Choosing between 2 programs

Hi Kaiting,

I’m choosing between 2 programs that I have a hard time deciding and I would like to hear your input on this.

I was admitted to Northwestern University’s MS Engineering Design & Innovation and Georgia Tech’s MS Human-Computer Interaction. From what I found about both of these programs, Georgia Tech’s MSHCI is one of the oldest HCI programs in US and it’s well-known in the HCI community, while Northwestern’s EDI is a relatively younger program, hence they are not as well-known as Georgia Tech’s MSHCI and have less alumni. However, I’ve taken Northwestern’s EDI into consideration, because the program is designed for engineers who wants to go into UX or product design, which is something that I’m looking for.

So my questions are which program should I go? How much does a program’s reputation matter when applying for UX design jobs? And what other important factors should I consider when choosing a program?

Thank you for your time in advance. Please let me know what you think.


Congrats on the offers!

In my opinion, your portfolio will matter the most in terms of finding a UX design job. However, a long-established program like Georgia Tech’s will likely give you access to stronger academia/industry connections and mentorships.

I’d not read too much into what the program’s website says (could be marketing lines), but instead talk to alumni to see if their experiences line up with what you expect. For example, when you said that “EDI is designed for engineers who wants to go into UX or product design”, I’m curious about how you draw this conclusion, and why it doesn’t apply to Georgia Tech’s HCI?

Check out other factors you can consider. Good luck!