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Designlab UX Academy Update September 2018

Today, we’re excited to announce the biggest set of improvements to UX Academy since our massive revamp of the program in 2017.

Designlab is already in a class of its own when it comes to career support—but we’re now adding to that through an expanded Career Services program, portfolio panel review, and—most exciting of all—a new opportunity called Designlab Talent.

What is Designlab Talent?

Through the new Talent program, Designlab is working with hiring partners to match our best graduates with exciting job opportunities in the UX design industry and beyond. We already have over 40 hiring partners in major cities around the world.  

As our Business Development lead Manuela explains in this detailed post, we’ve spent several months piloting Designlab Talent to prove that the concept works. As a result, we have some early successes to share.

For example, Vicky landed a role at Stash Wealth, an NYC FinTech company, where she’s hoping to go full-time. Belinda landed a UX Design internship at Big Spaceship in NYC. 

And Edyta, a working mom, got a freelance opportunity with Lockaware, a startup, and then went on to a job at Corel, where she can work remotely. Here’s what she had to say about her current role:

“I’m truly enjoying working at Corel. It’s a great opportunity. I work with smart, kind, and interesting people. I’m able to meaningfully contribute to the product. I’m growing as a designer and learning more about product design process. This is all I wanted when I started UX Academy! It’s a dream come true!”

As well as opening up additional career opportunities to our graduates, Designlab Talent has already turned out to be a big win for the companies we’ve partnered with. 

Here’s some feedback from Intrepid:

“We have been incredibly pleased with the candidates coming out of Designlab. They have been extraordinarily well-prepared and have consistently demonstrated a high level of talent. Designlab is our preferred design bootcamp!”

And from Marty at LockAware:

“Our designer, Edyta, always made herself available via Slack and phone calls. She was transparent about her thought process and provided her own feedback. We actually learned so much about design hierarchy!”

We’ve found that what sets Designlab’s graduates apart is their coachability. As Manuela explains, “UX Academy’s mentor-led, collaborative model encourages an open attitude that is receptive to feedback and able to act on it. That turns out to be a huge advantage when entering the industry.”

On top of that, we only put forward our best designers—graduates who’ve attained the highest rating in their portfolio panel review—for opportunities with hiring partners.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Designlab Talent and how to become a hiring partner, check out the full details here.

More Career Services Sessions

In our last major update to UX Academy last year, we introduced Career Services. It’s included in the price of UX Academy, but it’s effectively a follow-up course that allows graduates to work 1-on-1 with a Career Coach to add further polish to their portfolio, get help and feedback on job applications, as well as practice and improve their interview skills.

Compared to other design education programs, Career Services already represents unparalleled support for the transition from training to employment. But we are always looking for ways to improve the support we offer our graduates, and for this reason, today we’re announcing an increase in the number of 1-on-1 Career Coaching sessions from six to twelve. 

We’ve been piloting this level of support within the program over the last few months, and have found that the updated curriculum and guidance has really helped students with their job prep.

We’re also excited to share that, since the launch of Career Services, graduates landing new jobs have achieved an average salary of $71,000.

You can find full details of Career Services on the UX Academy homepage.

Introducing Panel Review

Our goal with UX Academy is to train every student to become a designer who is ready for a junior level UX design position in the industry.

Particularly as we open up more opportunities through Designlab Talent, it’s essential for graduates to get high-quality feedback on their final portfolio, and to be able to demonstrate to potential employers that their work is of the highest standard.

To meet this objective, we’re pleased to introduce Panel Review. This is now the final step prior to graduation from Phase 2 of the program. A panel of designers review and rate each student’s portfolio, and where the portfolio does not meet the required standard, students are offered additional time and 1-on-1 mentor sessions for further iteration.

Platform improvements

As well as these major additions, we’ve also made a lot of smaller improvements to the Designlab platform in recent months. These include more mentor-facing tools to help manage student progress, as well as better timezone support and commenting on more file formats.

At Designlab we’re constantly looking to the future of design education, and how we can best serve the needs of creative people whose hearts are set on a new creative career. Your feedback is crucial, so whether you’re a current student, a course graduate, or a design professional, let us know what you think of these updates! 

Feel free to comment below, or drop us a line at hello@trydesignlab.com.

Looking for a change of careers?

Designlab’s UX Academy program offers rigorous curriculum, personalized mentor support, and a thriving, global student community. Ready to launch your new career as a UX designer? Get all the details here

Check out UX Academy

About Designlab

Designlab teaches you UI/UX design skills through online courses with 1-on-1 mentorship from expert designers.

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