Senin, 11 Januari 2010

The Dubious Advantages of a Web Design Degree

The Dubious Advantages of a Web Design Degree

Mon, Dec 21, 2009

Business of Web Design, News, Web Design
The Dubious Advantages of a Web Design Degree

I got a call last week from someone who was considering a three year college program in web design. The whole thing was going to cost him tens of thousands of dollars … and that’s just what you have to pay the school!

He called to ask about my video tutorial courses; he saw that we were covering much of the same material in about $80-$100 worth of videos!

… He was wondering what the heck was going on here? Do you really only need just a few video tutorials and perhaps a book or two? Could you get the same value as a college program, that cost tens of thousands … for so little?

Short answer: easily.

With a good set of videos as your base, a road-map and occasional help from a good web design forum, you can indeed develop marketable web design skills.

… I’ll be talking much more on that in soon to come videos, podcast and articles.

The Dubious Advantages of a Web Design Degree

The one thing that the college will talk about, is the nice piece of paper (degree) they will hand you after you’ve spent years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars (possibly), of your cash.

If you’ll remember anything, remember this:

The fact of the matter is that YOU WILL PROBABLY NEVER BE ASKED IF YOU HAVE A DEGREE in web design or web programming.

… The one exception is, if you are dying to work for a really large company where HR red-tape and bureaucracy rule. Other than that, your portfolio and work experience is all prospective employers (clients) will want to know about.

When I hire web designers, the last thing I look at are degrees and certificates. Instead, I look for talent and ability.

Are all schools bad?

Not at all. I am sure there are some great classes out there on web design and web programming. For some people, the structure and schedule that the college class provides, is what they need. Personally, I’ve always preferred the freedom of being able to learn when I was in the mood.

Final comment:

I would strongly advise that you think not twice, but ten times before you get yourself into big student loan debt. Student loans can easily become onerous, evil shackles about your neck.

There is a whole generation of student/slaves who have huge student loan debts that can never be forgiven (unlike a business that can go bankrupt) that are forever working to pay off massive debts – with interest!

In the middle ages, there was a class of slave called the serf, they were technically not owned by the Lord, but they were considered part of the land and could not leave.

… Today, students with unforgivable student debts, are not owned by the land … just by the banks who hold the loans.

Stefan Mischook
This post was written by:

Stefan Mischook - who has written 34 posts on Killersites Web Design Magazine.

Stefan Mischook is a major nerd at who has been geeking out for over 14 years!

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4 Comments For This Post

1. nanco Says:
January 2nd, 2010 at 10:58 am

Well,I can do nothing but agree with your comments here, Stefan. I just wish someone had written them 15 years ago and that I had read them then!

Several thoughts come to mind:

1.) No matter how well-known or respected your college may be, you can still get poor instructors–then what can you do? Then the money you spent for the certification will be even more painful for you.

2.) Classes, courses and educational institutions have their own financial reasons for stretching the learning experience out as far as possible. Using your own pace and your own level of understanding–combined with a top-notch web design forum can allow you to take flight much sooner as a web designer earning money and gathering clients instead of focusing on “grades” and bland and generic class assignments.

3.) Last but not least, not every web designer wants to design with the same elements or approaches that may be considered required learning in a classroom setting. Using a design forum to learn from allows you to select and focus in-depth on what is important to YOU as a designer–not what is being enforced by a college “curriculum,” rubber-stamped out by the powers that be!

Believe me, I learned all this the hard way—maybe I can help avoid that for whoever reads this…have a Great, Creative New Year!

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