Updated ranking methodology: Now all schools are re-ranked by the "industry reputation"

Hi all, I just updated the school ranking on the site. Right now, all schools are ranked by the “industry reputation” based on a survey I conducted in March 2019. More details: https://www.topuxschool.com/program/ranking

Let me know if you have any feedback! :slight_smile:

Very cool! I was looking into grad programs a few years ago and would’ve found this incredibly useful.

I’d also love to see non-degree-granting programs like Austin Center for Design (AC4D), Designation, and Hyper Island included. There needs to be some kind of cutoff at the low end, because taking a single UX class from a place like General Assembly isn’t enough to break into the field. But there are good programs outside the scope of academia “proper”, and given the inflated price of higher education, I often recommend intensive programs like the above.

I’d also love to see the sample expanded to a larger set of industry professionals.

Congratulations and thank you for this hard work! It’s a helpful contribution to our profession.

Hi Nathan,

Thanks for the nice words and suggestions!

My next step for the site is to add a list of 100% free MOOCs(massive open online courses). I’m still considering if I should include boot camps since most of them are unaccredited (no government scrutinization), for-profit and vary in quality. I’m sure there are some good institutions and educators out there, but at this moment it’s very difficult for me to get a clear picture at the global scale. Any suggestion let me know! :slight_smile:

Thanks for you reply! It’s interesting to hear about your thought process. I have a few more thoughts and questions for you.

This raises an important question which may be out of scope for your project: How to evaluate these boot camps? I agree about the wide variety of quality—as well as variety of course length.

Do you have concerns that including boot camps could help legitimize bad actors (low quality, high cost programs)?

I think your survey methodology would work for unaccredited graduate-level programs like AC4D, boot camps, as well as accredited programs. And I thing your methodology could evaluate a set of a mixture of program types. Because it boils down to, “Would you hire someone who trained here?” But I may be oversimplifying. What do you think?

Personally I’d prefer an educational system that evaluated graduates and certified some of them. Then all programs (accredited and un-accredited alike) could be evaluated by the aggregate quality of their graduates.

Evaluation is tricky though. Every time I think of an idea, I think of why it won’t work, or how it can be gamed!

Totally echo your last sentence! (Every time I think of an idea, I think of why it won’t work, or how it can be gamed) :joy:

I think the challenges for evaluating boot camps are:

  • Boot camps generally target people in the local area: For instance, AC4D might be well-known in Austin but not in other cities/countries. Universities have this aspect too, but I think it’s less significant because they are able to issue student visas for international students to come (no physical barrier).

  • Variation in the program length and content: As you mentioned, there are a wide variety of programs. It’s not realistic to compare a student who took a 2-week online course with a student who went through a 6-month in-person class. Yet, from the outsider’s point of view, these two students both graduated from the same institution.

  • Variation in class quality within an institution: Many boot camps boast the “apprenticeship” it can offer–meaning the instructors/mentors have real world working experience who can (in theory) provide a more practical training. The flip side of this setting is that the quality of the course likely ties closely to the teaching style of the particular instructor/mentor. Even within the same institution, students might have very different experiences because the instructors/mentors are different.

  • The starting point of boot camp students can be drastically different: Most bootcamps have very lenient admission requirements, and thus it attracts people with a wide variety of backgrounds. If you check the LinkedIn page of the “successful” bootcamp alumni, they likely already have had a related undergrad degree or working experience. It’s a false promise that everyone is able to achieve the same result because of the bootcamp, but almost all boot camps try to send this message on their websites.

Again, it’s tricky. Still thinking…:thinking: