Should I still become a UI/UX designer with massive tech layoffs?

Tech layoffs slashed thousands of UI/UX design jobs in the past couple of years. Is it still a good idea to become a UI/UX designer?
A person is working on a computer showing a dashboard design

Your Reading Progress

Not sure which program is for you?

Why Are You Not Landing The job?

Is Design For Me?

Tech layoffs slashed thousands of UI/UX design jobs in the past couple of years. As the market become more and more saturated with bootcamp graduates holding UI/UX design certificates, and the number of jobs dwindling due to layoffs, is it still a good idea to become a UI/UX designer?

To answer this question, we first need to ask ourselves – why did big tech lay off so many employees? What exactly happened in the industry?

Table of Contents

Why Big Tech Laid Off So Many UI/UX Designers

It’s tempting to attribute the reasons to the tech industry not doing so well. After all, isn’t it as simple as businesses losing money due to whatever reason and having to cut down on cost?

Actually, the tech industry has been witnessing record-high profits, and the economy isn’t faring poorly. Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Meta—the Big Five tech companies—generated total revenues of $1.63 trillion in the most recent fiscal year, marking an 81% increase over five years earlier. Surpassing expectations, January 2024 saw the addition of 353,000 jobs in the U.S.

Why on earth did these companies lay off so many employees, including UI/UX designers?

One reason is because these companies over-hired during the pandemic and the bloated headcount simply isn’t sustainable in the long term. founder Roger Lee told Bloomberg: “Technology companies are still trying to reduce the extra weight they put on during the pandemic, given that high interest rates and the negative trend in the technology sector have lasted longer than expected.”

Is AI a threat to UI/UX designers?

At the same time, companies are investing significantly more in AI than ever before. This shift in investment doesn’t always mean job reduction as many people have feared, but it prioritizes employees with AI skills.

For UI/UX designers, this doesn’t mean that AI will replace our jobs. It simply means that we need to learn more about how we can use artificial intelligence to work more efficiently. The reason is UI/UX design heavily involves the human element, making it challenging for AI to entirely replace human communication, especially in complex scenarios.

Embrace AI without fear – enroll in a program like School of Design at Path Unbound to learn AI in design.

The Mismatch Between Supply and Demand

Another interesting aspect of this tech layoff landscape is that although many jobs are eliminated, companies are still hiring for new roles. However, many hiring managers are complaining about a bizarre phenomenon – there are plenty of applicants on the market, but they can’t find anyone they’d like to hire.

Does this situation sound eerily similar to dating? There are plenty of fish in the pond, but finding one that works for you is hard. Job hunting resembles dating because human relationships, personal or professional, are fundamentally about needs. If you can’t figure out what you offer and what companies need, the search becomes harder. Even if you find a job, you may not be happy at it for very long.

So what do we do about it? At the end of this article, we will talk about some effective strategies to find the right UI/UX design jobs for you, so stay tuned.

Narrow Down Your Job Search Focus

Speaking of strategies, we need to first look at how to narrow down our focus. Blasting your resumes to every company hiring is not only exhausting but an utterly waste of time. Think of it this way – a company needs a go-to-market strategy when it launches a product. Why wouldn’t job applicants need a strategy when what they are trying to do is finding the right fit?

A more effective way of job search is finding your niche first before doing anything else. Depending on who you are, your niche may be very different from other designers. However, it’s worth exploring industries that previously underutilized UI/UX design but are now embracing it. These industries have way more appetite for new designers than the saturated tech industry.

Niches with Growing Demands for UI/UX Designers

Medical Technology

The first industry that is now hiring more UI/UX designers is the medical tech industry. If you’ve been to clinics or hospitals, you probably remember how outdated their operating systems are. Doctors, nurses and physician assistants routinely complain about how difficult it is to navigate their systems. Now more startups have emerged in the medical tech niche to address these issues, which leads to more hiring.


The second industry that now welcomes more UI/UX designers is government. Of course, it’s not feasible for everyone to work for the government due to citizenship and security clearance requirements. However, UI/UX jobs are emerging in this traditional sector as the governments start to adapt for efficiency. For a new UI/UX designer, this sector could open more doors for you later down the road.

Financial Institutions

The third industry that aspiring designers should look to is the financial industry. Historically, finance has been a slow-to-innovate sector. However, with the boom of FinTech, the financial industry needs to compete with tech companies directly. That’s it is now showing stronger interest in the design function.

The Only Effective Way To Become a UI/UX Designer

This leads to the most important question – once we find a niche, how do we actually land our dream UI/UX design job?

There are a lot of generic job search advice being tossed around – polish your resume, practice your interview skills, improve your portfolio, network, apply regularly and play the numbers game. If you are not lazy, you probably have done all of that. But still, you haven’t seen much result.

If you have done your due diligence with your portfolio quality and interview skills, the deciding factor could be somewhere else.

Find Your Strengths and Needs as a UI/UX Designer

Before you continue with your job search, sit down and do a deep dive of who you really are as a designer. What’s your strengths that shine in a team environment? What unique qualities do you offer? What kind of environment do you really want to be working in?

Figure Out The Company’s Needs and Culture

Next, figure out what companies actually value your qualities and if their work environment fits your needs.

Now you may be asking – how can I possibly know what a company really wants? I’m not a mind reader. Plus, there are so many companies out there. How can I know what all of them want?

The short answer is, you can’t, at least not directly. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find out indirectly. For example, if you are not their first design hire, check their LinkedIn to their current designers. Look into their experience – does it look similar to yours? This comparison technique is quite simple to execute but often effective because if they hired someone similar to you, they are likely to also want to hire you.

Study the company’s website and see if what they say about their product and culture resonate with you.

Additionally, find out where the company is headed to next in business direction. Check their social media posts, blog articles, or news announcements to understand their focus and hiring motivations.

It is beneficial to start this exercise yourself, but if you are stuck, it’s time to join a program where experienced designers guide you to achieve the best results.

In Conclusion

So in conclusion, should you still become a UI/UX designer in this market where tech layoffs are rampant? Our recommendation is – if you know you are able to produce high quality work and ready to put effort into finding the right fit, then yes, it is still still a very much in-demand profession where you can feel fulfilled making a great living doing what you love.

Stay Updated On Our Latest Articles

Grab Our Free Career Resources PDFs

We’ve put together a series of info-packed free, downloadable PDFs to help you with your design career

Our Next Cohort Starts Soon

Our next cohort starts soon. Apply to start your design career today.

Not sure which program is for you?

Why Are You Not Landing The job?

Is Design For You?

You Might Also Be Interested In...

Is it worth getting a master’s degree in UI/UX Design?

April 17, 2024

Should I still become a UI/UX designer with massive tech layoffs?

April 11, 2024

Why Bootcamp Job Guarantees Are A Scam

April 9, 2024
Scroll to Top

Design can be an incredibly fulfilling, fun and well-paying career, but are you cut out for it? Is it right for you? If so, what areas of design should you go for? We have just the right (and free) tool to help you find out.

Application is now open for our Summer cohort. Only 10 spots left!

Did someone say free downloads?

We’ve got some amazing goodies for you. Information-packed guides for salary, case studies, school comparisons and interviews written by our award-winning instructional team are available for download, for free.