I am inquiring on behalf of my wife. She currently holds an H4 visa and is expected to receive her Employment Authorization Document (EAD) around October 2024. She has a Master's degree in International Public Policy and Management, which is unrelated to UX/UI design. Recently, she completed the "Google UX Design Professional Certificate" bootcamp.
She recognizes two main challenges:
Her degree is not related to UX/UI design.
She has a three-year gap since her graduation in 2020. The reason for this gap is my H1B status, which has not yet led to an i-140, preventing her from obtaining a sponsor for a visa in her field. Initially, she did not plan to seek employment in the US, as she was focused on pursuing public sector jobs in our home country, Thailand. However, after meeting me during her Master's program and my subsequent employment in the US, she decided to stay here with me.
I would greatly appreciate advice on how she can break into the tech industry, possibly at a FAANG company, as a UX designer. If possible, please provide a plan or roadmap for her career transition. Your guidance would be immensely helpful.
Just to set expectations: This will be a very hard transition, and getting into a company like FAANG right off the bat is effectively impossible. A bootcamp certificate is also worth far less than a relevant university degree, especially in this economy.
The good news is that it's definitely possible (I've seen and helped people do it), but it will be a tough road ahead. Here's my advice:
One strategy worth considering is to join any FAANG company as a contractor. A few of my friends have done this and eventually converted to full-time.
So she'd either get hired directly as a contractor, or with a company like Accenture. These roles are easier to get than FTE roles, but they pay less and are less stable.
Once she is a contractor, she can have a much easier time networking with full-time employees, and after a year or two, she can get a referral, which will be instrumental in landing a job.