Figma is a popular collaborative design tool that is used in a number of different industries. If you’re looking for a way to demonstrate your skills in Figma, you might be overwhelmed by the different certifications and certificate programs available. You might also have many questions, such as will a certificate improve my job opportunities and help me get a job? What is the difference between a certificate and a certification? And where can I get certified? This article aims to answer these questions so you can efficiently choose the right path toward a Figma certificate or certification. Keep reading to find out more.
What is Figma?
Figma is a browser-based user interface design tool that allows users to collaborate with other editors to build unique and accessible website designs. Users work on collaborative shared documents to build interactive prototypes of webpages, making Figma an ideal skill to learn for aspiring Web Designers who want to build complex, multi-feature webpages. Since Figma allows users to update their designs in real time without downloading an application, teams can collaborate anytime and anywhere.
Figma is also a vector graphics design tool, meaning that all the designs produced are resizable and replicable. This is important for user experience (UX) design because it assures designers that they can optimize their layouts for several screens, ranging from mobile phones to desktop PCs. Regardless of the project, Figma will give teams the tools they need to construct complex prototypes of their web layouts. Then, users can test these prototypes and ensure that their designs meet all their requirements.
Since Figma prides itself on its collaborative community of designers, there are many readily available plug-ins, templates, and widgets that make designing interfaces much easier. If a Figma user runs into a problem, there is a good chance that another user has already run into that problem, solved it, and made their solution readily available as a plug-in or template.
According to the Figma website, this tool is used by people in 235 countries and territories around the world. The company also reports that more than half of Figma users collaborate with others. In fact, it says, “With 83% of Figma users based outside of the U.S., nearly 14% of file collaboration happens between different continents. . . . And we’ve seen some truly long distance connections, including users who collaborate between Madrid, Spain and Wellington, New Zealand, and others who work together between Beijing, China and Buenos Aires, Argentina.”
As more and more people work from home, tools like Figma have become increasingly important because they allow users to collaborate effectively. Andrew Hogan, Head of Insights at Figma discusses the way that work has changed in recent years. He says, “Once upon a time, product design was synonymous with conference rooms and brainstorming sessions. These days, however, the script for how work gets done is being rewritten. Across every industry, people have become accustomed to seeing cursors and avatars appear in files, documents, and presentations—just like we used to see faces around the office. The traditional, physical domain of collaboration has been augmented in a new era of ‘multiplayer work.’” Unfortunately, he says, an increasing number of those people who work from home are finding that it can be difficult to produce high-quality work with so many people involved in this way. This is where tools like Figma come in; Figma is designed to help people collaborate in a way that is efficient and effective.
Read more about what Figma is and why you should learn it.
History of Figma
Figma was founded in 2012 by Dylan Field and Evan Wallace. Field initially studied computer science at Brown University, but ended up dropping out and founding Figma with Wallace. While it was founded in 2012, Figma wasn’t actually released until 2015, and that was in the form of a closed beta version. It was finally released to the public in 2016. There have been many updates since then. One of the most notable was the release of the digital collaboration and planning tool, Figjam, in 2021. In 2022, Apple entered into an agreement to buy Figma for $20 billion.
Field explains that the launch of Figma fundamentally changed design because it made it much easier for people to collaborate. He says that this change has been extremely beneficial, but also difficult for some people to adjust to. He says, “I’ve seen firsthand how working in a collaborative digital space moves teams from a mindset of ‘my ideas’ to ‘our ideas.’ This requires a radical shift—a level of trust and transparency that many of us are still catching up to.” However, he argues that this change is important because it makes design much more accessible. He says, “Working in the browser is part of a multi-decade global shift from physical spaces to digital spaces. . . . Like physical spaces, digital spaces help us connect to one another. Unlike physical spaces, digital spaces have no walls: by default they are non-hierarchical. Everyone is invited to brainstorm, build, and play together.”
What Can You Do With Figma?
Figma lets users collaborate in real time to build and prototype user interfaces and web applications. Using vector graphics design tools, teams of designers can build complicated wireframe layouts for websites that can be resized to be optimized for screens of any given size. In addition, users can add interactive elements such as scrolling and hovering functionalities to their designs, which allows them to create webpages that look and feel like modern designs. This lets users produce working prototypes of their webpages that can be easily tested, allowing designers to receive feedback quickly. Figma even allows users to export some amount of code from the prototype designs to hand off to developers once the prototype has been perfected.
In addition, because Figma is such a potent collaboration tool, there is a massive community of designers and developers constantly creating new plug-ins, templates, and widgets for public consumption. Through Figma’s website and other forums, users can share new designs, provide feedback on templates, and improve on the functionality of interactive interface elements. Every day, more and more new Figma resources are being developed. The resources that are being developed can help users modify and re-purpose existing resources to fit their needs better. Thanks to the Figma community, users aren’t just able to collaborate with their team on a web design; they can collaborate with the entire community of Figma designers and developers on their web designs.
Figma is widely used within industries that involve interactive design. It is a common tool in the tech industry, popular among User Experience (UX) Designers, Front End Web Developers, and Web Designers. In addition, it is sometimes used by Graphic Designers.
UX Designer: UX Designers make products like websites and apps accessible, usable, and enjoyable for users. They do so by working with researchers or users in order to get an understanding of users’ needs, then they create tools that make the user experience better. UX Designers use Figma, or a similar program, to test the functionality of proposed designs and to create prototypes for users to test.
Front End Web Developer: Front End Web Developers create the part of a website that users see and interact with. They typically use a combination of design and coding tools. This can include Figma for creating designs or for interacting with other people’s designs.
Web Designer: Web Designers work on the layout and design of a website. Their job may or may not include coding. They may also utilize Figma as part of the design process, for instance, to prototype a webpage.
Graphic Designer: Graphic Designers create designs for a wide variety of both print and digital media. These designs sometimes include interactive elements that will be used on websites, in which case, Graphic Designers may use Figma for that content.
Design Director: A Design Director leads and oversees an entire design team. For instance, there might be a Design Director overseeing a team of Web Designers and Web Developers in order to create a website. Most Design Directors who work in digital design need to understand how to use Figma since this is a common design and collaboration tool.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a federal agency that collects and analyzes information about the labor market, predicts that Web Developers and Digital Designers will see 16 percent job growth over the next ten years, a rate that is much faster than the national average for all jobs, which is only 3 percent. The agency explains that this growth is a result of increased e-commerce, and also of the continually increasing use of mobile devices. It says, “Employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow as e-commerce continues to expand. As retail firms keep increasing their online offerings, demand for these workers is expected to grow. In addition, the continued use of mobile devices to search the web is expected to generate demand for web developers and digital designers to create websites and interfaces that work on mobile devices with many different screen sizes.”
California, New York, Washington, and Texas employ the most Web and Digital Interface Designers, according to BLS. In California, more than 20,000 people are employed in this profession. California, New York, and Washington pay the highest wages. The annual mean wage in California for a Web and Digital Interface Designer is about $145,000. In New York, it is approximately $118,000 and in Washington, it is $115,000.
Certificate vs. Certification: What’s the Difference?
If you’re looking at Figma classes, you’ve probably come across the terms “certificate,” and “certification,” and you might be wondering what the difference is between the two. While these terms might sound very similar, they actually have some significant differences. While both a certificate and a certification demonstrate mastery, they demonstrate it differently. A certificate proves that a user has completed an industry-recognized training program, much like a diploma. This tells prospective employers that the holder has received training and performed well enough in that training to graduate from the course. Each school offers its own unique certificate programs. In contrast, a certification requires users to pass a skills exam to demonstrate proficiency in a skill like Figma. This exam is proctored by a third party and assumes that a user has prior training. This informs employers that a user’s on-the-job experience and self-training are equivalent to that of a training program. Most certifications are focused on a narrow range of skills, while certificates are generally more broad.
Forbes Advisor explains the different reasons for pursuing these two types of qualifications. It says, “Some mid-career professionals pursue certificates to enhance or acquire high-demand skills in the workplace. Other individuals who are seeking to change their careers or pivot into new roles might benefit from certificate programs to gain better knowledge of industry trends.” On the other hand, says Forbes, you might pursue certification because an employer requires it, or because you need to for career advancement. It says, “Current job-seekers may need to explore certification programs, as these credentials are sometimes required for a role. For professionals who are already employed, a certification might still be necessary for upward mobility in their industry.”
At the time of this writing, there is no official certification exam available for Figma users. There are numerous Figma certificate program options, but these will be available through outside service providers unaffiliated directly with Figma, the company. For instance, Noble Desktop offers a Digital Design Certificate that includes instruction in Figma.
Do I Need to Be Certified to Work in a Figma-Related Career?
In most cases, you don’t need to be certified to work in a Figma-related career, but being certified can be beneficial in many different ways. In a recent article in Entrepreneur, the author explains that one important reason to consider getting certified is that no matter what field you work in, it is important to continually learn new things, and getting certified can be a way to do that. He says, “To find satisfaction and success in your work, it's useful to pursue excellence and knowledge. Business practices, the industry, and your customers will change over time. This means it's beneficial for you to grow and develop with them. One way to do that is through training courses and certification.” The author explains that certification can also help you stand out from others, establish trust and credibility, lead to a higher salary, and help you work better.
How Will Being Certified Help Me Get a Job?
As with most design tools, getting certified in Figma isn’t strictly necessary for finding a job, however, most experts say that it is likely to help you in your job search. Certiport, a certification exam provider, explains that when you get certified, you don’t just leave potential employers guessing about your abilities, instead, you can prove what you know. The company says, “In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications offer hope because they are a credible, third-party assessment of one’s skill and knowledge for a given subject.” Microsoft echoes this, stating, “Experience is great, but how do you demonstrate your knowledge and skills to employers and colleagues? Certification.” Becoming certified in Figma demonstrates your proficiency in this tool, assuring employees that you are prepared to start working immediately.
Another way that being certified can help you get a job is that in a certificate program, you’ll often have an opportunity to start building the sample portfolio you will show prospective employers. This means you can simultaneously receive professional accreditation and work on improving your sample designs. Your portfolio is important because it is a concrete way to demonstrate your skills to employers. An example of a certificate program that includes work on a portfolio is Noble Desktop’s UX & UI Design Certificate, where students create a portfolio website as part of the course.
Is It Worth it to Become Figma Certified?
Most people who get certified report that doing so was definitely worth it. This is because there are many benefits associated with certification. For instance, Certiport finds that certification can increase your earning power, enhance your credibility, give you respect from peers, and increase your confidence. According to a recent survey of more than 9,000 IT professionals in multiple countries, which was conducted by Global Knowledge, 80 percent of respondents said that they experienced benefits from certification. These benefits included being more engaged, having better work outcomes, and performing faster.
There are also some other unique benefits associated with the certificate course format.
Most certificate programs are geared toward beginners. They generally assume that students who enroll have little or no prior experience on the subject, and they are designed to provide these beginners with a comprehensive education that prepares them for an entry-level job. Because most certificate programs have no prerequisites, they are a great way to learn all the skills you need in one course, without having to enroll in an introductory course, or take additional courses afterward.
Another advantage to enrolling in a certificate course is that training often occurs at an accelerated pace relative to other kinds of training programs. Most certificate programs take only a few months to complete, yet in terms of the skills covered and the depth of training that you receive, they are often comparable to a four-year college program. A certificate program can be a great way to learn all the skills that you need to succeed in your chosen career, at a faster pace and a more affordable tuition than you’ll find at college.
One-On-One Career Services
Another reason to enroll in a certificate program is to take advantage of the career development services that are included in many of these courses. Certificate programs are intended to help students succeed in their new career path, so career assistance is often built into the curriculum. For example, many programs include access to a career coach who can provide resume and portfolio advice.
Versatile Training Options
Certificate programs also tend to have some of the most versatile course offerings that you’ll find, while maintaining a quality training experience. For instance, you’re likely to find both full-time and part-time certificate options. Online training is also common, in addition to a range of different schedule options, such as evening and weekend classes.
How Long Will It Take to Become Figma Certified?
When you’re thinking about becoming Figma certified, another factor to consider is how long it will take. If you’re enrolled in a class that is focused on Figma only, then you might be able to complete that class within days. However, most programs for becoming certified include a range of other skills and they take longer. For instance, you might decide to become certified in UX design, which includes Figma in addition to many other design skills. Comprehensive UX design programs like a UX design certificate generally take weeks or months to complete.
The decision about whether to become certified in a specific skill–like Figma– or a broad range of skills–like UX design–will be guided by your career goals. If you’re already working in your desired field, and you simply want to learn how to use Figma, then becoming certified in that one skill may be a good option. However, if you’re looking to start a career in a field like UX design or web design, where Figma is used, you might benefit from a more comprehensive program. Keep in mind that Figma is a valuable skill, but most jobs will require more than just Figma proficiency. Comprehensive certificate programs are designed with the goal of getting students career-ready by covering all of the different skills that they will need to work in their chosen careers.
How Hard Is It to Become Figma Certified?
Most people say that Figma is relatively easy to learn. However, more experienced users stress that Figma is a tool used for interface design, and so in order to use it, you need to understand interface design as well, which can take more work. For this reason, many people choose to learn Figma by taking a certificate class, since most certificate classes also cover a broad range of other skills related to using this tool, such as user interface design.
Another challenge in mastering Figma is navigating all of the templates and interactive add-ons that exist for this application. While all of these extras are a valuable resource to users, they can take some time to figure out. Further, Figma continues to evolve, with new features being added all the time. A great way to make your learning experience easier is to join the Figma community. By doing so, you can connect with other designers, who can share resources and experiences.
Can I Learn Figma Online for Free?
There is a wealth of free Figma learning resources online, so it is definitely possible to learn something about this tool for free. For example, you’ll find many free resources on the Figma website, such as a number of best practices guides, and short articles about tips and tricks you can use with this application. Another popular place to find free Figma resources is YouTube. However, you’ll quickly find that most free FIgma resources are not going to provide you with the comprehensive instruction that you need to master this tool. Instead, resources like YouTube are typically better suited for situations where you need to troubleshoot a specific problem, or if you want to learn a few new skills.
If you really want to master Figma, you’ll probably need to sign up for a paid class. This will give you access to an expert instructor, who can give you reliable instruction, and feedback whenever you need it. When it comes to paid classes, a certificate course is a great option because you’ll get a structured curriculum, a professional to guide you through the learning process, and you will learn a broad range of skills, including many of the additional skills that you’re likely to need in a career that involves working with Figma.
If you want to get certified in Figma, you’ll find a number of different class options. Most major cities have schools with in-person courses, but if you can’t find an in-person course that works for you, there are also many virtual Figma training options. Some classes are focused specifically on Figma, but it’s also a common part of any web development or UX design course.
Noble Desktop is a New York City-based school that was founded in 1990, and it offers students a wide range of options for learning Figma. Figma courses are available both in-person at Noble’s Manhattan campus and online from the comfort of your home. Experienced instructors teach these courses, and even the online courses have small class sizes that allow students to receive focused attention to their learning needs in real time. In addition, almost all of Noble’s courses come with tech support, with in-person learners using in-house computers and distance learners receiving set-up assistance to ensure everyone is on the same page. Plus, these courses come with the option for a free retake within one year. During this retake, students can refine their skills, make up the work they missed, or simply gain some extra practice with Figma.
Students looking to learn the intricacies of Figma may consider enrolling in Noble’s Figma Bootcamp. This course will teach students how to build web designs using Figma independently and as part of a collaborative team. Students will learn the basics of the program, such as how to create and resize vector illustrations, optimize their designs for different-sized screens, and export their designs for prototyping or demonstration. Then, students will collaborate on advanced designs, including features such as hovers, scrolling elements, or web assets. At the end of the course, students will know how to use Figma to build professional quality web designs, and will receive a certificate of completion.
For students looking to strike out into a new career as a Web Designer, Noble offers many professional training options that include Figma in addition to a range of other web design skills. For instance, the UX & UI Design Certificate program teaches students in-depth user experience design practices, allowing them to test and research user behavior to make informed decisions about the interfaces they are designing in Figma. This assures that their webpages will be more accessible and easy to navigate. Throughout this program, students design a number of digital products, including websites and apps. They also build an online design portfolio that they can use to demonstrate their skills to potential employers.
More creatively oriented students may look towards Noble’s Digital Design Certificate program. This course, aimed at aspiring Graphic Designers, will teach students how to build assets for web interfaces using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, before teaching them how to import those designs into Figma to serve as templates or plug-ins for later use. Students also build a portfolio to showcase their skills. In addition, they receive eight one-on-one mentoring sessions.
Many other schools offer Figma training too. Thinkful offers a UX/UI Design Bootcamp on either a full-time or part-time schedule. In the full-time program, students study at an accelerated pace, along with a cohort. The part-time program offers more flexibility. In the UX/UI Design Bootcamp, students learn a wide range of UX and UI design skills including wireframe prototyping, information architecture, user research, interactive design, and user empathy.Students are also matched with a mentor, and they receive career coaching. Thinkful is an online education platform that was founded in 2012.
General Assembly was founded in 2011 and has campuses in more than 30 locations around the world. It runs a UX Design Bootcamp, which is intended for students who want to work in UX design. Students who take this course get a well-rounded education in design, including wireframing, prototyping, usability testing, and user research. The program also gets in-depth on visual and user interface design. Personalized job support is included. In addition, students create a portfolio.
UCLA Extension also offers a certificate program that includes instruction in Figma. The User Experience certificate takes place in an online format and is designed for engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, and anyone else interested in creating user experiences. It covers responsive design, testing and analytics, information architecture principles, effective user research, and mobile user interface design. Students learn to use numerous design tools, including Figma. There are four required courses and two electives in this program.
If you’re more interested in web development, Brainstation runs a Web Development Course, where students can learn to create websites. Students who take this course build a strong foundation in web development, and learn a wide range of different web development tools. They also complete an interview-ready portfolio project. After finishing the course, they receive a certificate of completion.
How Can I Choose a Figma Class?
If you’re trying to choose a Figma class and you’re feeling overwhelmed by your options, it can be helpful to start by thinking about exactly what you want to learn and how you’d like to learn it. For instance, how much time and money do you have to invest in your education, and what type of training are you looking for? Figma classes vary in the level of support you receive from the instructor, how much flexibility the class provides, the time you need to invest, and tuition costs. The most common class formats are in-person, live online, and on-demand. Course lengths can range from days to weeks, to months, and tuition can also vary significantly.
In order to find the best Figma class for you, it’s also a good idea to spend time researching specific schools and classes in more detail. You can do this by reading course descriptions and syllabi, which are usually posted on school websites. Another good way to get a better understanding of the different class and school options is to read student reviews, which are posted online for most schools. These can reveal unique student experiences that you won’t find in the course description.
In-Person Figma Classes
In-person classes are the traditional way to learn, and are still preferred by many people. They are a good option for students who prefer face-to-face instruction, and who also want the opportunity to interact with fellow students. When you take an in-person class, you can get immediate feedback and answers from your instructor, and that instructor can more easily see when you need additional help. One drawback to in-person learning is that it requires a commute, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Another is that students who aren’t located in major cities with a lot of training centers are likely to have limited in-person options.
Live Online (Virtual) Figma Classes
Virtual classes have become increasingly popular in recent years. They provide the same high level of instruction as in-person classes, but students attend by logging in remotely. Instructors still lecture in real-time, and can answer questions and give feedback. They can even see and control student’s screens if given permission. In addition, many virtual classes have students communicate and collaborate with their fellow classmates. With virtual classes, you have a lot more options, since you aren’t limited to schools that you can commute to. A drawback to virtual learning is that students need to provide their own devices and software.
On-Demand Figma Classes
A third option for learning Figma is an on-demand class. On-demand classes are asynchronous and students can work at their own pace, making this the most flexible option. Students who have a busy schedule often prefer the on-demand format because they can stop and start learning whenever they need to. Since there is no live instructor, on-demand classes also tend to be less expensive. In order to successfully learn on-demand, students do need to be focused and self-motivated, so if you’re not good at working independently, this may not be the best option for you.
What Should You Consider Learning In Addition to Figma?
In addition to all of these skills, it can be helpful to work on your soft skills too. This includes things like teamwork and communication. While technical skills are important in Figma-related jobs, you also need to have strong soft skills so that you can work effectively with other people and maintain good relationships with employers and fellow employees. In a recent LinkedIn post, the author explains, “In the tech industry, technical skills and knowledge are undoubtedly important for success. However, in today's collaborative and rapidly changing work environment, soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability are equally essential. These skills can help employees navigate complex projects, work effectively with others, and adapt to new situations.”
How to Learn Figma
Master Figma with hands-on training. Figma is a popular design application for creating, editing, and sharing clickable prototypes of websites and mobile apps.
- Figma Bootcamp at Noble Desktop: live, instructor-led course available in NYC or live online
- Find Figma Classes Near You: Search & compare dozens of available courses in-person
- Attend a Figma class live online (remote/virtual training) from anywhere
- Find & compare the best online Figma classes (on-demand) from the top providers and platforms
- Train your staff with corporate and onsite Figma training