3 Reasons to Switch Your Career to UX Design in 2021
By Patrici @ Dream Design Job
April 20, 2021
If you’ve been thinking about changing your career to User Experience design, consider this your sign.
With the pandemic and the consequences of climate change flipping the world upside down (and continuing to do so), we are at the crux of a whole new frontier for how technology can better and more sustainably serve the 7 billion of us. Everyone’s talking about “reskill”-ing the workforce—and we at Dream Design Job are here to help.
Now, what do we want that world to look like?
The good news is, it is our collective choice.
If you have a passionate opinion on how the world should be, here are a few reasons why you should consider a career in UX:
Your Unique Life Experience Matters
Honestly, this is true for any technology venture—especially for founders—but it’s specifically important for those tasked with directly building any software product, because the spirit of the builders themselves is what makes good software come to life.
You might say, “But I’m not creative,” or “I’m not artistic” — and we’ll respond to that by saying, first of all, everyone is creative. Second, despite the word “design,” stunning visuals are not really what UX is about.
Sure, we can talk about the importance of specs and mobile-first and business goals all day (all of which are definitely key to being a great designer), but what makes you stand out among the rest of the design crowd can oftentimes be how your character and non-tech background shines through in your work.
Worked hospitality for 10 years thinking of ways to make frustrating systems more efficient? Look into service design practices, which create an awesome package when paired with regular interaction design.
You grew up in a rural town outside of the U.S. that’s nothing like any modern urban center, and have an intimate familiarity with local payments behaviors? Well, as you may be able to tell from the stock market and cryto trends, Fintech is changing fast and may pay good $$$ to have your brain think through unique global currency problems.
All of this to say that your past experiences and interests have the potential to transform into a career that can help others via UX, which we’ve said before and bears repeating. This is precisely why technology is and should not be a “club” for people who fit into solely Ivy League-educated boxes.
I will note that thinking in design, business and tech speak does have an intimidating learning curve at first (which in turn may require a strong will, especially if you are unfamiliar with all the tools), but all of it is highly learnable, hence the immense amount of resources out there.
But remember—being who you are, with the experiences you have, cannot be taught.
The Current Job Market is 🔥🔥🔥, and Pays Well
Fulfilling and well-paying? Sounds too good to be true, but it is a common sentiment for many people who find their way into user experience. The market is always saturated for junior talent, but that’s why it’s always best to start building up your experience sooner rather than later.
The good news is that opportunities are changing. Historically, it’s always been incredibly hard for junior designers to get their foot in the door. Self-directed projects are a must for junior designers who want to fill out their portfolio, but today, many large companies are also starting to take on UX “Apprentices” as the need for more experienced talent increases.
“With 1.3 million jobs open in these fields right now in the US, the opportunity is significant," says Google Founder Sundar Pichai.
The Resources Available to Career Changers are Abundant
Long gone are the days when linear career paths defined a person, and the endless amounts of educational resources out there reflect that.
Patrick and I both started our careers via bootcamps when there were only 3-4 to choose from. Today you can choose the free or paid learning experience that works best for your specific starting point and career goals.
Not to mention, the design community is incredibly friendly, respectful, and helpful. As long as you are the same in return, you’ll tap into a deep well of knowledge that will be the most significant resource for your learning. In this kind of environment, your UX Design Imposter Syndrome doesn’t have a chance.
Change is hard, but it doesn’t have to feel like a step backwards. Design itself is circular and messy, and from creative chaos can emerge the most inventive products. The same sentiment can apply to your career path. Like Steve Jobs said,
“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
We at Dream Design Job are so excited to be here for you when you’re ready to take it to the next level.