UC Berkeley Extension launches UX/UI boot camp

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Deborah Chen/File

UC Berkeley Extension has announced that it will begin offering a new user experience/user interface, or UX/UI, boot camp starting November 28 at its San Francisco campus.

This will be the third boot camp launched by UC Berkeley Extensionthe other two focus on coding and data analytics according to UC Berkeley Extension Engineering and Technology Program Director Sean Butcher. UC Berkeley Extension has partnered with Trilogy Education Services a New York-based education services company that has also worked with programs at Northwestern University, Rutgers University and University of Texas at Austin — to offer the UX/UI boot camp. After finishing the six-month boot camp, students will receive a professional certificate in UX/UI from UC Berkeley Extension.

“The boot camps are far more intensive courses of study and require much greater time commitments by students,” Butcher said in an email.  “The boot camps also provide extensive career services such as training in technical and behavioral interview skills and in resume writing.”

The new UC Berkeley Extension boot camp is also part of a larger undertaking by campus Chancellor Carol Christ to reduce the campus’s $110 million structural deficit to $57 million within the next fiscal year.

In a sit-down interview with The Daily Californian, Christ said more than half of targeted budget deficit reduction was met through revenue increases, citing UC Berkeley Extension programs as one of “the main sources of increased revenues.”

Knowledge in UX/UI is useful in a variety of professions, including user experience researchers, data analysts and designers, stated Katie Crawford, a career counselor at the UC Berkeley Career Center. She mentioned that over her past two years of working on campus, she has seen an increase in the number of students attracted to the field.

“UI/UX is an interesting blend of students who are interested in coding with a creative outlet in design,” Crawford said. “It’s becoming more and more important for (students) to utilize research and data in order to make the user experience better and then visually make that a reality.

Angie Luo, another career counselor at the Career Center, noted that although taking the UC Berkeley Extension UX/UI boot camp can be “a signal for employers” of one’s training or interest in UX/UI, “it certainly doesn’t stand alone.” She added that it was important for students to also show “design aesthetic (such as) a portfolio or website.”

Eric Liang, a product design intern at Facebook and a former instructor of the campus student-run Web Design DeCal, stated in an email that he believed while “Berkeley doesn’t have the best design program … they’re definitely trying to improve the classes, and that’s awesome.”

“Design is a rapidly growing field, and there’s a lot of cool new problems that designers get to tackle,” Liang said in an email. “There’s a lot of new emerging tech like VR and AR where there’s no set of established design practices or patterns, and I think classes like this bootcamp give a great introduction.”

Contact Alicia Kim at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @aliciackim.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the boot camp is six weeks. In fact, it will be six months.