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Do UX design courses meet industry’s needs? Analysing UX degrees and job adverts
journal contributionposted on 23.06.2020 by James Branch, Christopher J. Parker, Mark Evans
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
With the recent growth in demand for skilled user experience (UX) practitioners, there has been a significant expansion of higher education UX degree courses. Yet, despite increasing educational provision, UX design industry figures criticise UX degree courses for not meeting industry’s needs. To examine the issue, this study asks: (1) What competencies are specified by UX degree courses? (2) How do UX and UX related degree courses’ competencies and employers’ requirements align? To answer these questions, the researchers analysed 93 programme and module specification documents for 34 UX, and UX related, degree courses and 50 job adverts for UX designers in the UK. The study concludes that UX, within formal education, is narrowly reliant on already established subjects and yet to mature into a holistic discipline. UX curricula are also developing in diverse ways across different institutions. Finally, the findings reveal that industry and academia have different priorities. The study underscores the need for further research into UX practice and pedagogy, cross-institutional cooperation, and enhanced connections with the communities of UX practice.