If you are interested in becoming a UX/UI designer, you have probably asked if you need a qualification to be qualified for the job. You may be wondering what degree, certifications or any qualifications you may need (if any) before you apply for the job position or take freelance projects.
If this is you, then this article is definitely for you! In this article, we will explore the basic things you need to know about qualifications in UX/UI design – and more importantly, if you need one or not.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started!
Do You Need a Qualification To Be a UX/UI Designer?
The short answer is: no, you don’t need a degree, certification or any form of qualification to be a UX/UI designer. Generally, employers or clients are more interested in what skills you have – both hard and soft skills – than any form of certificate.
Many who are interested in UX/UI design are anxious because most of them are coming from an educational background that’s nowhere close to UX/UI design (or even anything computer-related for that matter). Because of this, they are anxious and may think that no employer will hire them. Who would, they may reason, hire a business graduate or English major for a UX/UI job?
But again, most employers or clients are more interested in the skills that you can offer and less interested in your educational background or on whether or not you even have a degree. Therefore, a budding UX/UI designer should focus on acquiring these skills than worry about qualifications.
Should You (Still) Get a Certification?
Now that we know that employers generally are not looking for a certificate from their candidates, should you still pursue for a certification? The short answer is: it really depends on you and your situation.
While employers generally do not look for a qualification (such as certificates), it does not necessarily mean that certifications are not useful anymore. In fact, there are benefits when you worked for a certification:
- Education – A UX/UI design certification will obviously provide you with a solid foundation and background in UX/UI design. If you have no background or idea in UX/UI design, this will certainly be very helpful for you. Now, some may think that you can learn UX/UI design on your own, and that is true – self-education is also a viable path towards UX/UI design. However, if you don’t know where to start or you thrive better in a structured environment, then pursuing courses could be a better path for you.
- Networking – Working through a course will not only provide you with the skills that you’ll need, but it will also allow you to meet people that can be helpful in your career. You’ll also meet like-minded people and grow together in pursuing UX/UI design.
- More confidence (or, at least, less anxiety) – this is purely a psychological one, but having a certificate can make you more confident (or less anxious perhaps) when applying for a job or taking freelance projects. Again, you don’t need a certificate to become a UX/UI designer, but so long as you have the necessary education and skills, it’s not bad to have a mental boost from having a certificate.
That being said, there are cases where pursuing a certification could be less ideal for you. For instance, consider the cost factor: generally, courses that offered certification are more expensive compared to those that do not. So, if money is a big concern for you, then you may want to make a cost-benefit analysis for the certificate first before you make an investment for it. If you think that self-education will not work for you but money is really tight, then working free or certificate-free courses could work better for you.
On the other hand, if you think that you thrive by learning on your own rather than by learning through a rigid structure, then you may let go of certification and be an autodidact instead.
Whatever you choose, always bear in mind that certifications are generally asked by potential employers or clients. Therefore, what you should consider is whether or not a certification will benefit you – the education, networking, etc. For some, getting a certificate is well worth it; for others, alternative paths such as self-education works best for them.
A Certificate Is Not a One-Way Ticket
To whether or not you should pursue a certification is mostly a personal choice. But whatever you choose, always keep in mind that a certificate is not a one-way ticket. This is true not only when applying jobs, but also in your own skills and knowledge base.
There are people who think that getting a certificate means that they’ll know everything they need as a UX/UI designer – only to be disappointed later on when they realize that they cannot figure out something in their project. Just like with any career, UX/UI design takes time to learn and grow. What you get from pursuing the certificate is just the basics – everything else must be learned through experience and trial-and-error.
So, be open to new ideas. Test or try out new concepts. Continue to work on your UX/UI design skills – and that’s how you’ll grow in your career!