When you graduate from UX Academy, it’s just the beginning of your career journey.
By this point, you’ve mastered the design skills you need to land that first job—and have a standout portfolio to prove it.
But job hunting is an intensive period in and of itself, which is why the UX Academy experience doesn’t end when you’ve wrapped up your skills training and portfolio.
Instead, UX Academy students have access to intensive job and career support through Career Services.
What is Career Services?
Career Services follows Phase 1 and Phase 2 of UX Academy, which are focused on helping you master essential design skills and use them to create an exceptional portfolio that supports your career path goals.
Career Services is essentially a “Phase 3” within the UX Academy journey, where students get additional support and guidance as they work through job search materials, such as:
- Salary and job negotiations
“We don’t just teach design skills and then say good luck,” notes Jessica Campbell, the program manager for Career Services. “We try to make sure that, as you formally transition into your career, you have a bit more runway.”
Career Services was something I found the most valuable in UX Academy. Shout out to my mentor, Poyi Chen, a Product Designer from Meta. My career switch was made possible with all his help from day 0. Not only did he understand my struggles, but he also provided helpful insights and encouraged me when I was being too harsh on myself. Because of him, I wanted to give back to the community, so now I’m a UX design mentor on ADPList, helping others to break into UX. - Doris Cheng
What Happens In Career Services?
There are a few different facets of Career Services, each playing its own role to strengthen your potential as a candidate for the design roles you’re applying for.
There are basics to searching for a job, but every role and industry has unique standards and quirks. UX is no different.
While some of the info pertains to the latest job search tactics and trends in general, most of the support and material within Career Services is uniquely tailored to the nuances that exist within the field of UX/UI design.
There are career coaches … and then there are career coaches who have hiring experience specific to the field of UX/UI design.
Throughout your time in Career Services, you’ll meet weekly with a coach who has this “insider” hiring experience, so they’re able to provide more in-depth feedback that help you navigate the unique way that design interviews—and product teams as a whole—are set up.
Your coach will provide feedback on any Career Services materials that you submit. They’ll also do a deep dive with you into application materials, from reviewing your resume to conducting mock interviews, practicing your design presentations, and more.
“We pair students with designers who have years of experience in hiring and/or are current managers or design team leads. They bring a level of detail and insight to the experience that is hyper specific to our students,” shares Jessica.
Continued Work On Your Design Portfolio
In order to graduate from UX Academy, student portfolios must be approved by the Portfolio Review Team. This ensures that, when you wrap up the first two phases of UX Academy, you can be confident that your portfolio has the quality you need to be a strong candidate within your job application process.
But there’s always room for improvement. In fact, as you continue in your career, you’ll revisit your portfolio repeatedly to keep it updated and tailored to support your ever-evolving career goals.
The Portfolio Review Team doesn’t just approve a good portfolio and call it a day: they share additional notes on ideas or tips to improve your work.
In Career Services, your coach will help you implement this feedback, and refine any case studies based on your career goals.
Job Search Organization via the Huntr app
“One of the key areas where we see our UX Academy grads—and job searchers in general—struggle is in maintaining organization and momentum throughout the application and interview process,” Jessica shares.
To help you stay focused and job-oriented, we offer free access to Huntr, a job search app that helps you track your progress, sort of like habit training.
“We also hand pick job listings, because one of the hardest things is knowing where to start!”
More than a spreadsheet…
Huntr has become an incredible tool that makes it a little easier to stay focused and on track in the marathon that is job searching.
Part of this marathon-like training consists of Key Goals.
“Students are enrolled in Key Goals to help them track their activities and ensure they are engaging in the activities that give them a better chance to land a job. These are the bare minimum! Career Changing takes work, so the more they can do (within reason) the better.”
New Resources & Learning Opportunities
Throughout Career Services, you have access to a constantly evolving variety of resources. Some of these are exclusive to Designlab, while others are linked resources created by experts outside of our community.
This marks a necessary transition in the life of a student, and helps them find and connect with voices and resources within the world of product design as a whole. These new connections will continue to be of service as you grow and emerge in your career.
Peer sessions provide an opportunity for students to connect and share advice with each other.
Each session is facilitated by one of our career coaches, who have extensive experience that they can layer into the conversations and provide context or extra advice where needed.
Each session is 60 minutes long, and focuses on a single topic, like: Job Application Materials, Interview Skills, Networking Skills, Whiteboarding, and Presenting Case Studies.
“The Whiteboarding and Presenting Case Studies sessions both have an open Q&A session (where participants are able to ask questions about the topic and get real-time answers from an expert) as well as smaller group sessions for practicing,” shares Jessica.
How Long Does Career Services Last?
UX Academy graduates can enroll in Career Services for 26 weeks—or until they land a job.
Once you land that first job, you can opt to meet with your coach for an additional 2 sessions, to make sure you’re comfortable and have what you need for those first few weeks on the job.
These last couple of sessions are also an opportunity to prepare for what your new job might look like in 3, 6, or even 12 months—once you’ve been onboarded and are more fully immersed in the role.
What Happens When Your Time In Career Services Ends?
Once you’ve completed your final Career Services sessions, you’re invited to stay connected as an active member in our Discord community.
Within the community, you can stay in touch with your mentors and coaches, as well as the other facilitators and peers you’ve met along the way…helping you build and maintain a long-term, high-quality professional network.
Adaptability Amidst Ever-Changing Trends
While UX Academy teaches students how to do Product Design, Career Services is designed to help you understand how to convey that knowledge—and relevant previous experience—to a hiring manager, as well as navigate the job search process.
… and in light of ongoing shifts and trends in the job hiring market, this means that the team is always keeping an eye on what we can do to make sure our career support remains flexible and attuned to the current environment.
“Product and UX is constantly changing, so updating Career Services is vital to ensuring our students have the most up to date knowledge,” notes Jessica.
Students in Career Services gain access to new and relevant workshops, live insights and tips from working designers, and overall support as they navigate this portion of their career switch.
Because sometimes: the most important thing is having a team—a community—behind you, and rooting for you every step of the way.