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Career Outcomes

A strong academic program, valuable avenues for hands-on experience, and a thriving professional network enrich career prospects for MSHFID graduates.

Our distinctive approach to UX research and design enables graduates to successfully compete for top UX opportunities in the industry’s most progressive firms. Employment choices match every interest: social media, telecommunications, mobile, IT, medicine (e-health and devices), software, consumer electronics.

Placement rates consistently average 95 percent or higher. Salaries range from $63,000 to $120,000, with an average of $90,000. MSHFID graduates are employed in leading development organizations around the world.

HFID Alumni Profiles

Tomer Sharon, Senior User Experience Researcher, Search Team, Google

In true Google fashion, Tomer Sharon is all about providing answers. But first he needs to put himself in the shoes of the person who’s asking.

“My job is to provide insights about people who use Google Search, their perspectives, and abilities,” says Sharon, a senior user experience researcher for the Internet giant. “Our research is aimed at understanding how people interact with the search engine and their attitudes towards it.”
 
With fellow members of the Google Search team, he uncovers opportunities for the company to develop products and features that help people with their daily information needs. An example is Google Now, which shows useful information" such as local traffic reports, scores of favorite sports teams, and birthday alerts exactly when people need it.
 
Sharon joined Google soon after earning the MSHFID at Bentley.
 
“I knew I would be learning from the very best — the people who really pioneered the profession,” says Sharon, a native of Israel. A valuable complement to course work was working on projects in Bentley’s User Experience Center. 
 
“We consulted with actual clients on real-world problems and learned to understand their business goals,” he explains. “A lot of product development decisions are made by non-technical people. So communicating well with management, sales and marketing is as important as communicating with engineering.”
 
Sharon has wasted no time channeling his big-picture perspective and high-tech savvy. He is a regular speaker at conferences and recently published a book, It’s Our Research, which provides a strategic framework for getting stakeholder buy-in on UX research.
 
“It’s critical to know what research questions you want answered, so you can design the right research methodology,” observes Sharon, who was tapped to judge the 2013 User Experience Awards. “Bentley taught me that.”
 

Christopher Whelan, Senior Usability Analyst, ESPN

Chris Whelan wants every sports fan to have a great experience — in the stands, of course, but especially on the ESPN website.

He and fellow members of ESPN’s User Experience team study fan behaviors and needs. Whelan researches ways to improve the overall experience for everyone who connects with ESPN through the website or a mobile device.

“I have to understand technology and human nature,” he says, and credits Bentley for developing his skills in both areas. “The MSHFID program and working in the User Experience Center taught me two important skills that I use every day in my role: how to conduct effective research and how people see and process information.”

Whelan likens the role to that of a “design doctor,” diagnosing problems that might confuse or frustrate users and recommending ways to address the issues.

“It’s important to be a very good listener and observer,” he says of studying people as they use technology. “There’s a message beneath every interaction.”

Diego Mendes, User Experience Designer and Researcher, Chegg

Diego Mendes calls choosing the Human Factors in Information Design program at Bentley “a no-brainer.”

“The program taught us how people think, how they interact with products,” he says. “Because of this, my design decisions are much more well-rounded – more so than those of a specialist.”

Mendes developed a valuable skill set by combining classroom study and hands-on experience. The latter included working at Bentley’s User Experience Center and pursuing an internship at research, strategy and development firm Essential Design.  

Learning from faculty who are experts in the UX field and access to a thriving alumni network were added benefits of the MSHFID program.

“The alumni all keep in touch and go out of their way to help each other,” says Mendes, whose networking yielded an immediate eight to 10 job interviews after graduation. He has since joined the UX team at Chegg, a startup that connects students with textbooks, scholarships, course scheduling help and other resources they need to succeed in college.

“The opportunity to do design and research in a field I love – education – was part of a winning formula for my choice,” he says. “I’m excited by the potential in UX, especially within social media.”