10 Types of UX Design Certifications (Plus Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

UX design certifications are credentials that prove a candidate's expertise in coordinating user experience. Those who want to earn these accreditations usually take a course and pass an exam that tests specific knowledge and skills related to UX tools and practices. If you want to work in UX, product management, sales, marketing or a similar field, earning UX design certifications could enhance your professional profile and help you in the job search. In this article, we discuss types of UX design certifications, explain the benefits of pursuing these credentials and offer tips for choosing the right certification for you.

10 types of UX design certifications

UX design is a customer-focused approach to product development, digital marketing and other business matters. There are many beneficial UX certifications available for professionals who seek them, and you can choose one or multiple based on your needs and preferences. Here are 10 types of UX design certifications with descriptions for each:

1. Human Factors International (HFI)

Human Factors International is a firm providing training in customer experience (CX) and end-to-end delivery systems. It offers multiple UX career certifications, including:

Certified Usability Analyst

This credential is for candidates just starting their UX careers or just switching to the field of UX. Students can take optional online courses on user experience foundations, user-centered analysis and conceptual design, the science and art of effective web and application design and practical usability testing. They can then pass the certification exam. The exam is $800 and the course prices vary based on the package you choose.

Certified User Experience Analyst

This qualification is for professionals who already have a foundational idea of UX design and have the Certified Usability Analyst certification. These advanced-level courses teach students how to engage audiences using persuasion engineering strategies, how to fulfill corporate goals using UX design architectures, how to apply new product ideation and digital strategy and how to establish UX practice at an organization. Course lengths are two or three days and prices vary.

Certified Digital Persuasion Analyst

HFI also offers this designation for marketers, digital marketers, mobile marketers, content marketers, social media engineers and product managers. Those in this program learn about digital persuasion and its relation to CRO, web analytics, SEO and branding. They also explore ways to increase conversion rates by using strategies like scarcity, social proof and hyperbolic discounting. The exam fee is $475 and the course prices vary.

2. The Global Trust Association

The Global Trust Association is an organization that certifies professionals in a variety of business topics. This association offers the Certified User Experience Professional, a designation for project managers, supervisors, administrators, team leaders and related professionals. This program's exam tests candidates on UX design concepts, research and prototyping, usability testing and UX application.

Related: What Is UX Design?

3. The Interaction Design Foundation (IDF)

The Interaction Design Foundation is a global online UX design school providing training, resources and certification to professionals. This firm offers the UX Fundamentals Bootcamp, teaching beginners to the field the definition of UX design and UX theory and practice, the relation of UX to the tech industry and the primary duties of a UX role. This program, priced at $2,592, is part-time and fully remote, lasting 12 weeks. In it, students learn about topics like:

  • Product development

  • UX strategy

  • User interviews

  • Product objectives and user needs

  • Feature design and iteration

  • Information and interaction design

  • Wireframing and navigation

  • Principles, patterns and prototyping

  • UI and visual design

  • Capstone project work

  • Final presentations

The IDF also offers more advanced course programs, including:

  • User Research Bootcamp

  • Design Thinking Bootcamp

  • UI Design Bootcamp

  • UX Rock Star

  • Introduction to Design Thinking

4. Nielsen Norman Group

The Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) is a UX research and consulting firm dedicated to providing reliable guidance on user experience design and technology. This organization offers the NN/g UX Certification Program, online or in-person, in which students can learn about topics like:

  • Agile methodology

  • Application design

  • Content strategy

  • Ecommerce

  • Human-computer interaction

  • Information architecture

  • Navigation

  • Research methods

  • Social media

  • User testing

  • Visual design

To earn the credential, students attend any five courses at any UX conference and pass the exam for each course. Five courses take 30 hours to complete and can cost anywhere from $3,200 to $6,000, depending on how early you register and whether you take courses at the same UX conference. Exams take 2.5 hours and cost $80 per exam. Students may also opt to add a specialty recognition to their certificate by passing five courses on a topic like interaction design, UX management or UX research. They may earn the UX Master Certification by passing 10 additional courses.

Related: The Top 10 Skills for UX Designers

5. General Assembly

General Assembly is a global community offering professional training in web development, tech, data science, user experience design, digital marketing, product management, business and other topics. This organization offers the UX Design Immersive Online program, online or in-person, where students can learn UX problem-solving skills, build portfolios and gain experience working with product teams. They may explore topics such as:

  • Wireframing

  • Prototyping

  • User research

  • Usability testing

  • Visual and user interface design

  • Service design

  • Design leadership

Those in this program have access to custom instructor support and career coaching. They also have opportunities to meet US designers and technologists through studio tours, hiring panel discussions and guest talks. The program is three months and costs $14,950. General Assembly offers installment plans, scholarships and loans.

6. CareerFoundry

CareerFoundry is a community of students, mentors and career specialists providing training and other resources for professionals entering new fields and building careers. It offers an online UX design program where beginner students can work one-on-one with an expert mentor and tutor to learn UX designer skills and build a portfolio. The program is approximately 15-20 hours per week for 10 months and costs $7505 if you pay upfront. There are various payment plans available.

Related: The UX Design Process in 5 Steps

7. The School of UX

The School of UX is an organization providing online short courses, mentoring and certification to professionals in the field. It offers a variety of UX and UI design courses each month for those at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. These include:

  • Designing UI in Figma and Sketch training

  • Behavioral Psychology in UX workshop

  • UX Writing and Content Design workshop

  • Prototyping UI in Figma workshop

  • Inclusive Design and Accessibility in UX workshop

8. DesignLab

DesignLab is an online, mentor-led design education organization. It offers both UX and UI online courses that teach students design and creative thinking skills. These include Foundations, a $499 four-eight week beginner course where students learn key UX concepts and practical skills. Students may also opt to advance to UX Academy, 480 hours of training and coaching that aids students in building a UX portfolio. UX Academy prices vary based on the particular program you choose.

Related: UI Designer vs. Graphic Designer: What's the Difference?

9. Springboard

Springboard is an online learning platform that provides lessons on tech topics like software engineering, data science, machine learning and UI and UX design. It sponsors UX Bootcamp, a six-month-long part-time program that prepares students for jobs in UX with videos, in-depth articles, hands-on design projects and career-related coursework. The full tuition is $9,540, and Springboard provides a job guarantee. This means if candidates don't get a job within 6 months of program completion, they can receive a full refund.

10. Flatiron School

Flatiron School is an educational organization providing training online and on campuses across the country. It offers a variety of UX and UI product design courses so students can choose full-time or part-time, online or on-campus programs. Tuition is $16,900 upfront, but there are also loan and installment payment plans.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Benefits of having a UX design certification

Typically, certification programs allow you to learn about industry topics and standards and validate your abilities to potential employers. Here are some benefits of gaining these kinds of credentials:

  • Gain new skills: By participating in a structured or self-guided certification course, candidates have the opportunity to learn from advanced professionals and study resources about UX practices and advancements.

  • Gain experience in the field: Many programs provide career preparation and allow students to complete hands-on projects, enabling them to gain field experience.

  • Build your resume: Upon earning a certification, you can add the designation itself, the skills you learned in the program and any projects you completed in the course to your resume.

  • Expand your professional network: When you take part in a certification program, it's likely you can meet mentors, coaches, experienced professionals and other students in the UX field.

  • Stand out from other candidates: While employers often look at hundreds of candidates for a job, your certification may help your resume and application package impress them and set you apart from other candidates.

Related: Networking Resumes: How To Create a Resume To Build Your Professional Network

Tips for choosing a UX design certification

There are many factors that could help you choose a UX design certification that's right for you. Here are some tips for the decision-making process:

  • Check the requirements: While many are open to professionals at any level, some certification programs require candidates to have a certain level of experience before applying. Be sure to check the sponsoring organization's website to read the requirements carefully and make sure you're eligible.

  • Consider your career goals: Choose a UX certification that aligns with your career goals, whether you're interested in becoming a UX designer, a supervisor or another type of professional. Also, if you want to work for a particular company, you might check the website to see if it offers any certification opportunities.

  • Research the quality of the program: Be sure to investigate the quality of the program and the reputability of the sponsoring organization to determine if it's a worthy investment. You can also research the program instructors to find their credentials.

  • Determine the type of certification the company offers: Find out exactly what certification or form of validation the program offers successful candidates, and how it defines success. This way, you can make sure that by signing up, you can gain the official credential you're seeking.

  • Consider your level in the field: There are many online and in-person course and certification programs available for candidates of all levels, from beginner to intermediate to advanced. Check the level of the course to make sure you can understand and keep up with the material when you take it.

  • Think about your interests: Consider the UX topics that interest you or about which you want to learn more. You might take a certification program on a topic like artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, cross-channel experiences, user interface design or design thinking.

  • Examine your budget: Certification courses can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, so make sure to check if the cost of the course is affordable to you. If you're a member of a professional organization, there may be certification opportunities you can access through that.

  • Reflect on your schedule and availability: Think about whether you want a course that's online or in-person, full or part-time and fixed schedule or self-paced. The lengths of courses also vary, so check what timeline is best for your schedule.

  • Ask mentors in the field: If you know anybody in the UX design field, you might ask them what certifications they have. They may be able to recommend high-quality programs to you.

  • Take advantage of free resources: If you're uncertain which UX course to choose, try to learn about the topic using free resources first, such as online books and videos, short free courses or free trials for programs. You can then decide if you want to pay to gain an official credential in that area.

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