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General Chat Thread, Home Learning Web Design - your advice please in General; Hi all, I'm getting tired of being turned down for jobs because of my [lack of] qualifications, so I'm looking ...
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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Home Learning Web Design - your advice please

    Hi all,

    I'm getting tired of being turned down for jobs because of my [lack of] qualifications, so I'm looking in to doing a home course in web design, preferably with a degree as the end result.

    I'm confident that I could jump straight in to degree level as I do have good web design knowledge already, I just don't have the paper work to prove it.

    My question is, has anybody else done this? Can you recommend a company to use for this? Any general advice before I start burning through my cash?

    Thanks, I will thank any helpful posts

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    Hi there.

    I don't know much about web design qualifications other than the stuff the W3Schools do Link here.

    Traditionally I've always seen web developers hired on the strength of their portfolio, do you have a portfolio outlining your experience?

    Another angle may be to lend some of your time and experience to a charitable / non profit community organisation to build your portfolio and put something selfless on your CV.

    Beyond that sorry I don't really know; what do you do currently & what particular jobs have you gone for that you've been turned down for on grounds of qualifications? Were they all web design ones?

    Good luck in any future endeavours.

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    LosOjos (19th October 2010)

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Thanks kmount,

    the jobs haven't always been web design based, but I feel I'm at a point now where any further career progression is going to be tough without a degree, and web design is something I'm very interested in. However, there don't seem to be any specific web design degrees out there, so I think I'm going to have to look in to doing a general ICT degree, perhaps there may be an option to major in web technologies? I don't know.

    I was reading an interesting blog the other day that suggested finding sites that are particularly awkwardly designed, taking a snippet and redesigning it, then sending that to the sites owner along with your CV. Seemed like a good idea (though I am quite prepared for angry replies from webmasters proud of their cruddy designs lol) so I might try it, because beyond basic websites I've ran myself in the past, my portfolio is empty.

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    webman's Avatar
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    When it comes to web development and design, a good portfolio of work is probably worth more than a piece of paper saying you have a degree. Especially considering (from what I hear) FE/HE are still teaching methods such as tables for layouts.

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    LosOjos (19th October 2010)

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    When it comes to web development and design, a good portfolio of work is probably worth more than a piece of paper saying you have a degree. Especially considering (from what I hear) FE/HE are still teaching methods such as tables for layouts.
    I agree with you in principal, and I do want to build up a good portfolio, however getting work in order to build up my portfolio is proving very difficult without some sort of qualification to back me up... it's a tough circle!

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmount View Post
    *SNIP* the stuff the W3Schools do Link here.*SNIP*
    What do others think of the W3Schools certificates? I love the site, it's in the bookmarks of every PC I use, but would you be suitably impressed by somebody holding an array of W3Schools certificates, or would you look at it as a bit of a 'mickey mouse' set of quals?

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    I don't know anyone who has the W3 certs so I couldn't comment but I should add that I don't have a degree and I'm doing OK!

    Not sure of any paperwork for web design beyond a portfolio, if you're looking to go that angle it might be worth getting some webserver experience (so some kind of MS server qualification or Linux one).

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    LosOjos (19th October 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    I agree with you in principal, and I do want to build up a good portfolio, however getting work in order to build up my portfolio is proving very difficult without some sort of qualification to back me up... it's a tough circle!
    There is nothing stopping you creating some generic site to show of your talents. Also take into account that web design is both coding and design.

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    LosOjos (19th October 2010)

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice so far, I'm slowly building up a plan of how I'm going to tackle this.

    I think getting Microsoft/Linux certified web server quals is a great idea, I'm going to look in to that (as well as the pros/cons of both, as I doubt I'll be able to afford to do both right away).

    Making a website to show what I can do sounds like a good idea too: would you go about this as a sort of online CV, or find a subject to base it on? (i.e. a hobby)

    One area I do feel I need a lot of help with is the graphical design side of things, I'm going to look in to doing a part time college course to help out with that. I can find my way around Photoshop and GIMP, but 'artistic flair' is something that doesn't come entirely naturally!

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    I think there are strong cases for and against pursuing further education whilst in possession of the skills required to establish a business.
    Personally I obtained a degree in Business and Finance prior to starting a company, however more specific to your field is my Brother Nathan.
    Self taught Website design and a keen artistic edge have been the key factors in his success Welcome To NA Projects his best asset isn’t any particular qualification but his portfolio of satisfied customers.
    As a customer in general I’d count a testimonial/referral as far more important than any qualification/professional body etc.

    I hope this helps


    Joe

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