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  1. #1
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    paving a career in web design

    Hi,

    Since finishing Year 12 in 2001, I have concentrated on paving a career
    in Web Design. I'm 7 weeks away from completing a Diploma in
    Information Technology (Web Site Production and Management) at
    Technical College.

    Although this course has basically taught me to be a jack of all trades (the course covered design tools & techniques, php, networking, intranets, webservers etc as well as project management - which has been very good), I am interested in specializing in the Design side of the field as this is where my interest lies.

    I have found a Digital Media course (Certificate IV) at my local technical college that seems to fit perfectly with my train of thought. The Certificate IV can be continued into a Diploma and an Advanced Diploma.

    Do any designers/proffessionals have advice for somebody looking to
    follow this path and is this course a good choice?

    Thanks, Daniela.
    Last edited by daniela; Dec 27, 2005 at 17:47.

  2. #2
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    Hey Daniela...

    While the Digital Media course looks interesting, your career-path in web-design may depend on your exact interests and what you want to accomplish in the future.

    I can tell you that most college students who obtain degrees in computer science, computer systems, information technology, etc., are exposed to a bit of web-design throughout their courses.

    But to remain up-to-speed in this industry, you must read and acquire knowledge on your own. Whether you want to learn Java and C#, or Fireworks and Photoshop, you'll have an advantage when you start to pursue web-design jobs or start your own web-design business.

    As for the future of web-design, it's becoming increasingly easier for non-technical persons to create their own websites (service portals, ecommerce, etc). Not sure if the demand for designers will be diminished as a result of this, but there will always be a need for good designers to develop and maintain the best web development projects.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast wlh's Avatar
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    all I can say is go out and find your niche - use what you have learned form school as a base, but you will gain most of your knowledge from experience.
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  4. #4
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    If you want to stick to web design only, then I don't see a need to do another course. It sounds like you already have enough skills to progress. Just do a bit of freelancing, build up your portfolio and go out and get a job.

    I have just started a Graphics Design course, and that's because I want to do both - web and print.

  5. #5
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    As well as applying for the digital media course, I've applied for uni (Bachelor of Internet Science and Technology) and have also been looking at fulltime web designer work opportunites. It would be great to snap up web design job in my local area.

    Every now and then there are IT jobs of some nature advertised in the local paper. I got to the interview stage for a web design/desktop publishing job at my local University, but missed out as I didn't have enough desktop publishing experience. I've also recently had an expression of interest from a local IT firm, who plan to employ another designer later in the year.

    I plan to get my website looking as good as it can because I guess that's a web designers major selling point. I've also been taking on some new freelance projects to fatten my portfolio. I plan to do some tutorials to learn some new skills as well. I've found that online tutorials have been a great help in learning new skills in the past, they have helped me get a little more familiar with PHP/database driven web sites.

    "But to remain up-to-speed in this industry, you must read and acquire knowledge on your own."-- Sounds like this is the key to this industry, I've heard/read this number of times. It's kind of like that saying "you only get out what you put in".

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast krazyvan05's Avatar
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    these are some really good advices, i am planning on to go int IT as well too, daniela hope everything works out for u

  7. #7
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    If I were you I would look into a course on client/server programming, especially using databases. Anymore web design is not design, but actual development work. Knowing how to work with php/mysql, or Java and oracle will just increase your worth and open more opportunities to you.
    Sara

  8. #8
    ********* Genius Mike's Avatar
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    I'd recommend getting a degree in art if you want to focus on design.
    Mike
    It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.

  9. #9
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    daniela the Bachelor of Internet Science and Technology is a very good course that would have been my first preference except wollongong is just a little to far for me to travel to everyday since I don't have a car, I know someone who completed that course and he loved it. Also wollongong uni is an awesome uni, I really wanted to go to wollongong more for the facilities they have then that course.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for your posts here. I've been cold canvassing potential clients via email in an effort to build my portfolio. I'm basically offering a basic free re-design to businesses which would look good in portfolio but who currently have really crap sites.

    My best/real two projects (which were paid for, $500 each) are www.total-image.com.au and www.jamesmethod.com.au. Maybe some paid projects like these could stem from my cold canvassing.

    By the way, the sitepoint forums are a great source of information, I print out long disscussions of interest and read them in my spare time, my printer has run out of ink because of it :-)

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately did not get an offer at University, however I did get into the Digital Media course at Tafe, which I am looking forward to.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast Mel81's Avatar
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    daniela don't let the fact that you didn't get an offer to university discourage you from going to uni. Generally universities only have a limited number of offers for mid-year enrolment.

    My advice to you would be to start the Digital Media course at TAFE but also apply to university for next year.

    I have been to TAFE and I am now going to university and I can tell you that there is a big difference between university and TAFE.

    As much as I encourage you to go to university you will need to think about whether of not you really want to go. If you don't have the motivation than don't go to university because it will be a waste of time and money. However if you are motivated to take on the extra work load you have in order to get a degree then just keep trying to get into to university.

    Also look at the degree's on offer at UWS Campbelltown, the Campbelltown campus of UWS has a lot of wollongong based students, its not really that far from wollongong. If you don't get into wollongong uni but get into UWS then work hard at UWS and get good grades and you might be able to transfer to wollongong in second year.

    perhaps look at sitting the STAT test to give you a little extra help getting in to uni. UWS accept STAT for entry from anyone who is not a current year 12 student. I think wollongong accept STAT for mature-age entry 21+ (i think) but im not 100% sure about the age.
    Last edited by Mel81; Jun 27, 2004 at 21:03.

  13. #13
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    I've now completed my Diploma and Cert IV and I'm about to embark on a jobsearch.

    I'm looking at getting a full-time junior position with a web firm. Any job seeking advice/tips for people going into their first job in this field?

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Well you can do a few things to just get you a little prepped up and have complete web design in the brain.

    Read all these articles:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/cat/sell-your-services
    You'll find that they contain very useful information although can be lengthy.

    Get ready to be rejected. Web Design is a competitive field, but there is a surplus of business.

    Get familiar with web standards. I took a look at the websites that you'd completed and saw that you didn't using XHTML properly in your coding.

    Be optimistic, negative = negative | positive = postive!

  15. #15
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Consider doing freelance for a while to build a nice folio and that's the experience issue sorted. Register a company name and work under that. Owning a freelance web design business will look good on the resume.

    I was considering looking for a job earlier this year, but the pay for junior jobs isn't very good, and freelance seems to work better for me. I would rather build a name for myself, not somebody elses company.

    Don't bother looking on job search sites, as the competiton is way too high. Look around web design company sites online. A lot of them advertise junior job openings on their sites.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the tips. I actually have a web firm in mind who have given me good feedback in a past job application and encouraged me to stay in touch. I consider them to be a better firm than any of my local web firms. Problem is they are located in southern Sydney - about an 1 hr train ride out of my area. Id really like to approach them for a job, however I suppose I need to consider the travel compromise.

  17. #17
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    I say go for it then, if you get the job. Surely the weekly ticket cost isn't too bad?

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard mark_W's Avatar
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    Go for it Daniela

    - Mark

  19. #19
    Web Design Addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by daniela
    I've now completed my Diploma and Cert IV and I'm about to embark on a jobsearch.

    I'm looking at getting a full-time junior position with a web firm. Any job seeking advice/tips for people going into their first job in this field?
    Don't move to Lexington, Kentucky!! lol
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