I frequently receive email messages from recruiters, asking whether they can submit my name to their client for some UX job or other. I always like reading the job descriptions because they help me to stay current on what skills are most in demand in the field of user experience. However, one thing that is always a cause for concern is when UX job postings say “UX certification preferred” or, even worse, “UX certification required.”
While, at least here in the United States, project managers have their well-established PMP certification and, a bit closer to User Experience, ergonomists can be board certified in professional ergonomics (BCPE)—there’s even a UX component of this certification—there is no broadly accepted UX certification. I understand that hiring managers want an easy litmus test to determine whether someone is a qualified UX professional. User Experience covers such a wide range of skills that it may be difficult for them to fully assess whether a candidate is a good fit for a job—particularly if managers are not immersed in User Experience themselves.
Thus, I enjoyed reading Chris Becker’s article on UXmatters, “Accreditation for UX Professionals,” in which he promoted the idea of a UX organization-led accreditation program. While my goal in writing this response to his article is not to offer an opinion for or against certification, I want to share my observations about why it is difficult to make a business case for UX organizations’ offering certification in User Experience. Creating a UX certification program would be a huge and expensive undertaking, and it is unclear what the cost justification for such a program would be.
See full article: Lebson, Cory. “Certification by UX Organizations: Is There a Business Case for This?” UX Matters (May 19, 2014).