business foundational skills: Many UX/UI designers are successfully self-employed. If that’s the direction you’d like to take your future career, then you must know the foundations of a self-run business. As you earn your degree, you’ll learn technologies such as Microsoft Office and more that will help you springboard your career.
  • Website design principles: For those UX/UI designers with a focus on web design, you must know website design principles. You’ll learn how to place elements on a website so they captivate attention. From the use of shapes, lines, white space, typography, and more, these skills will make you a better designer.
  • Page composition and layout: Not all UX/UI designers work solely on the Internet. If you’ll do graphic design for print resources, then you must know which elements should go on a page and how to produce an appealing layout. This is something you’ll learn as you work towards your degree.
  • Digital design: Through tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, you’ll learn to create digital designs and illustrations. You’ll also become comfortable manipulating images through editing.
  • UX/UI theory: To become a better UX/UI designer, you must know the theory and process of these areas.
  • Design principles: Akin to website principles, UX/UI designers must know basic design principles and color theory. As you harness these concepts during your college education, you’ll quickly build your portfolio with appealing pieces.

Do UX/UI Designers Need a Degree?

What if you’d rather forego a design degree or any degree at all? You’re more interested in trying to make it as a UX/UI designer without a college education. Is it doable?

Yes, but it’s not easy. Here are some of the benefits of attending an online university and earning a degree for your UX/UI education.

Benefits of Earning a UX/UI Degree

Fast-Tracked Education

How much spare time do you have to dedicate to learning UX/UI? In today’s fast-paced world, you probably don’t have much. Perhaps you have a part-time job or other responsibilities that take up a lot of your time.

It’s no wonder then that some resources note that you can spend upwards of five years learning design. That’s just the time spent on education, by the way, and not the time you’ll use for networking, looking for jobs, and attending interviews.

When you select an online college such as Bryan University, you can fast-track your education. By stacking an undergraduate UX/UI certification with your graphic design associate degree, you can work on both at the same time.

You’ll be out in the working world before you know it!

No Gaps in Your Education

Are you focusing on only the hard skills in UX/UI design at the expense of learning soft skills? Or, perhaps you know how to use some Adobe software, but not programs like XD or Figma.

The problem is that you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s only when you go on a UX/UI designer job interview that the gaps in your self-taught education become apparent.

By that point, you’re giving up a lot. You won’t get that job, more than likely, or others you may be applying to.

You’ll have to go back and spend several more weeks, months, or longer on educating yourself.

When you choose an online university for your UX/UI education, you’ll be confident that your education is airtight and rock-solid.

You may even have some certifications to showcase your expertise, such as an Adobe XD certification.

Support of Mentors and Instructors

Self-teaching is hard. You’re the teacher, the student, and the enforcer. You have to keep yourself motivated, and that’s not always doable somedays.

Plus, if you run into problems, you don’t have a support network you can rely on. You have to figure out the answer yourself, and that can sometimes be time-consuming.

By enrolling in an online university for your UX/UI design degree, you can rest assured that you won’t be alone.

At Bryan University, when you need help, you can tap into a network of success coaches, peers, mentors, and instructors at any point who are available to answer questions and ensure your success.

With their support, you’ll overcome issues along the way and get the most out of your education.

Save Money

Those who decide to forego obtaining a UX/UI degree usually make that decision because they think it will save them money in the long run.

Then they realize that they have to pay for Adobe software on a subscription basis. They also have to buy books or video lessons, none of which comes cheap. Additionally, as we noted earlier, it could take far longer to learn all the skills needed without the right structure, training and support. The longer it takes to learn means less time working in the field earning a paycheck.

At online colleges such as Bryan University, the cost of all design software is included in your tuition, as are your courseware, books, and Adobe XD certification testing (at least for the initial test). Plus, you avoid the time and expense of having to commute to a campus each week.

Can I Learn UX/UI Design Online?

If you’re interested in pursuing a UX/UI design degree online, that’s a great choice! You can work from the comfort of your home and practice using design software in your own time.

Bryan University offers students a UX/UI Design Undergraduate Certificate and a concurrent Associate Degree in Graphic Design.

After graduating from Bryan U, you’ll be ready to work as a self-employed UX/UI designer. You could always be hired by business consulting groups, entertainment and media organizations, marketing and advertising companies, technology companies, and local, state, or federal government agencies.

With your UX/UI degree, you can climb the career ladder with such job titles as UX analyst, UX/UI developer, UI designer, UX designer, website designer, or graphic designer.

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