Top 5 Master UX Design Programs to Help You Get Degree Easier
User Experience or UX for short is a growing field and UX designer jobs are one of the fastest-growing careers globally. A career in UX is rewarding, as reports show that the average salary across 107 countries is $52,683. This number is higher in wealthier regions, such as in the US, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, and Western Europe. It is no doubt that many students are now aspiring for a ux master. A common debate in the design community is whether a ux master degree is really worth it and rightfully so, since the field itself is so much about hands on experience.
Is a Master in UX worth it
A UX Master degree will certainly help you gain in depth academic knowledge about user experience. UX master students are also presented with immense opportunity to discover the pure research side of UX design. This certainly creates a seamless path towards a PhD in UX design. Moreover, like any other masters program, ux masters programs help you build a strong network of like minded professionals. While it is not the norm, certain employers also prefer candidates with a ux master degree.
It is to be noted that attending university for a masters program is also a commitment in terms of time and money. Research shows that each year of experience you have in UX adds about $1900 to your base salary. So, if it takes 2 years to get your masters, this may not be more benefit than gaining 2 years' practical work experience. On a related note, a ux master degree adds about $4k on an average to a designer's annual salary.
Whether a UX master is worth it varies from one individual to the other. The relevance and alignment of the curriculum with the student's future aspirations also play a critical role in determining the answer to this question.
Which Degree is the Best for UX Designers
If your focus is to grab a job quickly in the industry (interface designers, usability engineers, requirement engineers, product managers) and you are looking to understand the principles behind optimal design and architecture, you might want to opt for one of the several certification programs offered – BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience, Certified Professional for Usability and User Experience – Foundation Level (CPUX-F). Several online courses on Coursera, Udemy and edx are also extremely helpful to kick start a career in ux design.
If you are looking for a design program that is focussed on principles of management (for careers in design management), you can opt for Master of Information Management and Systems.
Top 5 Master UX Design Programs Recommended
Here goes a detailed list of the top recommended ux masters programs –
1. Carnegie Mellon University - Master of Human Computer Interaction
This HCI masters program is for professionals seeking to expand their careers to include skills in human computer interaction, user experience design, and user-centered research. The program is offered in-person at Carnegie Mellon's Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania campus. The 36-unit program can be completed in one year and the total tuition fees is $72,000 for full-time students. This program is led by faculty who are driving and defining the world of human computer interaction. They bring together expertise in computer science, cognitive psychology, behavioural science, design and many are experts coming directly from industry.
2. Purdue University - Master of Science Computer Graphics Technology
This program is for individuals that wish to apply the principles of human-centered design in their profession to help create products and services that are user-friendly. The program is offered in-person on Purdue's West Lafayette, Indiana campus. Most students can complete the program in two years. The total tuition costs between $21,128 and $59,312, depending on residency. The Department of Computer Graphics Technology touches all aspects of computer graphics, from animation to scientific visualization, and from user experience to game studies. The mission of the Master of Science program in Computer Graphics Technology is to prepare graduates for leadership positions in computer graphics professions through applied research, publishing, presentations, and teaching.
3. University of North Texas - Masters in Interaction Design
This program is designed for professionals seeking to advance their leadership skills while learning more advanced industry-focused methods and best practices. The program is taught evenings on the University's Frisco campus. The program can be completed in 16 months or less. Total tuition costs between $11,773 and $24,223, depending on residency. The program is fully customizable, and one can choose individual courses. The program challenges students to develop disruptive thinking and persuasive leadership skills while instilling industry-focused methods and social responsibility.
4. Bentley University - Master of Science in Human Factors in Information Design
Aspiring students have options to complete masters in ux design online as well. Bentley's Human Factors in Information Design (HFID) program is for individuals who want to complement their professional experience with user experience. All applicants must have a minimum of three years of professional experience before joining the program. All HFID courses are available online for students living outside of Massachusetts. The 10-course program can be completed in one year for full-time students and two to three years for part-time students. The total tuition fees is $42,250.
5. Maryland Institute College of Art - Master of Professional Studies in UX Design
This program is designed for students seeking to master the fundamental principles of interface design, project management, prototyping, and usability as applied to industries from gaming to healthcare and education to defence. The program consists of nine online modules and one in-person residency. The 30-credit program can be completed in 15-months for full-time students. The total tuition fees is $37,500. This program appeals to students who have a background in design (web, game, graphic/visual, interaction, industrial) and an interest in human-computer interaction. Additionally, students with a background in the arts will learn how to apply their creative skills to a technical field with a growing number of job opportunities.
The Best Tool for UX Masters
It is clear that students aspiring for ux master degree are indeed spoilt for choice. Irrespective of the program students choose, they will certainly need to use a good tool for prototyping and visual design. Wondershare Mockitt is the obvious choice for ux masters students. The tool boasts of an extremely flat learning curve which ensures that students actually focus on the actual design coursework instead of wasting time on complicated design tools. The humungous libraries of icons, components, screens and templates come in handy. Mockitt is backed by continuous publishing and contributions from the design community and students can certainly be a part of this contribution. This will add to their profile and portfolio as well.
While working on a project as part of the ux master, students are often required to work with a team of peers. Mockitt makes this collaboration extremely seamless. You can work on the same page as a team and see the changes made by your teammates in real-time. Moreover, you can do all of this within your browser itself. Mockitt is a cloud-based prototyping platform which lets you test, share, and gather feedback quickly while saving data. It goes without saying that the tool provides flexible permission management capabilities to ensure that your designs remain private to your team and your instructor.
Mockitt allows you to maintain up to 10 intact records of the same project. You can revert back to previous versions of your project any time. This versioning capability enables teams to manage their design and determine the best work for their final project submission.
Indeed, Mockitt is the cheapest industry grade tool which enables beginners and students to create fantastic prototypes in minutes. So, once you enrol into a ux master program, make sure to leverage Mockitt and make it your best friend.