How To Get Into Tech With An Arts Degree


Any recent graduate will tell you: a Bachelor of Arts degree doesn’t get you as far as it used to.

Many traditional fields are increasing the educational requirements needed to get hired, and the costs associated with higher education continue to rise. It can be hard to feel like there are enough opportunities to justify the negative effects of student debt.

In tech, though, that’s not really the case. There are a huge amount of tech jobs open right now, and not enough skilled workers to fill them. Some fields are even developing coping mechanisms to deal with all the talent migration into the relatively lucrative world of tech.

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It’s not that anybody can get a job (getting a foot in the door can still be pretty tough – more on that in a minute), or that you don’t need to be a skilled, talented, and hardworking person (you do). It’s just that, partly because of the skills gap, a lot of employers are open to applicants taking non­-traditional pathways into tech.

Which means it’s okay to not have a formal tech education – as long as you can show employers you possess the digital skills they need. But what if you don’t have any digital skills? What if you’ve never written a line of code in your life?

For starters, “digital skills” doesn’t necessarily mean coding. “Tech” is a huge field, and needs a huge array of talent. UX – short for User eXperience – design prioritizes soft skills, such as empathy and how to fit information into context, over hard skills like coding. You can be a successful UX designer without knowing how to code at all.

(That said, learning a little code can really up a UX designer’s pay rate. It’s also just a skill worth knowing, but that’s a conversation for another time).

C332PCV8D0What a User Experience Designer does is figure out how users navigate a digital product, and how to help them accomplish their goals. It involves negotiating user wants and needs and the technical requirements of any given product. It’s running tests, and planning, and re­configuring systems to ensure they work and work well. It’s a field that lets you leverage knowledge from any number of backgrounds or personal interests. It’s also a field that does a lot to humanize complex systems, and introduces delight into the way people interact with technology.

There’s a huge demand for UX designers (scan any tech job board). Which makes sense – companies that prioritize design massively outperform those that don’t. So if you’re graduating from university, and aren’t sure yet how you’re going to turn your degree into a job, consider spending this summer adding some of that special UX sauce to your resume.

A good place to start? BrainStation, which offers in­-person courses, workshops and enterprise training in Toronto, Vancouver and New York, has a part-­time UX Design course, as well as a full-­time UX Design bootcamp.

Interested in upgrading your digital skill set this summer with industry professionals at BrainStation‘s Toronto or Vancouver campus?

Use our exclusive promo code TalentEgg30 and you will receive 30% off (that’s up to $2,400!) any full-time and/or part-time course and/or weekend workshops. This promo code expires on Friday April 22 so be sure to act quickly!