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Best UX Courses in Singapore: How To Choose One

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A simple Google search on User Experience (UX) jobs boasts the abundant job prospects and attractive high salaries of UX Design jobs worldwide. While it’s true, what your eyes scan through the first few pages of Google, is only half the truth about the UX job industry. There is definitely more than what meets the eye. There are truths being deflected in the UX industry, which many UX courses knowingly or unknowingly use to their benefit.

Another Google search on UX Courses also shows you and abundance of available UX Courses in the market today, ranging from local to international. So what are the best UX Courses in Singapore and how do you choose the best of this pool of UX Courses? Read on for the 3 things you should look out for before investing your money and time in a UX Course.

Best UX Courses in Singapore

2-day Intensive UX Design Course

This short but intensive UX Course covers the fundamentals of UX Research, Design & Testing efficiently. You will dive into the field of user experience, learn the Design Thinking process and be equipped with the tools and user-centric frameworks to start optimising or building new innovative products/services.

The course is conducted live virtually, usually through weekends for individuals or flexible weekdays if you are learning as a business team.

In just 2 days, you will learn the knowledge of the process practiced by billion-dollar tech startups in Silicon Valley.

Course Duration: 9.30am – 5.30pm (GMT +8)

Course Mode: Live Virtual, Remote-Friendly

Course Fees: S$910 nett

4-month UX Career Accelerator

This live virtual, part-time UX Design Course will help you transition into a professional UX/UI designer. You will learn intermediate to advance skills in UX Research, Design Operations, portfolio preparation and UI Design (including Figma, Optimal Workshop and and apply the entire UX design process from end to end on 3 real client projects.

You will also get to attend guest lectures conducted by current UX industry practitioners, engage in weekly 1-on-1 consultations with your mentors and have your portfolio and interview skills polished up by the end of the course.

Course Duration: 4 months, Thu 8pm – 9.30pm, Sun 8.30am – 10am (GMT +8), 12-20 hours for group project weekly

Course Mode: Live Virtual, Remote-Friendly

Course Fees: S$5700 nett (flexible payment options)

How To Choose The Best UX Course?

A. Placement Rate

Skimming through various UX School websites, you can see how even in course pages on UX courses, either:

  • the placement rate is not mentioned.
  • the mentioned placement rate is based on a data or statistic that is pre-COVID. Some are even dated as far as back as 2018 or 2017.
  • the placement rate is unclear or selective.

Look at their Promise

Whether it is positioned as a course with a “job guarantee”, which directly promises you a job after graduation, or a “bootcamp” – insinuating a few weeks of intensive study, readying you to be immediately placed in the UX industry after – these course pages rarely reflect the placement rates of their students.

Look at their Track Records

The track record of past students is crucial in deeming whether a course is successful or not. Especially so, if it directly or indirectly promises hopeful students like yourself with a job after the course.

Hence, the placement rate is something to really take note of when you’re considering a UX course. You should be asking the admissions person, whether there is a high success rate of them placing the students in jobs right now, despite the COVID situation.

B. Practice over Certs

And at the same time, [the interviewers are] going to see if you can do the entire UX design process from end to end. So without actually gaining real world experience, that’s actually really difficult to demonstrate when they’re questioning you during an interview. — Daylon Soh, Founder of CuriousCore

The other thing to take note of is that it’s not just about certificates. Think about it. UX is a practice-based skill, isn’t it? So when an employer is hiring you, they’re going to look at two main things.

Level of Experience

Fact-check this by reading various UX job descriptions found online. Here’s one for your easy reference.

Current Job Description of a UX Designer by NinjaVan.

Without actually gaining real-world experience, it’s near impossible for you to demonstrate your capability of doing the entire UX Design process from end to end when they’re questioning you during an interview. This brings us to the second thing interviewers look out for, on top of your experience.

Capability of doing the entire UX Design Process from End to End

You get stuck if you’ve never seen how the entire UX design process is executed from end to end, in a real commercial setting. You would think that it is a really clean linear process whereby you just do it from Step 1 to Step 10.

More often than not, that is not true, because UX design is actually a pretty messy process. Sometimes you don’t have the data you need but you just have to go ahead with the decisions in order to get the project going.

The value of such practice and experience trumping the value of certification is something many schools tend to avoid talking about. They also tend to downplay the former with the heavy emphasis on the type of certificate awarded at the end of the course.

There are countless of course/bootcamps graduates out there and to really stand out, you have to go further through your actual experience and real projects, an aspect prioritised in our 4-month UX Career Accelerator.

C. Mindset and Thinking Skills

So, if you’re considering a program solely for its certification and the safe-looking standard course syllabus that comes with it, think again.
Certification VS Mindset Coaching

It’s not just about the content, but also about how they are preparing your mindset and how they are preparing your thinking skills. These are crucial skills for UX job interviews. Hence, they should not be considered as bonus course content, but something you should expect as a student taking a UX course that promises you a UX job at the end of it.

Importance of Interview Skills

Imagine this: You’re going into an interview, and the interviewer asks you a question. He or she attempts a design exercise with you. This is when your interview skills come into play. If you’re unable to answer the interviewer’s questions because you’re not quite sure how to, or you can’t problem-solve your way through their design exercises with you, they’re not going to call you back as a candidate. Whiteboarding exercises and design challenges are common in UX interviews, and you will need practice in this aspect to do well in it. Theoretical knowledge about UX can only bring you so far.

Although the entire industry has a growing demand of UX designers, that doesn’t really mean that you’ll be hired as a UX designer just because you graduated with a certificate in UX design.

A strong portfolio showcasing your past experience in real, non-hypothetical projects is necessary, but also, only the stepping stone to get your foot through the door. In order to really blow the interviewer away and land that UX job, you not only need to have:

  • Strong & relevant portfolio (projects in a real-world setting)
  • Necessary UX knowledge (basic and industry-relevant UX knowledge)
  • Practical UX skills (User Interviews, User Testing, Figma, etc.)

Having knowledge and experience in how UX design works in a real-world setting greatly helps in talking through your design process with the interviews. Interviewers are not keen on asking basic questions such as “What is user-testing?” but rather what are the challenges faced when doing user testing and how did you solve it. Being able to explain the thought process behind your designs well will convince the interviewer that you’re a critical thinker who is capable of solving problems.

Talk to Graduates from Various Courses/ Bootcamps

It is highly encouraged for you to talk to the past graduates from the various bootcamps and UX certification programs, especially those who graduated during this COVID situation. You should do your fact-check and make sure that you remain extremely objective.

Don’t get caught up in the hype of the widely-advertised promise that this is a great industry and blindly believe that just because you’re investing a few thousand dollars, you’re going to get a job.

Where CuriousCore Stands

Currently, CuriousCore is running the 4-month UX Career Accelerator with our second batch.

Our Track Record

We don’t lie about our track record statistic. In fact, we put our graduates and their portfolios on our website. We’re transparent about how not everyone gets a job right after they graduate from the course. And we’re very honest about who gets a job and who doesn’t as well as where they’re placed. Our job placement rate is at 88.6% within 4 months after graduating from the program, with most graduates receiving equal or more salary.

Our Students

Currently in our second batch, we have someone who went through multiple boot camps, including one from a pretty prominent company, and he mentioned how he didn’t feel supported throughout the process. And he’s not alone. Many of our students mention the following as their key challenges as well as reasons for embarking on our course:

  1. “I’m sick of my current job and feel like there’s no career growth or progress.”
  2. “I’ve always wanted to try something creative!”
  3. “I find it hard to find a job fit – how do I use my job experience to my next role without it being unrelated but transferrable?”
  4. “I watched YouTube videos in the last 3-6 months and tried to self-learn UX. However, I realised I couldn’t get anywhere in UX by self-learning”
  5. “Prior to this, I’ve been reading a lot of things on my own on different sites. But there are certain things you wouldn’t really learn as much online on your own as compared to somebody actually telling you. When you have somebody experienced to guide you, like Daylon, he gives you extra info, you know, which you obviously cannot find online.”
  6. “I am afraid of making the switch, especially during this COVID period because if I decide to take the full-time course to do this switch, I’ll have to quit my current job. And to do that, I have to be extra sure that I really want to become a UX designer. It helps that CuriousCore’s course is part-time!”
  7. “Real client projects are what attracted me to CuriousCore. That’s something I want to experience and know more about.”
  8. “UX content itself I feel like I can just do self-directed learning. In fact, I’ve read a number of articles on it already and don’t really need it. I’m more interested in having practice and getting feedback as well as discussing with like-minded people. Therefore, CuriousCore seems to fit more for that.”
  9. “My portfolio is a big question mark to me. What’s in demand in Singapore for hiring managers? How would they view me with my current portfolio? The bootcamps I’ve attended haven’t answered these questions.”
  10. “Bootcamps feel like they just follow a rule of thumb – for everyone to follow. A one-size-fits-all approach. Which is not for me.”

Can you relate to any of these quotes?

Our Process

We conduct our course with a very methodological approach. Here’s some company secrets of how we really increase the success rate of our graduates getting a job:

1. Real World Projects

We don’t use any hypothetical or mock-up projects but provide you with real ones with real clients instead! We want to make sure that you understand how to apply the UX design process by the first month into the course. You get to work on at least 3 real-world projects with your teams.

2. Thinking Skills

We focus a lot on the thinking skills and the mindset of working in a tech company. Because at the end of the day, UX design is a very collaborative process. It’s very different from working in a traditional industry where it’s more top-down, linear, and about listening to instructions. So, you need to get into a certain mindset. To be honest, it gets quite intense, depending on the company you’re going to work with for your real-world project.

3. Portfolio

We realised that many schools don’t focus on your portfolio. And that is why we do what we do. We place a lot of emphasis on helping you be the best version of yourself and playing to your strengths. Rewording your past experience in a way that is valuable to the next leg of your career journey, allows you to not waste the value of the years of experience in your previous field. You use that unique experience of yours as a stepping stone to your new UX job.

We don’t admit a lot of students. But if you are serious enough to commit, we do try our best to help you, place you, and give you the necessary career support over time. Click below to find out more about our 4-month Part Time UX Career Transition Course! Do download our brochure as well for specific details on industry guest instructors, modules and more!