I really like this article, but it’s not about UX Education. It’s about General Assembly and its copycats. To really discuss UX Education, you have to look at what everyone is doing, in particular, the various other programs such as those that call themselves Interaction Design programs or Information Architecture, or, as Stanford and CMU do, HCI. As well, there are interesting one year masters from CIID and CCA that address exactly that question — what does it take to be a working digital designer — in some fascinating ways.
My group at Stanford is doing research right now on this question, and it’s clear that there isn’t a right answer, but there are best practices. But there are real challenges and conflicting goals. No one wants to trade quality for throughput, yet you see it over and over again.
Dealing with the time it takes to teach design is the hardest challange, but it reduces the number of students you can educate, and most institutions, even the nonprofit ones, are money hungry. They all want more students through faster. It’s not only for financial reasons — it’s hard to deny a student an education when they want one. Few institutions are willing to set aside six hours a week with under 20 students in a group for years at a time (3–5).
And why should they? Design has been terrible at quantifying what it takes to produce good design much less good designers, thus making an argument for good education devolves into “it’s how it’s done” and a hand wave at Ecole de Beaux arts.