If you love the user experience of your favorite websites and social media platforms, you can thank ux design for that. If you love the user experience on your mobile devices, you guessed it. Thanks, ux design. If you’d like a dynamic career that creates these experiences, you should consider becoming a ux designer. Not only do you get to flex your creative muscle while wearing a thinking cap, you also enter into a field that looks good in the future, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS website does not have a specific page dedicated to ux designers because this is a relatively new vocation based on a decades-old philosophy. As technology has advanced over the years and people have become more reliant upon it, an emphasis on their overall experience has taken center stage. Gone are the days where people are satisfied starting a blue screen with white text and nothing else. People want to be thrown into their technology with nearly all of their senses assaulted.
Virtual reality and 3D technology are the wave of the current and future, and ux designers help with that. Because ux, or user experience, is used across the board, the BLS associates its job statistics somewhere between web and software developers. This supports that after completing a ux design internship, San Francisco or elsewhere in the world, you could command a starting salary of anywhere from $67,000 to $103,000 per year on average. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
Aside from fantastic starting salaries once you’ve earned the required education and training, ux design is a stable field in which to enter. In 2016, there were over 162,000 web developer jobs in the United States and over 302,000 software developer jobs. Part of developing the interface upon which everyone surfs, apps, socializes, and research is user experience, so there isn’t any sign of a demand for this job slowing down. As long as new interface is in the works, user experience will be a part of it.
Not satisfied? Fair enough. The job may be stable now but what about two, four, or ten years from now? Well, the BLS can answer that question, too. The job outlook for web developers from 2016 to 2026 is projected to increase by 15 percent. The outlook for software developers is project to go up 24 percent. Both of these numbers confirm that the increase in job demand is much faster than other occupations, so you should be good until 2026 and beyond, because by then, you’ll be invaluable in what you do.
It’s also important to take into account the direction in which technology is headed. As briefly touched upon above, virtual reality and 3D technology is more and more prevalent in new products, as is robot technology, which also emphasizes user experience. Some technology jobs, such as customer service positions, have been farmed overseas to save money, but many of the development positions remain in the United States.
User experience is here to stay. It’s also here to evolve. The next time you enjoy an experience on your mobile device, laptop, or desktop, think about why you enjoyed it. Then, think about how much fun it would be to develop it.