From making payments easier on Amazon websites to designing features that make Alexa devices more accessible, Amazon’s latest upskilling program is preparing employees for jobs that help improve the experience of customers.
The new User Experience Design and Research Apprenticeship combines instructor-led training and real-world experience. The year-long program is a full-time commitment that offers employees the opportunity to learn and develop skills in UX research and design on teams across Amazon, including Prime Video, Alexa, Amazon Web Services, and Amazon Fashion.
Graduates come away with a holistic set of skills needed to become customer-obsessed designers and researchers. The in-demand skills include user research, information architecture, visual and interaction design, and validation techniques, such as usability studies and analytics.
Participants also develop leadership skills while working on projects that directly impact customer experience, such as finding ways for customers to discover new Alexa features or search for Amazon Prime Video content across multiple devices.
“The fact that you’re getting real insights from designers, that are actually working for the company that you are in, helps you get adjusted to the culture right away instead of graduating from a program and then having to figure out how a culture works,” said Mark Ferrer, who is currently participating in the program after starting his Amazon career at an Amazon Go store in California.
How the User Experience Design and Research Apprenticeship works
The program begins with seven months of instructor-taught and curriculum-based training. The work is led by Amazon designers and researchers, along with the School of Visual Concepts (SVC), a professional- and portfolio-development school based in Seattle that specializes in UX and content design courses.
Each apprentice will have 10 hours per week of training and 30 hours per week of homework. From there, apprentices will participate in four months of on-the-job training on teams across Amazon, where they will hone their research, design, and leadership skills. They will also participate in mentorship sessions, leadership check-ins, and peer guidance while they practice and deliver real customer-facing designs.
Upon completion of the program, apprentices will aim to transition into full-time roles at Amazon.
Fiona McGuigan, SVC’s apprenticeship program manager, said the partnership with Amazon is perfectly in sync with the school’s mission. “SVC has always been about helping people achieve career satisfaction and financial stability by bringing them together with experienced professionals who lead our classes. The opportunity to do this for Amazon apprentices is a natural fit and a true privilege,” McGuigan said.
Get to know more about the graduates of the User Experience Design and Research Apprenticeship and other Amazon upskilling programs in the Upskilling 2025 Annual Report. Learn more about Amazon's Upskilling 2025 commitment.