The UX of Learning UX is Broken
Dan Maccarone

I can’t speak for other people’s experience with General Assembly, but I wanted to offer some perspective from my own experience with the DC campus. Your criticisms and observations are valid concerns from an industry standpoint, but I would like to balance things out and offer some insight into a student’s perspective. In implying that GA is “lying” to us, it tends to come across as if we (the students) are victims of being duped by these institutions.

My decision to enroll in the UX Immersive at GA was not motivated by the prospect of financial stability or an exciting career. I, like many of my classmates, was drawn to UX because of the very things you describe in your article: curiosity for learning, problem solving and collaboration. In fact, a lot of us had already been practicing these “aspects” of UX in our former careers without even realizing it. Which brings me to another point. I really appreciated the care that the GA DC staff took in reminding us that our skills/talents from our former careers were not suddenly deemed useless because we were trying to become UX designers. It was the diverse perspectives and experiences of my classmates that truly made the class a unique learning experience. I learned as much from them as I did from Faz Besharatian our instructor.

I never expected to leave GA as an expert in the field. I, like many others, wanted to take the course because I wanted a place to start. I also want to clarify that throughout the course, members of the GA DC staff told us that the course was designed to do just that (give us a place to start). Many of us (students), have very realistic expectations of what the course can and cannot provide for us. A lot of us left well paying jobs to make the transition to UX. We aren’t being duped and we aren’t victims. We are people capable of weighing the pros and cons and making our own decisions about our futures.

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