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what major to get into UX design?

cgpm59cgpm59 Registered User Posts: 591 Member
DS20 is a (mostly) untrained but very good artist (drawing). He took art last year in high school and came up with some stunning work. This year he is taking an animation class, which is in his school's career and technical education department. His older brother is working in a field that is hiring UX designers left and right. What kind of major would be good to get into UX design? I haven't quite figured out if it's a computer science thing or an art/graphic design thing. Or maybe something else?

Replies to: what major to get into UX design?

  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 2,214 Senior Member
    some schools, like DePaul, has a UX Design major as one of their majors that they offer in their computer science school (College of Computing and Digital Media)

    https://www.cdm.depaul.edu/academics/Pages/BS-In-User-Experience-Design.aspx
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 2,214 Senior Member
  • cgpm59cgpm59 Registered User Posts: 591 Member
    Thank you, @ProfessorPlum168. Looks like one of those is in the computer science department and one is in the art department! Clearly, I'm confused for a reason. LOL

    I'll look at both of those links and see what types of courses are required, and try to steer him accordingly. Thanks again.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,649 Super Moderator
    Hey there, I'm a UX researcher who works with UX designers all day!

    They have majors in lots of different things :) However, they seem to fall into three main buckets:

    -Computer science or a closely related field
    -Digital art/graphic design or a closely related field, with quite a bit of coursework in computer science/programming
    -Majors that are a hybrid of the two or very specialized towards UX, like "interactive entertainment" (USC has this major), "game design and development" (RIT along with some other schools have this major), "experience design" (like Northeastern or Michigan State), etc.

    There's no one way to come into it.
    I haven't quite figured out if it's a computer science thing or an art/graphic design thing.

    It's both! You have to have good artistic skills but also know some computer science as well. The tools he knows how to use and the experience he has is more important than the exact degree. Most design positions want you to be able to work with design software - the Adobe Suite is a common ask; Sketch and Balsamiq are other asked-for programs. An internship will be key for him learning professional design skills.
  • cgpm59cgpm59 Registered User Posts: 591 Member
    @juillet I'm just now seeing your response; thanks for that information. Very helpful to know.
  • InfiniteWavesInfiniteWaves Registered User Posts: 416 Member
    edited September 2018
    UX is an umbrella term that encompasses a lot of various disciplines. It is not just for visual designers or computer science folks. I'm on the content strategy side of things (former copywriter) and have UX in my job title. In my current department, the UX professionals have editorial, visual design, computer science, and human-computer interaction backgrounds.

    I completed the UXD graduate program offered by Kent State. I am not a visual designer by any means The program was excellent. Instructors are all UX professionals. It looks like UXD is offered there as a minor at the undergrad level.

    The important thing is to understand what falls under the UX umbrella. User research, usability testing, information architecture, content strategy, interaction design, UI design, UX writing are all examples of UX-focused disciplines.

    My recommendation for a high schooler interested in the field would be to explore the various disciplines within it. Not every visual designer is comfortable conducting in-depth user research. And not every content strategist is comfortable doing interaction design. Figuring out which areas are of interest could help to inform a list of potential undergrad program options.
  • cgpm59cgpm59 Registered User Posts: 591 Member
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