Breaking Into User Research

Tomer Sharon
1 rating

Since I started my career as a user researcher 20+ years ago, from a naive wannabe, through scratching and clawing, getting a job at Google, and building and leading user research teams at WeWork and Goldman Sachs, people kept asking me one question. How do I break in?

When I think about how I got my first job as a researcher, I consider myself lucky. Things are different nowadays. The supply and demand for researchers have changed significantly and the field has matured immensely. Breaking in today is in many cases easier than years ago, yet people still feel there's a huge wall between them and the forbidden city of user research. They feel trapped in a vicious paradox: No experience, no job. But if you can't get the first job, how will you gain experience?

In this video course, I'll show you how I broke into the field, and how you can do it too. I will give you the tools to break down the wall and get out of the paradox of experience. As a researcher myself and especially as a hiring manager in the world's top companies, there are things I (and my colleagues in many other organizations) look for when I hire junior researchers.

I'll introduce you to three breaking approaches: Getting educated, gaining experience, and identifying opportunities. I will discuss 10 characteristics of great user researchers and wrap up with answers to the top 12 questions frequently asked by people aspiring to become researchers. I'll even share the names of my 12 research people. These are 12 user researchers I follow because everything they publish --books, articles, posts, videos, tweets -- is pure gold. 

I've put my 20+ years of experience into this hour-long course and I am confident it'll equip you with the knowledge you need for your journey.


Introduction: 0:00

How I broke into the field: 01:12

Characteristics of a great researcher: 3:40

#1 Breaking approach: Educate yourself: 9:41

#2 Breaking approach: Gain experience: 17:02

#3 Breaking approach: Identify opportunities: 22:53

Questions frequently asked by people aspiring to become researchers: 29:54

Recap: 57:32

Duration: 59:11 minutes

Questions I answer during this course

  • Do I need to know how to write code?
  • What is the level of experience I need to get my first job?
  • What are some relevant academic backgrounds with which it’ll be easier to get into the field?
  • What does a day in the life of a user researcher look like?
  • What are the glamorous and not-so-glamorous aspects of the job?
  • What are the unique challenges researchers face?
  • What should I expect in terms of salary?
  • What do you like about this job? What’s magical to you?
  • Is the field limited to mobile apps and computers?
  • How much should I know about design?
  • What are your tips for working on a highly technical or complex product?
  • What are common mistakes researchers make?

Refund Policy

If you're not 100% satisfied with the purchase, or it's not what you were expecting, just reply to the download email within 30 days, and you'll get a full refund. No questions asked.

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I'll show you how I broke in to the field, and how you can do it too. You get a 60-min video and slides.

Course duration
59:11 minutes


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Breaking Into User Research

1 rating
I want this!