‘Preparing you for the real world’: Reviewing Avocademy’s UI/UI bootcamp

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User experience and user interface design (UX/UI design) is something we all take for granted these days. When we go to a website, for example, we expect a seamless experience—otherwise we are quick to click away. Resultantly, the field has not only skyrocketed in terms of demand, but also interest by students. Bootcamps are tackling this interest head on.

While it has only been around for about four years, Avocademy is one bootcamp where students have quickly found success in its constantly evolving programming.

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The bootcamp is a popular choice for many students looking to learn the foundations of UX/UI design paired with mentorship, portfolio building, and job preparation. It took home the No. 2 spot on the Fortune Recommends inaugural ranking of the best UX/UI bootcamps—in part because of its relative affordability as well as financial and student success options.

Maca Baigorria, founder of Avocademy, says the organization teaches real-world UX/UI skills with flexibility and low-cost.

“Our programs accommodate folks who work full-time, have families, or simply just can’t afford the price tag of our competitors,” Baigorria says. “However, we also know that for our students to break into tech and continue to thrive, we couldn’t compromise on quality.”

If you are itching to learn more in the UX/UI space and are not sure whether or not Avocademy is the right bootcamp path for you, Fortune has further details you need to know.

Avocademy’s program overview

Avocademy highlights three main steps toward landing a job in the UX/UI space:

  • Step 1: Learn the basics through its UX/UI Foundations program
  • Step 2: Gain real-world experience through its Career Jumpstart Program
  • Step 3: Land a dream job, also as part of its Career Jumpstart Program, which is backed by a job guarantee

The foundational program’s curriculum is divided into six modules, including user research research, wireframing, and portfolio building for a price of $2,997. The timeline for completion is usually around 16 weeks. The program has had just over 2,000 graduates thus far.

The Career Jumpstart program, which if combined adds to a cost of $7,497, is divided into three phases: advanced design skills, real client projects, and landing your dream job. It may extend students’ time with Avocademy by up to 8 months. The program has had just over 1,000 graduates thus far. 

Avocademy’s Career Jumpstart Student Portal

Avocademy notably is a bootcamp that focuses solely on UX/UI—as compared to others that may also teach subjects like coding, data science, or cybersecurity.

Avocademy

UX/UI Foundations + Career Jumpstart Programs

Price $2,997–$7,497
Program length 2–7 months
Commitment Part-time

Avocademy logo

Pros

  • Financing options
  • Lending partnerships
  • Scholarship opportunities

Cons

Pros

  • Mentorship opportunities
  • Career services support

Cons

Learn more

Avocademy’s curriculum and instructors

Avocademy’s coursework is asynchronous, meaning students watch prerecorded lessons on their own and complete projects. Depending on your learning style, this can be a great way to dive in and get ahead learning on your own time.

An Avocademy instructor walks through students preparing for the program.

“Our learning environment offers structure and accountability without the hassle and stress of required class times,” Baigorria explains, who is the instructor for many of the lessons. Before starting Avocademy during the pandemic, she worked as a user experience designer at Pwc.

Avocademy’s mentors are a big part of what it has to offer—not only in terms of job development but by establishing person-to-person connections. Mentors are scattered across U.S. time zones, with availability to chat with students 7 days a week, according to Baigorria. While all of Avocademy’s mentors are not listed, many of them work in the UX space at small to medium-sized companies.

Avocademy’s transparency

Getting in touch with Avocademy is a fairly simple process through an email contact on the website’s footer that is checked regularly (Fortune received responses to inquiries within 24 hours). Prospective students with additional questions are prompted to a Calendly page, where individuals can set up a 20 minute career advisement session for as soon as the next business day.

Avocademy also does not lay out details about all of its instructors or mentors on its website. However, dozens of student success videos highlight some of the experiences of alumni.

For many at Avocademy, this is not their first venture with education—nor their first career. Four out of five students are over the age of 25, and close to a quarter of students are 35 years old or older.

Avocademy’s student experience and outcomes

640 applications. That’s how many jobs Paige Thompson applied for during a six-week search after completing Avocademy’s UX/UI foundations and Career Jumpstart programs.

“I think that it’s extremely important for people to fully understand, it’s not an easy change and it’s not an easy industry, but you really get what you put into it, you have to want it,” Thompson says. 

After working in sales and marketing, she realized how valuable UX design skills truly are and decided to reskill through Avocademy. Now, as a user experience specialist at PepsiCo, she says Avocademy prepared her with the necessary skills to succeed in UX even at a Fortune 50 company.

Thompson initially landed on Avocademy in part because of its affordability, job guarantee within its Career Jumpstart program, and its social media presence. 

One of the important skills Avocademy emphasizes—that is paramount for the real world—is defending your designs, she says. During the Career Jumpstart program in particular, Thompon notes it can be overwhelming working on client-facing projects and also being encouraged to apply for 500 jobs a month, but in the end, the push was what helped land her new career.

“You’re thrown into the fire, but they are preparing you for the real world. It’s just frustrating as it’s happening,” she says.

Broadly, Avocademy provides a good foundation in the design thinking process, explains Radia Lahlou, a student who was part of the bootcamp’s first ever cohort. She says the comprehensive learning opportunity—as well as the affordability—are what initially led her to enroll in the program.

Lahlou now is a product designer at a start-up company in the cryptocurrency space and has even given back to students by serving as an Avocademy mentor. Her advice for individuals interested in UX is to pay more closely to design patterns in your everyday life—and understand that every design process is not linear.

“I think one of the great things about design is that you can take skills from other industries and apply them to being a designer,” Lahlou says.

Is the Avocademy UX/UI bootcamp worth it? 

If you are eager to learn UX/UI, Avocademy is a good opportunity. The lessons are all asynchronous, meaning you will need to have discipline and self-motivation to truly get all you can out of the program. However, if you put in the time and effort, hundreds of graduates have gone on to have successful careers in the space at top companies like Citibank, Deloitte, and PepsiCo.

While details about the curriculum and instructors is not as publicly available as some of the other bootcamps, it is a positive sign that Avocademy is solely focused on UX education. Moreover, Avocademy is very career-oriented. Not only are unlimited mentorship calls available, but within the Career Jumpstart program, there is a job guarantee for students that meet all the requirements. It may be hard to find these benefits for the same price elsewhere.

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