The Best UX Bootcamps: Reviews and Recommendations
Tara York, UX designer and consultant
Laura Sands, UX Writer and Content Designer
Oz Chen, founder of UX Beginner
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.
We’ve curated a list of the best UX bootcamps from 20 leading educational companies, and ranked them across a few key categories.
Note: some of the bootcamps reviewed include affiliate links, which supports the free content UXBeginner puts out. We still stand by our recommendations regardless of the affiliate relationship.
I also want to call out that 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.
But without further ado, let's dive into our list of best UX bootcamps:
Best Overall Pick: Designlab
Reason: DesignLab’s UX 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 Pick: Springboard
Reason: Springboard is a highly-rated part-time program from a well respected online educator. They’re comparable to the likes of our Best Overall Pick, DesignLab along with similarly strong Career Foundry, Bloc, and General Assembly.
Best In-Person Bootcamp: General Assembly
Reason: General Assembly is one of the better recognized UX educators and has a good reputation for preparing students with foundational knowledge and a multi-project portfolio. It is a little higher on the price point, which is our main reason not to name it best of the best.
Best Budget Pick: Brainstorm.io
Reason: This is a relatively inexpensive option would be attractive to career changers because they have both online and in-person classes. Even with the shorter length, students end up with experience on a project and a portfolio.
DesignLab's UX Academy has some of the most satisfied alumni 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.
Alumni of UX Academy are overall highly satisfied across all marks, including overall value for the cost.
We've named them as our Best Overall Pick based on satisfaction rates after students have completed the programs.
According to student reviews, UX Academy has excellent instructors, materials, and support. They have flexible part-time and full-time online formats.
Plus, 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).
Course Rating: 4.67
Cost: $6,350 for UX Academy, ~$400 for short courses.
Time Investment: 15 weeks (Full time) 28 weeks (Part time)
"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!”
"At the time, it was the best in terms of cost; it had a refund and job guarantee, so it was basically risk-free"
"It was much less expensive than other boot camps. The mentorship aspect attracted me and it wasn’t the number 1 reason for my success in the program. The timeframe - could pick part time, full time, and pause the course at any time (because life gets in the way). I liked the way the program was set up, too. The first half was comprised of learning methodologies, tools and strategies, and the second half I worked on 3 capstone projects, much more independently.”
SpringBoard UX Bootcamp Review (link)
Springboard is a highly-rated part-time program from a well respected online educator. They're comparable to the likes of our Best Overall Pick, DesignLab along with similarly strong Career Foundry, Bloc, and General Assembly.
What we like about them is that they have one of the best mentorship programs with weekly one-on-one calls plus unlimited opportunities to speak with mentors, and students gain real-life experience by working with an actual client on a project.
Even after you finish, they offer career support until you find your first job. It's important to note that you must meet minimum job experience and/or degree requirements to join a cohort, which is really meant to make sure you're ready for the exciting challenges you'll face in the bootcamp and your career!
Course Rating: 4.78
Costs (pricing page)
- Upfront $5,900
- Monthly $1199
- Deferred Tuition $640/mo
- Climb Credit loan $41-82*/mo
Time Investment: 1O-20 hours/week (part time) for up to 6 months. Their curriculum is about 350 hours long.
"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."
"After extensive research, I found the best feedback, ratings and discussions with other Springboard students.”
General Assembly UX Bootcamp Review
If you're looking exclusively for the best in-person, offline bootcamp, pick General Assembly. To clarify, GA does offer both in-person classes in multiple cities as well as online - but we'd pick them base on the in-person format.
We chose their Immersion course as Best Alternative because it has both full time and part-time formats.
If you're a student who's learning style is more suited for a in-person approach, General Assembly does have plenty of hands-on support from the UX instructors to the career coaches who'll help you after you graduate.
We found that instructor knowledge was rated highly, which is a huge bonus. And while the cost is above what we like, they offer multiple ways to finance the course fees – including scholarships.
Course Rating: 4.32
Cost: $15,950 as of April 2020 for their in-person immersive program. Their remote learning option, surprisingly, is the same cost.
Time Investment: 10-12 weeks full time
"I wanted the most bang for my buck. General Assembly was one of the most popular and well known bootcamps. I also had a friend who had completed the part-time UX bootcamp and she had a positive experience.”
"Cost and time commitment, I could afford given commute to in-person location!”
Brainstain.io UX Bootcamp Review
Brainstation's User Experience (UX) Design Certificate Course is a great choice for UX students who are mindful of cost.
We think their UX Course, while not an immersive bootcamp, is a solid starting point to learn UX fundamentals, which covers the 4 units of user research, information architecture, sketching and wireframing and prototyping.
One of the best parts of their certificate is that students will be guided through a project and portfolio, which you'll need for those job applications!
Course Rating: 4.61
Cost: $3,950 one time or $365/mo for 12 months ($4,380)
Time Investment: Programs start at 3 months to 12 month programs
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 Tara and Oz, they've served as 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.
THANK YOU, FROM YOUR GUIDES...
Tara York. UX designer, mentor
Laura Sands, UX writer & content designer
Oz Chen. UX Designer and author of UX courses.