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The State of UX Design Education, Part 2 - Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs

By Sarah Pagliaccio This is Part 2 of a three-part series on the state of UX design education. In Part 1, I discussed the role of undergraduate education in User Experience, including a comparison of design versus liberal arts and sciences programs and an examination of bachelor’s degree versus associate’s degree programs. Now, in Part 2, I’ll examine graduate degree and certificate programs and discuss how they might help or hinder a career in User Experience. Watch out for Part 3 next month, in which I’ll look at the future of User Experience and what hard and soft skills will be most in demand. Needing Versus Wanting: Not the Same Thing Before we dive into the question of whether UX professionals need a graduate degree, let’s first answer this question: does any professional ever really need a graduate degree? It’s true that some professions do require a master’s degree or the equivalent. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, or librarian, you should plan to go to graduate school for your MD (Medicinae Doctor), JD (Juris Doctorate), or MS (Master of Science), respectively. If you want to climb the corporate ladder in business or finance or translate general business skills to a new industry, you’ll likely need an MBA (Master of Business Administration). Bear in mind that these are still edge cases. Most people working in the arts and humanities and many of the sciences have productive, successful careers without graduate degrees. Read More

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