• Web Design Degrees: are they essential? – Web design video tutorials for beginners

    { Posted on Jun 07 2012 by seoman }
    Categories : news area

    One question that comes up every so often is whether you need a degree to get a web design job?

    The short answer to this is:it depends!


    When I’m talking about a web design job, I am not talking about becoming a contractor or opening your own web design business. I am talking about going to work for some company.

    Now that we’ve cleared that up, here are the top 3 factors:

    Design ability:can you make the web page look nice.

    Work experience:I’m talking about doing real commercial work; your own pet web projects don’t count.

    A Degree:some sort of IT degree is best but any degree helps.

    How important the degree is depends on how big the company is. The larger the company, the more bureaucracy you will have to deal with … that means company policy will factor into this, and that usually means degrees are important.

    That said, highly skilled and experienced people can get around this … even in the biggest of companies.

    What about coding skills?

    Some of you may be asking, how about knowledge of web standards, CSS, HTML? Sadly, the only people who care about those skills are other web designers and to a lessor extent, web programmers.

    But why is this so … how can good technical web knowledge be so unimportant? The reason is simple my young weblings:

    … the people hiring web designers are looking fordesign abilityandnot coding ability. After all, the job title is ‘web DESIGNER’ and not ‘web coder’.

    Beyond that, most of the people hiring don’t have a clue about code. They may know a little bit about HTML and CSS, but they would probably have kittens trying to create a hyperlink!

    Code-Monkey’s Can’t Design (typically)

    Some people enter the web design world only to find out that they can’t design worth a dime … but these same people are typically much better coders. Or as I like to call them: ‘code-monkeys’

    You see, if you are a born ‘code-monkey’, chances are you will never be able to design a good looking page … or draw a straight line.

    From my 14 years experience doing design and web design work, I’ve found that design ability is something you are born with … you either have it or you don’t, and no amount of training or schooling is going to help you if you don’t have the talent.

    With that in mind, it is important that you figure out where your strengths lie and play to them.

    … if you are a code-monkey (as I am,) then you need to look into the profession of ‘Web Developer’ and forget about being a ‘Web Designer’.

    Web Developer vs. Web Designer

    What’s the difference between aweb designerand aweb developer?

    A web developer is someone who builds web applications – sometimes called ‘database driven websites‘.

    Esssentially, a web developer is concerned about thefunctionalityof a website and not neccesarily the look. When I’m talking about functionality, I am talking about things like, contact forms, shopping carts and anything else that takes a website from just being a series of pages, to being an engine that preforms some task.

    These types of sites are built using languages like PHP, PERL, Ruby and many others.

    … read the article on database driven websites for more details.


    I’ve slapped together this web design chart that illustrates how talent relates to your potential of landing a good job. I’ve also included information on when PHP should be considered.

    The trick is to figure where you stand on this chart!


    Stefan Mischook


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