Considering A UX Bootcamp? Ask Them These 7 Questions Before You Pay
Founder & Lead Coach
12th July 2021
Image credit: Karolina Grabowska
After several years of growth in the design education industry, in 2021 there is now a range of different paid-for online design bootcamps.
UX bootcamps have helped a lot of people into new creative careers. However, particularly in the post-pandemic market, it’s essential that you know what you’re getting before you commit.
Given the intense competition within the sector, it’s become common for providers to drive sales by offering a “job guarantee”, or something with a similar name.
The idea behind these policies is typically that if you complete the course and haven’t been hired after a certain amount of time, you can either get a refund on your fees, or be placed directly into some kind of UX design position.
While this kind of offer can sound appealing, we’d encourage you to ask bootcamp sales teams the following questions, and make sure that you are satisfied with their answers before committing your money.
Seven important questions to ask
Image credit: Simone Secci
1. In 2019, what percentage of your students were hired to UX roles?
Ask for this in two ways:
- As a percentage of all students who start the bootcamp
- As a percentage of students who successfully complete the bootcamp
Although you should ask about more recent data, too, asking about 2019 data means that 1) the provider will definitely have the data available internally, and 2) the hiring rate will represent “normal” hiring in the pre-pandemic market.
If the provider is unable or unwilling to share their hiring rate with you, or details about which students or graduates they are including in those figures, consider this a red flag.
2. Which students or graduates are excluded from the data used to answer question 1?
Use these follow-up questions:
- What conditions must a student or graduate have to satisfy to be included in those data?
- What percentage of students or graduates were excluded from those data?
In particular, find out whether they are only counting course graduates who fulfill the requirements of the job guarantee policy, because this could represent only a small subset of students.
3. How many new students join your bootcamp in each intake?
The provider should have no reservations in telling you this number.
If the provider publishes hiring data on its website, you can compare those data to the number of students you know are regularly joining the course.
For example, if they take in 200 new students each month, but are only reporting 40 hires each month, you might want to ask further questions about what is happening to the other 160.
4. To be eligible for the guarantee, how many jobs do I have to apply to, and for how long?
The provider should be able to tell you how many job applications you have to make (for example, the number per week or per month), and how long you have to continue applying to remain eligible for the guarantee.
It’s also worth finding out what requirements you need to meet during the course itself: for example, how many sessions you’re allowed to miss (if any), how far behind the course schedule you’re allowed to fall, and any standards your work must reach.
5. Where can I find the full terms and conditions of the job guarantee policy?
Image credit: Cytonn Photography
The provider should be able to give you a document that explains all the criteria you must meet to be eligible for the guarantee, and all the grounds on which you can be denied it.
Although this may be available on the provider’s public website, it could be hard to find.
Before you sign up to the course or provide any payment details, make sure that you are satisfied with the terms and conditions they set out.
6. Under the job guarantee policy, what proportion of refund requests have been refused or partially refused?
Again, if the provider is unable or unwilling to give you this information, ask yourself why.
They should also be able to tell you what steps you would need to go through to receive a refund under the job guarantee policy, and how long that process typically takes.
As well as asking these questions, see what you can find out from the provider’s website, and by reaching out to current students and recent graduates via platforms like LinkedIn.
7. Is there a “force majeure” clause, and is it currently invoked?
If the provider’s policy has a “force majeure” clause — also known as an “act of God” clause — it may currently be invoked because of the pandemic.
Image credit: Ketut Subiyanto
Finally — and this is a question for yourself — consider how important the job guarantee is to you.
On the one hand, you might want to take a UX bootcamp simply to learn new skills, regardless of whether it leads to a job.
On the other hand — especially if you plan to quit your job to take a bootcamp full-time — remember that a tuition refund will probably only offset some of the earnings foregone by taking the course.
Best of luck with your journey into design!
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