What qualifications or skills do I need?
UX is already a very competitive industry although fairly new, yet there is still a strong demand for good designers. There are a small number of courses which are more focused towards UX as
well as other courses such as interaction design, architecture, psychology, product design, and anthropology. Whether you have or don't have relevant qualifications, the most important factor in entering the UX sector is experience.
Second to experience is the ability to demonstrate that experience. Aside from a great CV, a portfolio is often the best way to show your work. A relevant job or internship can make all the difference in improving your CV as well as giving you an opportunity to add to your portfolio. Its important to keep a copy of everything you create; even if you are not happy with it, it could be useful at a later date if even just for reference or to show your progress.
The skills you will need to work in these subfields will depend on the nature of the role and who you work with. For example, if working as part of a team you could be conducting research with the users themselves in which case strong communication, psychology and business skills would be useful. But if on the development side of UX, more technical skills like coding are needed. If the project is on a smaller scale, you might be working alone in which case a mixture of all of these skills may be needed.
Knowledge of the software or 'tools' used for the design, prototyping and testing are also needed. (eg.Research: Google analytics, Design: Omnio, Axure, Prototyping: Adobe fireworks)
Finally, its important to have a creative streak especially with the design side of UX. Hand drawing skills can be important because often much of the process is done on pen and paper, sketching wireframes or initial designs for page structure.
It is important to note that the qualifications and skills described here are all great for working in UX, but what you will actually need to work in UX is very much dictated by the individual job, and much of the skill and experience you'll need is acquired after entry level.