Best UX design bootcamps to kickstart your career

Hi, I’m Elle! I work as a product designer at Getaround and as an industry mentor here at Pathrise. I help our fellows land great jobs in product design through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my article about the best UX design bootcamps.

Aspiring UX designers often participate in bootcamps to help launch their careers because UX bootcamps offer a practical design curriculum that students may not find at a traditional university. This gives students a chance to apply their skills and build up their portfolio while they learn.

Bootcamps can range wildly in time commitment, price, and outcomes. For example, some bootcamps have been around for years and include job guarantees and income share options. However, many bootcamps are newer and may not have impressive job placement numbers yet. To help get you get started, we put together a list of the best UX design bootcamps so you can find the right one for your goals.

1. General Assembly

The well-known bootcamp General Assembly offers part-time and full-time courses on UX design. Their program has a record of 11,000+ confirmed student hires with 19,000+ hiring partners like Apple, IBM, and Amazon. Students learn user interface design fundamentals, design iteration, and other key UX skills like prototyping and wireframing. The full-time program costs about $14,950. Alternatively, tuition for their part-time program is $3,950. Students in the full-time course work with career coaches to polish their resumes, build strong portfolios, and prepare for interviews. Read more about General Assembly in our review.

2. Bloc

Bloc is an online bootcamp for aspiring web designers and web developers. Their self-paced UX design bootcamp teaches complete beginners to research, design, and build modern web applications. The curriculum features 1-on-1 mentoring, hands-on learning, plus an apprenticeship program tailored specifically to fit each student’s learning needs. In addition, students get career support and graduate with both an official certificate and a polished portfolio to help them land a job. The course costs $8,500, but students can take advantage of monthly payment plans and loans.

3. BrainStation

BrainStation is another popular bootcamp that offers UX design courses. Students learn to identify user needs, design navigable layouts, develop prototypes, and assemble clickable wireframes. Their online program lasts about 12 weeks and their on-campus course lasts 10 weeks. Their courses feature a project-based curriculum and lots of 1-on-1 support. Students build polished UX portfolios, participate in professional development, and get access to 2,000+ hiring partners including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and more.

4. Kenzie Academy

Kenzie Academy teaches a part-time UX bootcamp with a job guarantee. The program features hands-on learning, 1-on-1 mentoring, and a large network of hiring partners. The program also runs AMA (Ask Me Anything) events with some of the biggest leaders in the industry, including AOL Founder Steve Case and 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who is also on the Kenzie advisory board. Tuition for the 12-month UX program is about $10,000, with loans, monthly payment plans, and a 13% ISA available. If students don’t land a job after graduation, tuition is free. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.

5. Thinkful

Aspiring UX designers seeking 1-on-1 mentorship and project-based learning can also check out Thinkful. They offer part-time and full-time courses that include career services and a job guarantee. Students graduate with polished UX design portfolios to help them land a job. An income share agreement (ISA) is available for the $12,150 full-time tuition. The part-time program costs $7,000 upfront, with loans and monthly payment plans available. If students don’t land a tech job that pays more than $40k after graduation, the tuition is refunded.

6. Designlab

Designlab is an online UX bootcamp that has helped 640+ students land jobs in UX design. The course is divided into 8 different modules that cover design & communication basics, introduction to design thinking and UX design methods, UX research, information architecture, interaction design, user interface (UI) design, iteration and implementation, and personal brand and portfolio setup.

Students complete 2 projects on web design and end-to-end app design that they can add to their portfolios. Graduates work with a career coach on their portfolios, job applications, and interview skills. Select grads also get access to Designlab’s network of 40+ hiring partners. While the full program costs $6,350, individual courses are available for about $399 each. Designlab offers a job guarantee. If students do not find a job after 6 months, their tuition is reimbursed. Learn more about Designlab in our review.

7. DesignerUp

DesignerUp is an online bootcamp that teaches product and user experience (UX) design skills. The course is done at the student’s pace. The curriculum includes 74 pre-recorded lessons as well as resources, exercises, quizzes that can be downloaded and saved. Finally, the program ends with a capstone project that students can include in their portfolios. The course covers topics like UX research, design thinking, project & business requirements, UI design, branding, and more. Learn more about DesignerUp in our review.

8. Gymnasium 

The free online product design resource Gymnasium teaches courses in UX/UI design, web design & development, and content creation. Students in the UX course learn wireframing, prototyping, user research, user testing, and more key design skills. They do this through recorded lectures, quizzes, assignments, and a final exam. Those who pass the final exam receive a certificate of completion. Students also get help with the job search through Gymnasium’s many partner staffing agencies.

9. CareerFoundry

CareerFoundry is an online product design bootcamp with self-paced courses. They offer a shorter course on UX fundamentals, as well as self-paced immersive bootcamps in UX design, UI design, and web dev. Students in the immersive bootcamps participate in a project-based curriculum where they build a polished design portfolio. Both a career coach and an experienced tutor work 1-on-1 with students throughout the course.

10. Springboard

The educational resource Springboard has tracks in UX design. Their UX/UI courses explore all the stages of the design process, teaching design thinking, sketching, user research, wireframing, and more. Throughout the program, students build 4 UX projects that they can add to their portfolios to help them land a job. Experienced mentors meet 1-on-1 with students every week. The program also includes a job guarantee. If students don’t land a great UX design job within 6 months of graduating, they get their money back. Learn more about Springboard in our review.

11. Coursera 

Another lower-cost option, Coursera hosts UX design courses taught by professors at accredited universities. Students taking their online courses get access to recorded lectures, hands-on assignments, and a community discussion forum. While most of the courses are free, students can pay for an exam that earns them a “Coursera Verified Certificate” that they can add to their LinkedIn profile to help them land a job.

12. Udacity 

Udacity offers self-paced courses for aspiring UX designers. Most of their introductory courses are free, but their full UX “nanodegree” program costs about $1,000, with monthly payments of $399. The UX design nanodegree program is self-paced and most students graduate in about 3 months. Students learn key design skills like design research and prototyping, all while building UX projects that they can add to their portfolios. Every student is paired with an industry mentor to guide them through the program. Students also get access to a career coach who helps them prepare for the job search through resume review, interview prep, and portfolio reviews. Read more about Udacity in our review.

13. edX

One of the most well regarded online learning platforms is edX. They have a huge library of courses from accredited universities and top tech companies like Microsoft. For UX design students, they offer a popular professional certificate in human-computer interaction. It teaches the fundamentals of design thinking, prototyping, discoverability, wireframing, Agile methodology, and more. In addition, the course explores topics like context-sensitive interfaces and social computing, as well as new technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearable devices. edX offers a number of other courses in UX & product design as well.  Learn more about edX in our review.

If you would like to work with a mentor to land a UX design job faster, Pathrise is a career accelerator that provides 1-on-1 support with all phases of the job search. Our experienced mentors have helped 800+ fellows land jobs, working with them on interview prep, resume and portfolio building, salary negotiation, and more. 

Fellows in our program see their interview scores double and their application responses triple, landing a job in only 3-5 months on average. We offer a 9% income share agreement, so fellows pay nothing until they land a great tech job. If you want to optimize your job search through 1-on-1 mentoring, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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