Finished the Google UX course? Now what?
Starting at the beginning of march 2021 Google published the certificate program “Google UX Design Certificate”. I immediately got interested because it’s something I’ve been waiting for a long time.
Did you know that over 300 thousand people enrolled in the Google UX Course since it launched?
That’s a lot of competition. Luckily the number of people who actually finished it is much smaller — around 25 to 30 thousand (I'm one of the finisher 😎) . It’s a huge drop-off but still the number of new “Google Certified designers” each year is significantly higher.
But what happens next? Don’t sit back
Many people think that when they get the certificate, that’s it. Companies are going to fight for the opportunity to hire them and all will be great. No. You got the basics in and now you need to work really hard to learn more and polish those skills.
Try to read industry articles daily, see different perspectives, read case studies from various companies to see how their approach differs to what Google teaches. Because as I stated before, Google teaches some things “their way” that is not necessarily how the industry does things. Even searching for some of the processes and their names can yield much less result than using the name they’re more commonly known by.
Work on your portfolio
You need to remember that the certificate itself is pretty worthless. You finished a course created by Google, but the certificates are issued by the platform — Coursera, which is ironic because the platform is famous for bad UX. You won’t get a job based on just finishing the course and having those course projects in your portfolio. Chances for that are slim. Add more case studies to your portfolio.
Do design tutorials and if you’re planning to be a designer and not a researcher learn UI design. Sadly that’s also the Google’s course biggest issue. I really liked most of the course, but the UI part, don’t get me started on that. It’s actually the reason I created my own UI courses, so people can truly learn to make good UI, but even my courses aside, just practice UI — from YouTube tutorials and learn from medium articles.
Pretty UI’s sell better because people buy with their eyes, and that means recruiters buy with their eyes too.
Good advice that I will try to cover in more detail is to have a variety of projects. Have a mobile app, a website and something different in your portfolio. Like a smartwatch app, or a browser extension. Or a parking meter, atm, smart fridge — the possibilities are endless.
Focus your portfolio on projects first, then on yourself, but try to present yourself in a way that is fun and shows you for who you are. Oh and always have a photo of yourself in your portfolio, people viewing it react better to faces than to text — that’s just human nature.
Networking is after the portfolio the second most important aspect of your design career. The short story is that you need to create a Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, make them consistent and start participating in the design community.
There are many groups on LinkedIn, join them and get active, leave feedback under projects from other designers, be a nice person and be active. That will help you get seen.
Eventually you can also start posting your own projects to groups and to Twitter, but I always suggest to comment on projects of others first. Learn from that, then post yours.
So… What’s next?
If your goal is to get a job in design, and you completed one course already — that’s great — you’re on your way there. But don’t think for a second that the course is all you need to do.
I believe that if you’re motivated enough to complete a big, complex course like this, you’ll do fine with all the extra work you need to do after. Just keep going!