Every 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.
1. Job growth
In 2015, CNN projected the 10-year job growth for user experience designers to be 18%. While this number does not come as an enormous surprise, given the ever-increasing growth and demand for technology, it is definitely great news for current practitioners and those thinking about jumping onboard. No one has a crystal ball, but it is not hard to believe such predictions.
Do a quick job search for UX design jobs (albeit there is a slight bias toward larger cities) and look at the surplus of options listed daily. This career path is booming and it looks like it’s here to stay.
2. Drive for design-centric companies
Now more than ever, companies are pushing to bring design to the forefront. Why this emphasis on great design? It’s good for business!
A 2014 study conducted by the Design Management Institute, a Boston-based nonprofit focused on design management, discovered that design strongly impacts a company’s bottom line. The study states, “Results show that over the last 10 years design-led companies have maintained significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 228%.” For context, some of these “design-led” companies include Apple, Coca-Cola, IBM, Nike, and Starbucks.
We can go one step deeper and take a look at companies that were founded by designers: Think Pinterest and Airbnb. Such companies put an enormous emphasis on design and design-driven culture in a way that produces innovative solutions through strong user experiences. These startups continue to demonstrate the power of great design and increased success with users.
As more design-centered companies demonstrate its importance, the field of UX will continue to expand and evolve.
3. Cross-disciplinary skills
The great news for anyone interested in getting into user experience is that you most likely already have some helpful skills in your arsenal. User experience is a field that borrows from a variety disciplines. Do you already have some coding experience? How about graphic design, psychology, or library sciences? The list of overlapping skill-sets is seemingly endless and only works in your favor.
4. High median pay
The Nielsen Norman Group published a report on Salary Trends for UX Professionals back in 2015, reporting that in 2015, entry-level salaries for UX professionals in the United States were about $63,000, while UX staffers with five years’ professional experience can earn about $90,000. The study points out that salaries have leveled out over the years because it takes into consideration salaries during the dot-com bubble. However, the starting salary in this industry, with no experience, is definitely still a great incentive.
The user experience industry rewards experience with higher rates as you get further into your career, so there is decent income growth over time as well.
5. Readily available learning resources
If you’ve made it this far, you most likely are still interested in a career in user experience. The good news is that there are many amazing resources at your fingertips to jump-start your learning in the field. There’s no better time to immerse yourself in user experience. Do some reading (here are some suggestions), check out some great blogs (more suggestions), and see if a UX design course at GA is right for you.