User researcher apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
a university courseapplying directlya graduate training scheme
You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- human computer interaction (HCI)
- digital marketing
- product design
- graphic design
You'll usually need 1 or 2 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma. You'll need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
You can volunteer at user research sessions to get some experience. This will be useful, especially if you do not have a degree.
You can also get involved in the online user experience (UX) community and find a mentor to help you.
You can apply directly to user research or digital design companies, or go through a specialist agency.
To apply, you'll need experience in:
- user-centred design practices
- running user research sessions in person and online
- different user research methods
- presenting user research findings in different formats
You could apply for a place on a user research or marketing company's graduate training scheme if you have a degree, for example in digital marketing or product design. It will be useful if you have experience of working in agile project development. It will also help if you have a portfolio to show examples of your work to employers.
User researcher apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of English language
- maths knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to work well with others
- to be flexible and open to change
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
User researcher apprenticeships - what you'll do
On a daily basis you could:
- plan and design user research testing sessions
- recruit users for testing sessions and carry out research
- get an understanding of users' needs, motivations and any problems with a service or product
- use research results to identify new product and design ideas
- work as part of a large product development team
- help colleagues understand user behaviours
- present user insights to project stakeholders at all levels
You could work in an office, at a client's business or from home.
Career path and progression - User researcher apprenticeships
With experience you could move into a management role and supervise a team of user researchers. You could also work on larger, more complicated projects as a head of user experience or research.
You could become a business analyst, or product or service designer.