Best Visual Design Bootcamps

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by Shauna Blackmon

Updated September 9, 2022

Reviewed by Darnell Kenebrew

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Visual designers work in a role that is creative and technical. Along with designing something visually appealing, visual designers focus on how users interact with the design and the overall user experience. It's often more important in design to have a strong portfolio than a degree, so many students choose to enroll in a coding bootcamp rather than complete a four-year university design program.

A career in visual design can also come with a lot of perks. It's often easy for designers to work as freelancers or contractors, and they can make hundreds or thousands of dollars for a single project. If you would like to see your designs on websites, ads, and all sorts of different marketing material, visual design could be a good way to mix your artistic and technical sides.

What Is Visual Design?

With so many similar job titles within the industry, it can be hard to work out their similarities and differences. Visual designers are often exclusively digital designers, working with web, mobile, and desktop apps and application widgets.

What differentiates visual designers from web designers is that visual designers often have a much broader skill base. They often combine graphic design, graphic art, and user interface design to provide a more conceptual and user-forward design. Visual designers often must be familiar with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, but basic coding knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Node can also be helpful.

UX designers are similar in many ways but often work with a physical product instead of a digital one. Otherwise, their main objectives are fairly similar, as they are also responsible for both design and usability.

Visual Design vs. Graphic Design

In many ways, these are two fairly similar jobs. Both visual and graphic designers aim to solve problems with visual solutions and create beautiful designs. They follow the same principles of design and require extensive knowledge about design principles, such as line, shape, color, and spacing.

But visual designers are mainly concerned with how the user will interact with a website, game, or online experience. To do this, they must know not only design concepts but also visual communication and how users might interact with a website or app. They must also have experience with various styles and tools.

Best Visual Design Bootcamps

General Assembly

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $950
  • Learning Format: Remote
  • Time Commitment: Self-Paced

Accepts GI Bill®
Career Services
Income Share Agreement

General Assembly's workshop is suitable for those without any previous knowledge. It's also a good option for those with experience but who want to learn more about integrating visual design concepts. Overall, this course focuses more on design elements and less on user interface design.

The first part of the course focuses on design process stages and design theory fundamentals. Then, students can practice these new skills with in-class activities where they can engage with and learn from their peers. This bootcamp alone might not be enough to teach you everything to enter the visual design industry, but it can provide a good start in design thinking.

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Noble Desktop

  • Location: Remote, New York City
  • Program Cost: $975
  • Learning Format: In Person or Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Money-Back Guarantee

This course teaches students how to design websites using design principles and current industry trends. The bootcamp focuses less on the elements specific to visual design but instead helps students build a portfolio that can help them land their next job.

Students need to have a working knowledge of either Adobe XD, Figma, or Sketch to participate in this course.

Noble Desktop also offers a "Learn the Skills Guarantee" and allows students to either repeat the course or receive their money back if they do not learn the skills the first time through.

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Other Notable Design Bootcamps

Since visual design-specific bootcamps may be hard to come by, we've provided a list of other mentionable bootcamps that teach UX/UI design or graphic design or include visual design in their curriculum.

BrainStation

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $15,000
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

This five-part UX design course provides students with hands-on experience solving the types of problems they are likely to come across in the real world.

The course starts with the basics of implementing mood boards, storyboarding, prototyping, testing, and design presentations. The following lessons touch on user research, empathy mapping, UI design, and design thinking. Then students finish with a unit on professional development and create a capstone project.

BrainStation self-reports that over 90% of its graduates find employment within 180 days of finishing the course. BrainStation also offers scholarships and an option to pay in monthly installments.

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Devmountain

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $9,900
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Devmountain’s 16-week UX design course prepares beginners for their first entry-level job in the industry. The curriculum and schedule have also been designed for those either working or studying full time, so classes are only in the evenings and on the weekends.

In this course, students learn about prototyping, information architecture, visual design, and agile methodologies. They also study analytics and accessibility. Devmountain focuses on teaching students how to implement design principles. As this program is a part of a university, it offers better financing options than many other programs.

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Flatiron School

  • Location: Remote, New York City
  • Program Cost: $16,900
  • Learning Format: In Person or Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services

This 15-week (full-time) or 40-week (part-time) UX and UI design course focuses on design for digital products, such as websites and mobile applications. Flatiron School is one of the few providers that includes a section teaching basic HTML and CSS, which can be useful but not mandatory for a visual design career.

There are three ways students can pay for this class, which include upfront, with a loan, or in 12 monthly installments. After graduating, students receive 180 days of one-on-one career coaching to help make the most out of their resumes and receive advice on job searches and mock interviews.

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Udemy

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $129.99
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Self-Paced

Evening & Weekend Options
Money-Back Guarantee

This graphic design bootcamp focuses on teaching students the ins and outs of popular design tools, such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Students start with the basics of design principles and then practice implementing them in both print and web designs.

While the course focuses on these tools, it does not come with access codes for any of the programs, so students need to purchase those separately. In addition, while the software packages can get expensive, Udemy often offers discounts on its courses.

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University of Denver

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $10,995
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

This UX and UI bootcamp provides students with hands-on training on user-centric design. By the program's end, students leave with a portfolio of projects to help them get their first design job.

Like the other bootcamps, the University of Denver focuses on interface design, storyboarding, and visual design. Unlike other courses, however, this one has the greatest focus on coding by teaching students how to use HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. The program offers help to students by providing career-planning services and an interest-free payment plan.

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Get the Qualities You Want in a Bootcamp

We use icons to make browsing bootcamps easy for you. Use this breakdown to quickly identify program qualities you are looking for.

Accepts GI Bill®

Accepts the GI Bill® as funding for tuition.

Also Available In Person

This online bootcamp also offers in-person options.

Career Services

Offers career services to help you land your dream job after graduation.

CIRR Member

This bootcamp is a current member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting. Learn more at cirr.org.

Evening & Weekend Options

Bootcamps are offered during convenient evening and weekend hours.

Job Guarantee

Employment is guaranteed as soon as you finish your bootcamp.

Money-Back Guarantee

Tuition is refunded if you don't land a job within a given time frame after graduation. Visit the bootcamp website for terms and conditions.

Start for Free

No deposit is required to get started. Begin your bootcamp for $0.

Methodology

Bootcamp Ranking Guidelines

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

Our Methodology

The Bootcamp Team at BestColleges has collected data for over 150 bootcamps to help you find the best bootcamp.

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

At this time, our recommendation round-ups feature only immersive bootcamps designed to prepare students for job placement upon graduation.

To be included on our lists, bootcamps must meet the following criteria:

  • Must offer at least one bootcamp in the United States.
  • Must offer at least one bootcamp that is a minimum of 4 weeks long.
  • Must require at least 15 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is part time.
  • Must encourage at least 10 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is self-paced.

Pricing disclosure: The prices listed were collected from product websites in 2022. However, given the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the tech space, prices are subject to change throughout the year. To get the most up-to-date information about pricing, contact providers directly.

Methodology for Recommending Cheap Bootcamps:

  • The bootcamp must meet all of the general criteria listed above.
  • The bootcamp must cost less than $8,000 if it is offered full time, and less than $5,000 if it is offered part time. These numbers were chosen based on data collected by BestColleges in 2020 that determined the average cost of a coding bootcamp is $13,580.

Visual Design Careers

Visual Designer

Visual designers optimize brand identity and user experience through design. They often focus on big picture thinking and have a diverse skill set. The average annual salary for a visual designer in the United States is $66,570, according to August 2022 Payscale data.

UX Designer

UX designers focus more on user experience than design. Their main responsibility is to make sure the product is intuitive and easy to use. The average annual salary for a UX designer in the United States is $76,340, according to August 2022 Payscale data.

Freelance Graphic Designer

Graphic designers create the visual concept of websites, advertisements, and brochures. They work to ensure brand cohesiveness and smart design. The average annual salary for a freelance graphic designer in the United States is $49,950 as of August 2022, according to Payscale.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visual Design Bootcamps

Are visual design bootcamps worth it?

This answer depends on what your current skills are and what you're interested in learning. Many design bootcamps spend a lot of their curriculum on design principles. If you are new to the industry, this could be very helpful. But if you are already familiar with design, you might not get as much out of it.

Regardless of your experience level, bootcamps can provide you with fresh perspectives and ideas and help you strengthen your portfolio. It is up to you whether that bootcamp experience is worth the cost.

Is UX/UI design easy to learn?

It can be slightly challenging to learn and be comfortable with all of the different aspects that lend themselves to good UX/UI design. Being a strong UX/UI designer requires creative thinking and imagination to predict the emotions and actions of your potential users.

In addition, UX/UI designers should be familiar with many different tools, including Sketch, InVision Studios, Figma, and Adobe. Most of the tools are not too complicated, but they might take time to learn. As with many tech jobs, norms and trends frequently change, meaning UX/UI designers need to learn and adapt constantly.

Does visual design require any programming knowledge?

No. Visual designers do not need to know how to code to do their jobs well. However, learning a little about coding in popular front-end languages, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, can give visual designers more context and understanding of the whole process.

This does not mean you need to become an expert programmer. But at least understanding how these programming languages work can give you an extra leg up. When it comes to many of these types of roles, knowing a bit about coding can be beneficial.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/index.asp.


Feature Image: We Are / DigitalVision / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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