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  1. #1
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    Careers in Web Design

    Hey, I'm a high school student, and would appreciate some info on design in the real world.

    1. Carreers and what the salaries are (i tend to have expensive taste, and want to know if i can make a good living)
    2.Good colleges for web/graphic design that are in big cities in the Northeast US....im from boston, but now live in teh south and i want to go to school back up in the Northeast
    3.Internships and other ways to learn as much as i can while in high school
    4. Anything else you feel important.

    -Thanks a whole lot

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard Young Twig's Avatar
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    Sounds like some information I could use, too.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Something I have though into, but I rather go into computer hardware etc. - Something that sounds more interesting, and no so much sitting at a computer all day long ^.^

    But, highschool is still a few months away, I won't be forecasting for highschool for a couple of months.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard trampt's Avatar
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    I'll try and help you with your questions as best I can.

    1. You can make a very good living as a designer especially if you want to live in a large metro area. I HIGHLY suggest formal training at a specialized design school, and not a place that just teaches you software but real design principles. This will be the only way you'll be able to make a lot of money working for someone else. In Boston Graphic Designers make around 40K - 50K, and Art Directors can make around 120K ... everything else usually falls in between those.

    2. If you want to live in New England and go to school here the best choice would be The Rhode Island School of Design (www.risd.edu), which is the country's best design school. I did part of my undergrad there, but transfered to Massachusetts College of Art (www.massart.edu) this year since it was cheaper and my girlfriend got a job up here. If you want to go to school in New York I heard Parson's is quite good, and Yale has a good Master's program for Graphic Design but not sure about undergrad.

    3. The best thing you can do is get familiar with all the Adobe design packages, as this will make your assignments easier to do. I am actually surprised how many students aren't as computer literate as they should be.

    4. One of the biggest problems a lot of design students have is not knowing much about typography. I would learn more about good typography online as it will only help you in the future with school and your career. A site like www.typophile.com is a good place to start, and it has an excellent forum community. Also I like to go to Borders once in a while, sit down and read through a few design magazines every month. You could also create your own projects to help you practice your design skills.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

  5. #5
    Non-Member bronze trophy geniusgoalie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trampt
    3. The best thing you can do is get familiar with all the Adobe design packages, as this will make your assignments easier to do. I am actually surprised how many students aren't as computer literate as they should be.
    I'm more of a macromedia fan, but I guess it's all about preference.

  6. #6
    web designer
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    Quote Originally Posted by geniusgoalie
    I'm more of a macromedia fan, but I guess it's all about preference.

    its not about preference, its about industry standard, and any major agency will laugh in your face unless you are familiar with the industry standard products.

  7. #7
    Non-Member bronze trophy geniusgoalie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloak
    its not about preference, its about industry standard, and any major agency will laugh in your face unless you are familiar with the industry standard products.
    Okay, fine, you win.
    One of the reasons I am not planning on going into webdesign

  8. #8
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    I think the trick is don't let web design move your education. If I were you I would focus on one of the follow areas, either graphic design or programming (computer science). This will give you much broader skills and abilities.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
    and a trendy hair cut is still a nerd"

    - Stephen Colbert on Apple Users

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard trampt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    I think the trick is don't let web design move your education. If I were you I would focus on one of the follow areas, either graphic design or programming (computer science). This will give you much broader skills and abilities.
    I couldn't agree more. Go to a school to learn design or learn programming. With either of those you have a much better understanding of them with wider variety of career options ahead of you. Design schools that simply teach you Photoshop, Dreamweaver etc are not "design" school but desktop publishing schools.

  10. #10
    web designer
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    Might I just add to this topic, that a degree in something web design related isn't going to mean you will walk into a good job in web design. Often the most successful people are those who have practical knowledge, not exclusively those with degrees, but those who have a large portfolio of previous work, and who are genuine professionals at what they do. every single client I speak wants to know about previous jobs, not one has ever asked if I had a degree related to web design.

    Saying that though, all power to your elbow for wanting to go about it this way, just make sure you can back it up with lots of practical experience.

  11. #11
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    Well previous work is imporant. However I am not even sure where you would even get a creditable degree in web design. I know my university certainly doesn't offer it. Web design and developement are looked as hobbiest, and so the industry treats it as such, meaning web devs are usually under short term contracts. If your looking for a more stable position (if there is such as thing) you need to broaden your skills, and a degree can help.

    For instance, most business see Ecommerce and Ebusiness a small subset of something called Management Information Systems. This is something you can get a degree in and would encompass website developer (from a business perceptive) while also give you knowledge to other information systems, such as, total quality management, AI systems, etc.

    A full fledged graphics artist can do much more than design a website, such as ad campaigns, logos, etc. Simliarly a programmer could to multiple things aswell.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
    and a trendy hair cut is still a nerd"

    - Stephen Colbert on Apple Users

  12. #12
    web designer
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    Well previous work is imporant. However I am not even sure where you would even get a creditable degree in web design. I know my university certainly doesn't offer it. Web design and developement are looked as hobbiest, and so the industry treats it as such, meaning web devs are usually under short term contracts. If your looking for a more stable position (if there is such as thing) you need to broaden your skills, and a degree can help.

    For instance, most business see Ecommerce and Ebusiness a small subset of something called Management Information Systems. This is something you can get a degree in and would encompass website developer (from a business perceptive) while also give you knowledge to other information systems, such as, total quality management, AI systems, etc.

    A full fledged graphics artist can do much more than design a website, such as ad campaigns, logos, etc. Simliarly a programmer could to multiple things aswell.
    Certainly businesses look to recruit people with diverse skillsets, but increasingly, I believe, web design is being seen for the skill it is. I am looking at things more from the perspective of a freelance designer. I dont pitch myself as a programmer, or anything else. I design website, and logos. Thats it. I guess from the point of view of a large new media agency, my skills would probably not be diverse enough unless it had a large amount of work and other people employed to take care of the differing areas of expertise.

    The days of web design being the thing you got your 13 year old nephew to do as a favour are gone. The web is another weapon in the marketing armoury, and businesses are seing the importance of web presence, in the same way they appreciate thier brand identity in real world settings.

    Getting back on point, Education is a fantastic thing to have, and just the experience of spending a few years in that sort of environment will help you. Ive met a lot of businesses aquiantances through uni, and people who's skills I can call upon for work. Its also a damn good time.

    Im in the UK, so im not really sure of how it works over in the states, but good degrees for web designers arent easy to come by here, and the name of the institute can often be more important than the title of the degree.

  13. #13
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    I would one day like to have a career in web design...


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