User Experience Careers by Nielsen Norman Group


This 90-page report explores what a UX career looks like today, including what UX professionals make of it, and how best to get a job in the field. The 2nd edition is based on several research studies carried out in 2019, with responses from 722 UX professionals around the world.

This report features a discussion of specialization in the UX field, it explores the unique backgrounds of practitioners, and it details the skills and responsibilities UX practitioners have working in the industry today.


  • The kinds of work UX professionals do
    • Industries in which they work
    • What they are working on
    • Activities performed on the job
  • Education and backgrounds
    • Formal education
    • Most useful areas of study
  • Differences between researcher and designer roles
  • Changing careers
    • The various paths into UX
    • Transferable skills
    • The process of making the change to UX
  • Skills needed for the job
    • What skills UX practitioners have, wish they had, and found useful
  • Experiences with mentorship
    • Why mentorship is useful
    • Where to find a mentor
  • How satisfying is a career in UX?
  • What hiring managers look for in UX professionals
    • UX portfolios
  • Advice for new practitioners


This report is based on several research studies carried out in 2019. These research studies included a survey, 2 focus groups carried out in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, and 17 remote, semi-structured interviews with UX professionals from around the world.

Additional information