Best UX Bootcamps: Reviewed & Updated for 2021

Demand for UX designers has been met with a proportionate supply of UX educational options: online UX courses to degree programs and yes – UX bootcamps.

UX Bootcamps attempt to offer students with no formal product design experience an immersive learning environment.

You’re probably considering a UX bootcamp to gain enough skills for (at least) an entry level UX design position. Most bootcamps worth their salt offer students mentorship, hands-on instruction and projects to build a UX portfolio.

Yet, not all UX bootcamps are the same. That’s why we wrote this guide to help you navigate your UX bootcamp options.

What we'll cover today...

ux beginner oz profile

Everyone has their own learning style, and UX bootcamps are one of many learning options. If you’re a self starter, here’s our list of the best UX books and list of the best a-la-carte UX courses. For existing UX professionals, the Guide to UX Certifications is also worth checking out.

– Oz Chen, reviewer & founder of UXBeginner.com

Note: There are affiliate links to the recommendations on this page, meaning we make a commission when you click the links and make a purchase. This is at no cost to you and helps support our free site.

QUICK PICKS: TOP UX BOOTCAMPS

BEST OVERALL PICK: DESIGNLAB

DesignLab does just one thing—design bootcamps, and it does it quite well. Its Academy has some of the most satisfied alum who claim that the instructors had tons of knowledge. It’s one of the lowest-cost immersive online bootcamps, with solid support even after completing the program.

BEST SELF PACED BOOTCAMP: SPRINGBOARD

Springboard offers a highly-rated UX bootcamp and was one of the first pioneers in the business. They’re comparable to the likes of our Best Overall Pick, though slightly more expensive. 

UX Bootcamp Reviews

UX-specific bootcamp

Group Critiques

Full time + part time

Job guarantee

"After comparing several bootcamps available online and in my area (NYC), I felt that DesignLab would be able to give me the best learning experience. They had a set schedule to follow, paired you up with a mentor, weekly crit sessions with fellow students, and more. Even though it was a completely online bootcamp, I never felt like I was going through it alone and even met a few students in my area as well!”

We named DesignLab as the Best Overall UX Bootcamp based on satisfaction rates after students have completed the programs. According to student reviews, UX Academy has excellent instructors, materials, and support.

Read Kim Chung’s honest, detailed review of her experience going through DesignLab’s UX Academy.

DesignLab is known for its rigor, with 100+ hands on exercises, 12 group critiques and a dedicated mentor. It’s also one of the lowest-cost immersive online bootcamps, with solid support even after completing the program.

  • Focused exclusively on design courses
  • Reportedly the most rigorous online UX bootcamp
  • They pretty much waive the fee for the prerequisite Design 101, which means you get a crash course in design for free. (Note: you can apply to skip this crash course).
  • Might be more challenging than expected by UX beginners – for better or worse!
  • Assumes a little bit of design knowledge
  • Does not have an industry design project w/a real company, though class projects are quite challenging

$6649 for those who’ve completed the UX Foundations course, or $7,149 for complete beginners.

UX-specific bootcamp

Job guarantee

Full time + part time

Rigorous curriculum

"I chose Springboard because it has a Industry Design Project. A lot of interviews ask if I've worked in teams and this IDP has sparked the most conversation. Additionally, my mentor rocks socks."

Springboard is one of pioneers of the purely-online, mentor-assisted UX bootcamp. It’s curriculum is extensive, the program is well respected, and they compare well to other UX bootcamps like DesignLab and General Assembly.

Note: Springboard has a UX Career Track that offers and a newer UI/UX Career Track that also covers visual design. Both have a job guarantee and mentor support.

What we like about them is that they have one of the best mentorship programs with weekly 1-on-1 calls with unlimited opportunities to speak with mentors. Students who can tough out the long curriculum have the opportunity to work on an industry design project with a real company.

It’s important to note that students must meet minimum job experience and/or degree requirements to join a cohort.

  • Has an industry design project—if you make it through the extensive curriculum first
  • Job guarantee
  • Mentors, career coaches and large alumni network
  • Some parts of the curriculum are a bit dated, though mentors can help fill that gap
  • Lack of working with other students & teammates, e.g. no  group critiques like DesignLab
  • The UX/UI track is particularly long at 9 months

UX Career Track is $6,900, while UX/UI Track is $10,000.

Budget Bootcamp Pick

8 weeks long

Self paced & 100% online

Mentor Support

"Thanks to the bootcamp I was able to create a better portfolio and find a great job." - Aleksandra, Loop Now Technologies

IDF has been an online UX school since 2002, but just recently offered its new Get a New Job in UX Design Bootcamp. This is a unique 8 week program focused on job prep: build 2-3 portfolio projects, create a portfolio website, and finish your UX resume & cover letter.

This is a great option if you don’t have a UX project yet – you’ll get guidance on choosing up to 3 projects with your mentor. Also perfect for DIY learners or students from other programs looking for extra support to complete their portfolio in order to start their UX job search.

  • 12+ rounds of portfolio critique from a UX mentor
  • Unique benefit: recruiter call with Bamboo Crowd and or Creative Circle
  • Mock interviews, resume & cover letter review for interview readiness

This is not a traditional full-length bootcamp for UX beginners. It’s geared towards designers with some UX knowledge and an idea of which projects they want to do. At only 2 months long, participants should be prepared to work heavily on their UX projects.

The bootcamp is $1,182 bust costs $990 for existing IDF members.

Not yet an IDF member and looking for unlimited UX courses? Membership costs $192/year, or $144/year with our link.

Using our educational partner link, the cost breaks down to $12/month.

Honorable mention

Self paced

Monthly subscription

Well-produced videos

"I LOVE Treehouse's courses! They break down concepts in such fun, visual ways."
treehouse-ux-design-course-review-testimonial-image
Jenny M.
Product designer

Treehouse’s UX Techdegree gets an honorable mention because it’s the most accessible in terms of price, time requirement and flexibility. At only $200/month (most students complete within 3 months), the UX Techdegree is great for DIY learners on a budget.

  • Compared to other UX bootcamp curriculum that often links out to free resources (read this article, watch this video), all of Treehouse’s content is premium, and produced in-house
  • Treehouse’s interactive exercises, quizzes and challenges are among the best
  • Video lectures are very polished and professional, with great visuals that help illustrate UX concepts.
  • No job guarantee
  • No hands-on mentors and career coaches
  • Newer program compared to DesignLab or Springboard

UX Techdegree costs $200/month and is flexible – most students finish within 3 months, making the total cost a very affordable $600.

You can also check out Treehouse’s individual UX courses before committing to the Techdegree. Their monthly subscription is $29.99/mo or only $14.99/month if you buy the annual plan (check out the pricing page). You get a 7 day free trial to binge-learn.

Top UX Bootcamps: Shortlist

Why didn't you include ____ Bootcamp?

2020 accelerated the move to fully remote learning. We previously recommended in-person bootcamps like General Assembly and BrainStation, known for their immersive, live instruction. They are still good options once the pandemic is over, but they’re also at much higher price tags (think $10K+). Fully online bootcamps have also closed the gap in their learning experience with 1-on-1 mentorship, active Slack groups and community resources.

We also didn’t want to increase cognitive load by commenting on every UX bootcamp under the sun—like in our UX Books post, we believe that the best bootcamp is the one you’re most likely the finish. We are confident that one of these 4 UX bootcamps will lead to the highest completion & success rates.

Our methodology for reviewing UX bootcamps

Source 1: We bring you this review of UX bootcamps by first going user-first: surveying real UX bootcamp graduates who’ve self-reported their experience.
Source 2: Then, we compared looked at bootcamps listed on sites like Course Report and Switchup to narrow down the list to those who offer both online bootcamps as well as in-person bootcamps with at least one U.S.-based campus.

Source 3: This is our secret sauce. Between Oz and Tara, who’ve both served as UX mentors and career coaches at several of the top UX bootcamps, and are able to give an in-depth and fair analysis of the elements that make the most impact to UX students and career changers.

Fill out our bootcamp survey

If you recently completed a UX bootcamp, here’s a 2021 UX Bootcamp Review survey – we can use your help. We’ll start formally collecting responses over the next few months and report a summary of updated boootcamp ratings.

What should I do next?

Like we mentioned at the top of this page, UX Bootcamps are great for the serious career transitioner willing to invest time, work and money.

For those just starting out, we at UXBeginner recommend UX courses and short classes first, since these are cheaper options that are easy to cancel or have free trial periods.