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Career Services is a follow-on program, included in the price of UX Academy, which provides extra help to our graduates as they enter a competitive UX/UI design job market.

Our mission at Designlab is to empower driven, creative people to do the work they love. And when it comes to Career Services, that means providing you with the resources you needed to elevate yourself as a candidate for the positions you’re applying for.

Entering the job market can be stressful, no matter how much experience you have. If you’re new to a field, landing that first job is even more daunting. Having support and guidance from experienced industry professionals during this process can be helpful both practically and emotionally, and it often shortens the duration of the job search.

However, the truth is that even with the help of a Career Coach, the job search can still be frustrating, time-consuming, and fraught with challenges. Skills that you have already acquired may decay without ongoing practice, and you may also need to work on new skills to meet the requirements of the recruitment process.

Over the past 6 months, we’ve worked to identify the challenges frequently met by those entering the UX/UI job market for the first time, and research in depth what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in candidates. This has helped us to shape a comprehensive Career Services curriculum that offers the right support to those graduating from UX Academy and beginning the job search.

Read on to find out the full story of Career Services, and the improvements now live on the platform!

The Story of Career Services

Career Services was first launched in 2017, and we subsequently released a v2 update in March 2019. That was the first time we introduced a week-by-week curriculum, progress reports, job application roadmaps, and lots more new features.

However, our graduate community let us know about a number of pain points in the v2 Career Services experience. These included manual job application tracking, which was clunky and time consuming, and a feeling that there weren’t enough Career Coach sessions available to provide the support that graduates needed.

Also, from the perspective of Designlab HQ, we lacked adequately robust insights into job search activity and outcome data—both of which are essential for us to know whether our product is getting the results our students and graduates rightly expect.

Based on the pain points described above, we identified the following central goals for our next iteration of Career Services:

  • Offer graduates more support from our world-class Career Coaches

  • Provide extra curriculum and resources to help graduates make ongoing improvements to their portfolios and resumes during the job hunt

  • Make it easier for students to organize their job applications

  • Improve and enhance our data collection on graduates’ progress in the job hunt, and on job outcomes

Overall, we are also constantly aiming to increase our key outcome metric: the number of graduates hired within 6 months of graduation. If you’re curious about these numbers, stay tuned for some in-depth reports coming later this year.

Career Services v3: The Key Improvements

📅 24 weeks of support. Career Services now lasts up to 24 weeks instead of 12 weeks, so that we can fully support you through the 6-month job hunting period after UX Academy.

☎ ️More coaching sessions. We’ve increased the number of coaching sessions from 12 to 18. Coaching sessions provide an opportunity to go through project work, conduct mock interviews, get feedback on job application drafts, and so on.

📚 Brand new, in-house curriculum. The learning process doesn’t end when you finish UX Academy. Career Services curriculum guides you to continue building industry-relevant knowledge through design challenges and quizzes, polish your presentation skills, and create amazing job applications.

🖥️ Huntr integration. We’ve added a job-tracking tool called Huntr to help you easily track all the job opportunities you’ve found and applications you’ve submitted, and share progress with your Career Coach.

Monthly checkpoints. These are quick check-ins, embedded into the curriculum, that help us here at Designlab HQ to know how you’re doing, and offer extra support if you need it.

#️⃣ New Slack channel. We’ve created a dedicated #career-services channel in UX Academy Slack.

🚫 No more roadmap planning or progress reports. These have been replaced by Huntr and monthly checkpoints.

Career Services v3 is one of the most substantial updates we’ve made to the Designlab platform, and we’re already seeing how this program is helping UX Academy graduates make the transition from studying to starting their new design careers. 

Check out this awesome UX Academy outcome from last week, as posted to the #wins channel in our Slack community! (Published with permission.)

Designlab Career Services

You can take a quick tour of the new Career Services experience in this blog post.

As ever, we’d love to hear your feedback. Feel free to reach out via the Help Center if you have any questions or comments—and if you’re interested in finding out more about our UX Academy career accelerator, you can download the syllabus here!

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Renee Tracy

Designlab

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