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Thread: career path?

  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict kiltman's Avatar
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    career path?

    hey guys,

    currently im studying in my degree year on a BSc Computing for Internet and Multimedia course. The course is aimed to those interested in programming, systems development and web development.

    after sitting my assessed lab for my internet based programming class i recieved the highest mark in class by a large margin and the lecturer was also very impressed with my work. he told me it would be a waste of my talent not to get involved with the webdesign sector. and i would easily take this as my career path as i really enjoy everything about it.

    however all the positions i see advertized require a few years experience and also huge list of skills required. while im very fast at learning and do not have problems grasping new things. i simply do not have time to go learn lots of other web techologies and languages. i do already possess knowledge off xhtml, css, php, javascript, visual basic and java, and also have a few years experience designing systems and databases for university projects.

    what would be the best way to go about getting a webdesign role once i've graduated? design some sites for free as portfolio work, develop some applications using different methodologys?

    anyway enough rambling on, look forward to your suggestions thanks

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru worchyld's Avatar
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    If you get a 1:1, 1:2, or a 2:1 in your degree, you could try the graduate sector, for example I've heard "BT Syntegra" have a good graduate sector - I've tried for three years to get a role with them, but unfortuently unless you have Java, you won't be successful with them.

    Try all the graduate packages, but if you have a 2:2 (like me), you'll struggle to get anywhere.

    Try working for a small company first and work your way up but I think you'll find it annoying that methodologies are pretty redundant, especally for small companies that are finding it hard to turn a fast buck. You'll also learn quickly all that paperwork and academic work you've been writing showcasing your knowledge of the theory will be pretty redundant too. I've realised that small companies aren't interested in mountains of paperwork regarding "how their system works".

    If your too ambitious for working for a small company, perhaps consider working freelance on projects. Although this will mean actively considering starting your own business. You may need to look for part-time business elements in your course. This may mean cutting down on your "fun" time. Also try learning a language, I remember when I was at Uni, a part-time Chinese language course could boost your final score by 20 points... I wish I did it, I'd have a 2:1!

    Does your degree have any "business" elements in it? If so, consider actively pursuting them, you may think "I don't care about business, all I care is technology" -- yes, but technology changes, business doesn't. If you can apply yourself in the business world, you may be able to support yourself instead of relying for small businesses.

    If you don't have the time for part-time business elements to be added to your coursework, find out what your uni does to help graduates start their own business and ask them if they have business mentors or stuff like that. If you know what you want from them, they'll probably help you (ie: evening classes, etc).

    after sitting my assessed lab for my internet based programming class i recieved the highest mark in class by a large margin and the lecturer was also very impressed with my work
    What was this work that you got marked for? Do you have any online versions of your work?

    Your talents may be exceptional, so ask your lecturer for some form of testimonial and put it on your website (I wish I had done this). Collect testimonials from other like-minded lecturers, this will, hopefully, boost your credibility. Don't wait until you've got an interview and wait for them to ask for a referral or reference, give them a reference!

    Get a website that promotes you, perhaps use a blog to talk about things (related to work) you know a lot about and want to discuss but don't have the opportunity because companies, etc won't listen to you or read your CV. Perhaps get started on a portfolio, it doesn't have to be "flashy", just effective.

    Overall, be pro-active. As it's 2005 you may need to evaluate your whole time at university - how much time do you have left? Do you really want to waste the rest of it on learning IT technologies which might be out of date by the time you graduate. You should start laying plans out, and asking seriousily if want you want, and what your willing to sacrifice to get there.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict KelliShaver's Avatar
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    I agree that the best way to get your foot in the door is to start small. We all have to start at the bottom and work our way up, generally speaking. If you're having trouble finding work, look for positions in other companies that aren't necessarily "desing agencies." A lot of private companies will hire their own web designers to work in-house and thsi can be a good way of getting some experience. People like this quite often aren't as critical, or are mroe open to hiring someone with less experience, provided they have the skills to do the job, particularly in the small business sector.

    You could try freelancing, but freelancing straight out of college with no professional experience can be very difficult. If you are persistant, though, it can pay off.

    Another option might be an internship. The pay would probably be lousy, but it could be a good way to get your foot in the door, especially since you're graduating right away. Many companies will extend positiosn to their interns that do well after the internship is over. The company I used to work for had 6 interns over the summer and ended up offering jobs to 3 of them.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict kiltman's Avatar
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    hey,

    thanks for the posts, firstly i'm on target for first class 1:1 right now if i do well in my exams this month, unfortunatly i ain't allowed to post any work i've done, all that i had to do was design a website for a bed and breakfast that contained html, css, javascript and php. the site itself was VERY easy, but there was a time limit of 2 hours, and we was told everything that we had to include.

    being honest i don't mind what i have to do to get started whether its programming, analysis, hardware, or webdesign, i feel that once i get into the business it will be much easier to progress onwards.

    i have been trying to find a intership but most of these are not handed out till this site of new year so i will have to start hunting more now, but i should get something as i have good references from all of my tutors

    thanks


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