Links on Education

How much a PhD is worth- the price of a PhD in the usability profession

Does a PhD pay off financially? The author recently helped conduct the statistical analysis of the UPA 2009 salary survey, and used this opportunity to look into the data to see if he could calculate how much a PhD affects salaries in this profession. The data set contained salary information for a wide range of jobs in the profession—usability engineers, designers, managers and information architects.

How much a PhD is worth- the price of a PhD in the usability profession

Master in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Uppsala University, Sweden

The program focuses on all issues involved in creating usable IT system, is based on projects and uses real-world problems through our cooperation with leading Swedish companies such as SAAB Aerosystems and Aftonbladet as well as local companies and organizations. Internationally we cooperate with the Centre for HCI Design at City University, London, U.K.

No fees are charged by Uppsala University from students accepted to the program regardless of country of origin. However, you will have to join the Uppsala Student Union in order to take the exams. The fee for the Union is modest, about SEK 300-400 per semester.

Master in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Uppsala University, Sweden

MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University, Massachusetts, USA

Through the Master of Science in Human Factors in Information Design (MSHFID), working professionals learn innovative approaches to product development that integrate the goals of the business and the end-user. This program is housed within a business school, giving students the unique ability to see the role that design plays in the larger organizational structure. This powerful combination puts MSHFID students in high demand for senior-level positions at leading companies.

The MSHFID program:

  • Emphasizes human behavior relative to product design, universal accessibility, usability and the user experience;
  • Prepares students for careers as an interface designer, information architect, usability engineer or user experience specialist;
  • Integrates user-centered design processes in the larger business organization;
  • Gives students the opportunity to interact with professionals in diverse organizations.

MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University

MFA in Interaction Design from School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York, USA

The MFA in Interaction Design program trains students to research, analyze, prototype, and design concepts in their business, social, and cultural contexts.

As one of the only graduate-level degrees dedicated to interaction design in the United States, this program trains students to research, analyze, prototype, and design concepts in their business, social, and cultural contexts.

The curriculum combines studio courses, lectures, and seminars in strategy, design, methods that put ideas into practice both in the classroom and in the field. Students work both individually and collaboratively on the practical application of the concepts and methods that the program advances. Over the course of study, students will produce a wide range of concepts — from low-fidelity sketches to high-fidelity prototypes and applications — with the same degree of rigor.

In the first year, students learn the concepts and methods of interaction design, starting with an understanding of people and the environments that drive their needs, goals and experiences. Course materials consider these social constructs and human experiences as the basis for approaching problems across media. Optional summer internships with top design studios and companies are available between the first and second years for credit toward the thesis project.

During the second year, students apply the concepts and methods from the first year of study to shape their thesis projects. It is in the second year that students develop deeper business acumen through coursework and broader courses, such as service design and design management. Instead of a thesis show to conclude the two years, students and faculty will curate a public conference of their own work.

MFA in Interaction Design from School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York

MS Human-Computer Interaction from Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia Tech’s Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is one of the most prominent programs of its kind. The MS in HCI is an interdisciplinary program of the College of Computing; the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture (LCC), in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts; and the School of Psychology, in the College of Sciences. The program provides students with the practical skills and theoretical understanding needed to become leaders in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the next generation of computer interfaces.

The MS in HCI is a four–semester, 36-hour program. All students are required to take a set of core courses, a set of courses in their chosen specialization – Computing, Digital Media, or Psychology – and a master’s project.

The core is divided into fixed and flexible sets. All students choose the courses in their specialization and flexible core in consultation with the HCI advisors.

MS Human-Computer Interaction from Georgia Tech

Carnegie Mellon HCII (Human-Computer Interaction Institute)

The Human Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) is an interdisciplinary community of students and faculty at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). This community is dedicated to research and education in topics related to computer technology in support of human activity and society.

Although the HCII is headquartered within the School of Computer Science, members of the community represent a broad spectrum of the CMU campus including the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Software Engineering Institute, as well as the School of Computer Science.

Collaborators and sponsors are from other universities in Pittsburgh and around the world, small startup companies, and multi-national corporations.

Research projects range from an individual company working with a small group of students to multi-company consortia seeking multi-national solutions.

Carnegie Mellon HCII