career change Tag Archives - General Assembly Blog

User Experience Design Impacts Everyone — But What Is It?

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What is user experience design General Assembly

People often associate the term “user experience design” with visual design or the design of a digital interface, like a website or mobile app. But the truth is, user experience (UX) design is bigger than that, and it’s used across every industry, from software, to business, to schools, and beyond.

Successful UX design is why shopping on Amazon is addictive, ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft took off, and binge watching TV shows from any number of services has become the best way to spend a weekend indoors — skillful UX design has made it insanely easy to do. Even physical spaces—from retail stores to the checkout line at Trader Joe’s to office spaces—are impacted by UX design. And during COVID-19, UX has played a pivotal role in how we envision safe return-to-work and school policies.

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How the Marines Prepared Me for a Career in Coding

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While stationed in Okinawa, Japan, in 2008, I wouldn’t have guessed that my time in the Marine Corps would have prepared me for a future in coding. At the time, the 30 Marines in my platoon had access to just one shared computer. It served only two functions: completing online training requirements, and looking up one’s online military record. I never suspected that nine years later I would be designing and building websites and applications in an intensive software engineering course, General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive, now called Software Engineering Immersive (SEI) course.

My path toward coding was a winding one. As a Marine on active duty, I was stationed in Japan, Kenya, Sudan, Italy, and Pakistan. Later, after transferring to the Marine Corps Reserve, I pursued a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University. While studying at GW, I worked at the nonprofit Veterans Campaign, where I was tasked with helping to rebrand the organization. Though I had little technical experience, I created an entirely new web presence for the organization and migrated its old content to the new website.

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How to Break Into a Digital Marketing Career

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Digital Marketing Career: How to Land a Job

With digital media surpassing TV as the largest channel for ad spending in 2016, digital marketers are more important than ever. Through clever concepts, smart storytelling, and a keen understanding of audience behavior through analytics, these data-driven brand specialists move business forward through strategic email, paid search, social media, and beyond.

Recent data from General Assembly’s Credentials division — which helps companies determine the capabilities of team members and potential hires through assessments and more — suggests that digital marketing is an open playing field for anyone who can acquire the skills needed to succeed.

But once you have the skills, how do you land the gig?

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Welcome Home, Colin Hart!

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Teaching and learning at General Assembly

From classical ballet dancer to software engineer and instructional leader, Colin Hart transformed his life and career when he graduated from General Assembly’s Back-End Web Development course (BEWD) and Web Development Immersive (WDI) in early 2014. He came back to GA to teach WDI and was recently snatched up by the new WDI Remote team to be a lead instructor for the pilot course, which launched on May 16. Colin sat with us to share his story about teaching and learning at General Assembly.

Tell me about your journey.

I spent my youth training to be a classical ballet dancer. Even though I wasn’t able to do it professionally, it was like my first career because I would spend five, six hours a day training and performing. Getting injured led me to attend college instead, and I ended up majoring in media and communications and focusing my studies on digital communications. I interned for the United Nations writing a preliminary literature review around rights and dangers for youth online in Malaysia.

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The Top 5 Highest-Paying Careers in Tech

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Careers in tech

It’s no secret. Tech talent is in high demand across industries, but finding people with the skill sets to fill these roles has been challenging, causing competition amongst businesses for talent in tech — in coding, UX design, data science, and digital marketing.

As a result, jobs in tech pay well.  

So what does “pay well” really mean? Using data from PayScale, Glassdoor.com, and our Hybrid Jobs report developed with Burning Glass, we’ve put together the numbers for the most common entry level roles in tech.
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What UX Designers and Web Developers Make in Major U.S. Markets

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UX designers and web developers salaries

You did it! You nailed your interview and you’re feeling great. But then, right when you least expect it, the recruiter finishes up the conversation with the dreaded questions, “So how much are you looking for?”

This question is awkward and even worrisome for a job seeker, particularly if you haven’t done your homework. However, here’s the good news! When you do take the time to do the research and know your worth, it can help you answer this question with ease.

In this article, we’ll take a look at average UX designers’ and web developers’ salaries in major job markets and at varying career levels. Please use this article to further your own research and help you better understand the market but know that this by no means a definitive or all-encompassing list.

The ranges and averages throughout the article were determined based on a compilation of information from Payscale.com, Glassdoor.com, Salary.com, Simplyhired.com and information from current practitioners.

Now, let’s take a comprehensive look at average salaries and the varying salary ranges of UX practitioners and web developers in some of the hottest tech markets in the United States. We’ll take a look at each tech hub and then break down the numbers from there.

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Why Where You Work Can Be More Important Than What You Do

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It's time we rethink the idea of a "dream job"

In my work as a creative career coach since 2008, I’ve seen this over and over again.

I’ve seen my clients think they’re in the wrong profession, only to realize it was where they were — not what they were doing — that was broken.

I’ve worked with my clients on clarifying and prioritizing their non-negotiable work qualities, and the type of work they were doing was less important than where they got to do it, and with who.

As long as they were working with insert-certain-type-of-people here on insert-bigger-mission-here, their own responsibilities mattered less and less.

At first, I was surprised at this finding. I was surprised hearing an affirmative response to the question, “Is where you work more important than what you do?” But then I kept hearing it. Again, and again, and again.

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How to (Successfully) Ask For a Raise

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women in tech discuss a salary raise

Photo: WOC in Tech

We all could use a little extra in our paychecks, but asking for a raise is anxiety-inducing, even when you have a strong case to make. Asking for a raise without preparation can be awkward at best, and unsuccessful at worst.

A veteran hiring manager, Josh Doody, author of “Fearless Salary Negotiation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Paid What You’re Worth,” walks us through how to ask for a raise — and what to do if you’re turned down.

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Announcing General Assembly’s New Data Science Immersive

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Data science is “one of the hottest and best-paid professions in the U.S. More than ever, companies need analytical minds who can compile data, analyze it, and drive everything from marketing forecasts to product launches with compelling predictions. Their work drives the core strategies of modern business — so much so that, by 2018, data-related job openings will total 1.5 million. That’s why we’ve worked hard to develop classes, workshops, and courses to confront the data science skills gap. The latest addition to our proud family of data education is the new Data Science Immersive program.

Launching for the first time in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. on April 11, this full-time Immersive program will equip you with the tools and techniques you need to become a data pro in just 12 weeks.

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5 Reasons You Should Become a UX Designer

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whyux-blog-picjumboEvery day, more CEOs and business leaders are realizing the importance of a product’s design and user experience. UX is no longer an ambiguous acronym or secondary business concern, but a key piece of a product’s success. With so many useful apps and products on the market, companies can no longer risk having a poor user experience or uninspiring design. Users demand great experiences, and it’s user experience designers who help products meet these high expectations.

User experience designers are positioned for success in today’s job market. They get to work in a growing and intellectually stimulating field, playing a key part in shaping a product’s success across a variety of industries — from finance to education to to e-commerce and more. Read below to explore why UX design may just be the perfect career for you.

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