I really struggled over whether to offer a certificate, and what format it should take. I don’t really think most certificates are useful. They typically say what you studied, not what you know.
But some employers like them, and it also provides a sense of closure for you after completing such a large learning task!
Lots of certificates are based on a quick multiple choice exam. I don’t think that’s a very useful indication of how well you’ve internalized the learning content. Neither do many UX recruiters. So I’ve created a test of learning through practical application.
This certificate assessment process follows the same format as real-life employment recruiting.
- I pair you with a “Recruiter” who is a senior-level UX professional who regularly interviews and hires for junior roles.
- You share your resume and portfolio, and the Recruiter tells you whether it’s likely they would shortlist you for an interview for an entry-level UX position in real life.
- The Recruiter then conducts an interview with you, diving into your portfolio contents and asking you questions aimed at uncovering what you know, so they can tell whether you actually paid attention during the online training videos!
- Afterwards, the Recruiter gives you feedback on where you did well and where you could improve. They also tell you whether it’s likely they’d consider you for an entry-level UX position, and why.
- If the Recruiter would consider you, then congratulations, you get the certificate!
Obviously I can’t guarantee that you will get invited to interview or offered jobs by employers after this process, but it’s way more practical and useful than most course certificates. I’d also be happy to pass your details on to recruiters I know with open jobs.
What does it cost?
Remember: this is completely optional. To keep it as affordable as possible, we are only charging $1000 to cover our expenses in administering all three parts of the process. That includes providing written feedback on your resume and portfolio, and verbal feedback after the 1-1 video interview.
Other than a LinkedIn Learning subscription, everything else on this site is free. We can’t stress enough that this is an optional step. We can only offer this program at scale by charging for the time it takes to evaluate you if you choose to get a certificate.
Interested? Read on for more details.
- Check that all required courses have been taken.
- Give a “Would I invite this person to interview?” response based on the portfolio and resume/LI profile. Provide explanation.
- Perform candidate interview and portfolio presentation.
Part 1 is a prerequisite to starting the certificate process. It’s important that you have completed every required course, so we’ll expect to see a list of the course certificates, preferably on your LinkedIn profile or as a screenshot from your LinkedIn Learning account.
Part 2 is similar to a screening / resume sifting exercise. Would your resume and portfolio get you invited to interview? Feedback is provided in writing to help you make improvements, regardless of whether it’s a hire or no hire situation.
Part 3 is similar to a portfolio presentation interview. We conduct a one hour video interview. You describe one project area from your portfolio. We ask questions about this project and your more general experience to get an understanding of your broader learning. Afterwards we take the time to talk through the elements you did well in and where you could improve.
Example questions we might ask are:
- What design concepts/cognitive concepts did you base this decision on?
- What research techniques did you consider at this step? Why did you choose this particular one?
- How did you work with the business owner to determine their requirements?
- What drove your decision to write the content in this way?
- You mentioned this was a team effort: what part did you play? How did you handle disagreements on the team?
These are, as you can see, typical interview questions, but with specific focus on seeing whether the training sank in.
What does it take to pass?
The bar for success is whether you would be suitable for an entry-level UX position where you could expect support and mentoring from more experienced practitioners and further on-the-job training to help you grow into a UX role.
Every evaluator is a senior or director level user experience professional who has hired multiple individuals. If we find that you aren’t quite at the level that we feel confident certifying you, we provide feedback to help you improve. We also allow you to re-submit your resume and portfolio or re-take the 1-1 interview at a later date for just $250.
We will be brutally honest during this process. Not everyone gets a certificate. We want you to know whether you’re ready to apply for UX jobs or not.
Specifically, that means:
- Knowledge of basic methods, advantages and disadvantages of each, how to apply them.
- Ability to design a study to answer a relatively simple usability question.
- Knowledge of basic interaction design terms, basic cognitive concepts that underlie design decisions.
- An understanding of where UX fits in an organization, on a team, and in a product lifecycle.
- Demonstrable practical experience undertaking user testing or surveys, performing ideation, prototyping and/or wireframing, and creating content.
What you get when you pass
- A digital certificate that you can share through social media
- A physical, paper certificate mailed to you (wherever possible)
- Ability for employers to confirm your certificate with us
When you’ve completed all the taught courses and projects, and got your resume and portfolio together, get in touch with Chris Nodder via LinkedIn to start the certificate assessment process.