Is UX design a good career option?
Not bad in today’s tricky, pandemic, struggling to be post-pandemic, job market huh? In fact, HK employers often need to hire from abroad to fill these UX designer positions since there’s a huge gap in supply here. Those with the necessary skill set are therefore set to have fantastic opportunities as a UX designer.
Demand and growth.
UX designers are involved in so many phases of a project’s life cycle, they are one of the most in-demand roles in technology. 87% of hiring managers say that getting UX designers is a top priority while the job site Indeed ranks UX designers as the fifth most in-demand position in tech and is set to rise in the future (https://brainstation.io). An Adobe study of 500 managers and department heads reported 87% wanting to hire more UX designers as a top priority for their organization; 73% were adamant that they would hire more over the next five years, and 63% said that they’d hired five plus UX designers more than the previous year.
Owing to this current gap between role demand and supply, there’s endless opportunities for growth in this field. Also, if involvement in cutting edge technology projects interests you and if you wish to impact millions of people’s lives, this is the way to do it as one of the most transformational roles in the tech industry.
In the US, and for comparison, a graphic designer earns on average $37,000 annually while a UX designer’s median salary is $89,000 per annum.
Within the Hong Kong context, an average annual salary is around HK$310K depending on the skills you already have; mid-career, a UX designer with the right skill set can earn up to HK$500K yearly. In Hong Kong, tech startups may not offer the best pay but the sharp learning curve you’ll experience makes up for it; established startups e.g., GoGoVan, Klook etc., however, are likely to pay more. You should also look into the finance industry as employers of UX designers e.g., the banking and finance industry are on the move to digitalize where the attention is on designing user-friendly digital products, therefore the demand for UX designers is high. .
For career satisfaction, UX designers have a healthy work-life balance e.g., Glassdoor ranked this role second in a list of top 20 jobs for work-life balance while Forbes ranked UX design as the second-best job for work-life balance. Nothing bad about that!
Under the UX design umbrella, there’s heaps you can do. From video games to mobile apps, from virtual reality to voice design, there are endless routes you could take. More and more, UX designers are expected to have specialized knowledge in areas like voice design, user research, frontend development, and UX writing. If you don’t want to be stuck in one particular area, and you find the idea of broadening your talents attractive, a career in UX design is full of opportunity.
Or, if you have dreams of going freelance, or working remotely, UX design is one career where this is not only possible, but also common, especially with this current pandemic. However, although covid-19 has increased this potential for remote work, you also now must adapt some of the UX processes, like, conducting user research remotely, and getting a grip on using remote tools, needing to learn how to collaborate and communicate with stakeholders remotely etc. On the plus side, you’re now in increasing demand in new fields due to people spending more time indoors e.g., in healthcare, online education, media and entertainment, logistics and delivery services to name a few.
Looking for a job in UX design can be a daunting and frustrating experience if you don’t know the common job titles used. Why? Because, partly due to these roles operating across so many different industries, there’s a huge diversity in job titles used for UX designers. Here’s a heads-up, look out for these common ones, apart from UX designer: User researcher, UX researcher, Usability tester, Information architect, Experience designer, Interaction designer, UX strategist, UX architect, UX product manager, UX analyst, UX engineer, UX developer, Product designer.