Of course, just as in the rest of the digital industry, the new demand for talented UX professionals has highlighted the huge shortage of digital skills and the severe lack of talent within the industry as a whole. Although we’ve advertised lots of UX-related vacancies, and we’ve helped brands find a number of talented candidates, we can’t deny that the number of applications for these roles was significantly lower than those for more traditional and well-known disciplines such as Web development and graphic design.
What will be the knock-on effect of the current UX-skills shortage? Brands are willing to pay top-dollar for talented UX professionals who can make a real difference to their customer journeys and customer-retention rates. In looking at some of the most recent UX-related jobs on our site, the minimum salary for a UX designer in London is around L65,000, with some employers offering up to L100,000 per annum for the perfect candidate.
Now, when you consider that brands are willing to pay huge sums like these, it’s little wonder that they’re looking for candidates who have a range of skills under their belt. I recently reviewed about 50 of the UX jobs that we had most recently advertised on Bubble to see what skills each employer was looking for in candidates for their particular vacancy—and the results were definitely surprising.
Before I go into more detail, it’s worth pointing out that I know the following qualifications and skills to be characteristic of only advertisements for vacancies in the UK. Whether the same skills are in demand for similar positions in the US right now, I do not know. Do you think they are?
A Relevant Degree
First and foremost, employers asked that applicants have a degree in psychology, human-computer interaction, information architecture, UX design, or another related discipline. While not all of the companies whose advertisements I studied requested candidates with such degrees, a large number of them did, suggesting that brands are now starting to look for UX designers who have that core knowledge. That’s not to say they wouldn’t consider candidates with a degree in another discipline, but it’s interesting to note the five degrees that advertisers requested specifically by name—particularly when you consider that only a small handful of universities in the UK offer these degrees.
Experience Designing for Mobile Devices
The next thing that became obvious was the effect that the rise in popularity of mobile devices has had on the digital design industry. Nearly all of the advertisements called for candidates who had first-hand experience in mobile app design—for iOS or Android—and responsive, cross-platform, cross-browser Web design. Interestingly, some brands also requested UX design experience across tablet, mobile, and desktop, suggesting that the ideal UX designer in the UK is now highly skilled across all devices and platforms.