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  1. #1
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    Graphic designing vs web development - Career decision!

    Hi,

    I've been working as a UI designer - Web at Accenture Services in India. I mainly work on HTML/CSS/Jquery. Now, I've gotten an offer from another company, with slightly increased salary package, to work as a graphic designer (photoshop, illustrator) for their website interfaces, newsletters etc. I have an interest in graphic designing (I play around with photoshop, design website mockups, am active on 99designs...) and had applied to this new company just like that and I got through.

    Although I also have an interest in HTML/CSS, I don't like programming and so am not really keen about Jquery which I have to do eventually if I carry on being a web developer.

    Should I switch on to the new company doing only photoshop, illustrator etc? Is that a good choice over web development (HTML/CSS/Jquery)? In terms of money, growth, recognition, no. of jobs?

    Could anyone suggest me anything, please? I am worried because I see lots and lots of stuff happening around Jquery. There are thousands of jquery/css jobs as opposed to a few for graphic designing.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If it is a good choice or not, only you can answer that question. I wouldn't dare to have a clue about what jobs are considered in India.

    But, if you say, you don't like coding, then the change it is a no brainer unless you don't trust the new company that much.

    In my opinion, there are a few factors that will influence your decision

    - Salary, of course
    - Additional benefits (such as private insurance, life insurance...)
    - How much I like my present job
    - How much I will like the future job
    - The environment where I currently work (how I get along with my colleagues, if my opinion is valued, if I have new opportunities for growing (not only to apply for a higher position with more responsability, but to learn as much as possible in my present job), and a long etc.)

    The thing is that, if you really lke what you do and learn something everyday, there are opportunities to make good money, even if there are no so many jobs and finding a new one it is harder.

    But that's something that you really need to think of. As you say, it is a risk but it will be worthy if you're passionate about what you do and you work hard to be the best in your field.

    Having said that, another skill you need to learn is how to sell yourself to get the highest salary possible.

  3. #3
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    Hi Molona, thanks for your reply.

    It's true that I don't trust the new company as much but I really don't like programming and that would be the reason if I go into that company as a graphic designer.

    I'm just worried that just because I don't like it, would I be losing out on a very lucrative line of work (programming in Javascript/Jquery) if I go into graphic designing. But I guess I'll have to sacrifice something somewhere.

    Anyways, thanks for the advise, Molona. Really appreciate. :-)

    Cheers!

  4. #4
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    Just to vent out what exactly my feelings are, I've always wanted to be in a field of work which interests me and which has the potential to make me very rich. I know becoming filthy rich takes an excessive effort and luck plays a factor too and I might never ever become that rich even in the field which I deemed would make me rich. But still, the possibility to becoming rich from that field of work should be there.

    For example, I wouldn't want to become a carpenter, because no matter how much hard I try and how much luck is on me, I'd never become a millionaire. So carpentry is a field I wouldn't want to waste my time with*

    I'm obsessed with this line of thought is the reason I had asked this question on SP here - http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...-web-designers.

    I gathered from the above thread that web designing could make one a millionaire if coupled with web entrepreneurship or opening up a studio. I was fairly satisfied.

    Now, I'm switching to graphic designing. So what I'm worried about is, would graphic designing be like 'carpentry' as in the example I gave above in terms of being rich? Could diving into a related field, product designing, be any better?

    (*I just took carpentry as an example and did not mean to hurt anyone's feelings or to put anyone or any field down. )

    Any thoughts are appreciated!

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    It's never a good idea to choose a job you don't like. If you don't like web development, then don't do it, unless it's your only option to bring food to the table.

    If you take a strong dislike to something, the chances are close to zero that you'll excel at it. The other consideration is that the field of web development is always one that strictly prohibits you from stagnating in terms of learning. There are new methodologies, techniques, and tools that you need to learn, almost on a yearly basis. You always need to be highly aware of what goes on within the industry and you need to stay afoot, something that in itself can be quite wearisome at times, and a thousand times worse, if you don't even like the trade.

    As you've stated that you like graphic design, then why not take that and really delve into the field. Graphic design, if taken seriously, is immensely complex and rich. There's a lot more to graphic design than making things look pretty. There are a plethora of topics that you'll need to master, and when you do, you'll need a respectable amount of passion for it, spend a lot of time creating things and being good at what you do in order to make yourself "bankable" and sought after.
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Member WebsiteWriter's Avatar
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    This is a decision that can affect the entire course of your life. I started off in Graphic Design and then moved into Web Design and Development. Only to move into Copywriting and Marketing instead.

    I would say that while Graphic Design is a good field to be in it largely depends on where you live. I was in a small town and the kinds of jobs being offered barely paid better than McDonalds did. They still do. You might be lucky to make 15-20 dollars an hour here after ten years of hard work. In your area it might be different.

    On the other hand, if you stay in web development you are entering a highly competitive field so you better be able to bring something valuable to the table. You can do that by knowing more or doing more than the next guy does. In the end, it's all about having skills that are hard to find in other job candidates.

    If you're looking into freelancing it can be a very cruel world to web designers. I know, my first business was a website design business and it went under in a year. Those are my thoughts anyways.

  7. #7
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    As the future of technology progresses, this variance may ultimately cease to exist. If web design gets less restrictive then they will be able to have more freedom to create.

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    Hi Akrimony,
    I will suggest you to stick with web development as web development have more scope than graphic designing. Your interest on html/cs will also help you in future.

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    Look if coding is NOT your queue, don't continue with it. You will never be satisfied with your career if you don't enjoy what you do. Can you imagine yourself as a web programmer all your life? if yes, then don't make the switch. if No, then what are you waiting for? The field of graphic design isn't as bad in terms of scope.

    Completely analyze the new place and compare it to your current, as mentioned earlier. If you feel your job as a graphic designer has more perks, go for it. if you're looking for growth and increased salary, you can always look for better companies in better locations as you progress with your career. No career has a closed door. Graphic design too is way more than it appears. Try learning Corel Draw as well. You'll be able to find much more oportunities. Graphic design sees peeks in cities with the industries! Like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi etc.

    Make your choice carefully. Remember, we can only give advice, the end decision is yours alone

  10. #10
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    i think that you can earn much with web development. I think that it's easier to learn graphic designing compared to web developing as it could involve coding and stuffs. Me, I don't have any background in IT related stuffs. I took a step into learning graphic designing - banners and logos. I am not that good yet. I am still learning. But you, if you can do web developing, it's a good career IMO.
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  11. #11
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    Graphic design is related with creativity and web development is just coding... I want to be a graphic designer because it's easy to learn and have many interesting things than the development.

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    SitePoint Member Angelina786's Avatar
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    Hi
    I guess a web developmer earns better and it has more scope plus point is if you already know web development then it will be much easier for you to take web designing projects as well.

  13. #13
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    web programming and development will always be a better choice because it has far more value than web designing and also pay grade is high

  14. #14
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    I think web designing would be good for you.

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    I would say to go down the Graphic Design route, far more enjoyable and easier to find freelance work should you ever wish to quit work and go it alone. You will also be learning new things which is always good.

    Why not try and make some money online through your own websites (affiliate marketing / advertising) - this way you can keep your development skills fresh and also put your new skills in to practice

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    I can relate to your topic. I have been a graphic designer for more than three years and now thinking about switching my career to Database Development (I am Masters in CS, Majors in Database)

    Here are my reasons to make the switch:
    - Graphic Designing is overly saturated: everybody think they are graphic designer
    - People from India, Pakistan etc are those who are supposed to design $5 a logo which is insane
    - I cant see my future as a graphic designer as much as I can see as a Database developer
    - Graphic design is a skill for which you don't need a degree, which makes it even less lucrative

    Even though you don't like JQuery / programming its your experience till now which definitely counts. Who knows in a few years time when you get a better job as web developer, with better environment / work-life balance you start to like programming

    I would suggest don't give up your current career and do graphic designing as part time like you said you're doing on 99designs.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by amberpk View Post
    I can relate to your topic. I have been a graphic designer for more than three years and now thinking about switching my career to Database Development (I am Masters in CS, Majors in Database)

    Here are my reasons to make the switch:
    - Graphic Designing is overly saturated: everybody think they are graphic designer
    - People from India, Pakistan etc are those who are supposed to design $5 a logo which is insane
    - I cant see my future as a graphic designer as much as I can see as a Database developer
    - Graphic design is a skill for which you don't need a degree, which makes it even less lucrative

    Even though you don't like JQuery / programming its your experience till now which definitely counts. Who knows in a few years time when you get a better job as web developer, with better environment / work-life balance you start to like programming

    I would suggest don't give up your current career and do graphic designing as part time like you said you're doing on 99designs.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
    I don't want to be negative but there are graphic designers that do make a good living with graphic design.

    Also, if you think that the world of graphic design is saturated, think it twice, for the very same reasons development is a saturated world... and that includes databases.

    Something else is that you enjoy dealing with databases and want to add new skills to your profile. Then, by all means, go for it.

    But if you're trying to go for the quick buck, then you're out luck.

    People will buy from you if they perceive that the value you're providing is worth it.

    It is a matter of trust. And this is the only way that you can beat people from India or Pakistan.

  18. #18
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    I think that a web developer would be the way to go purely based on the amount of jobs around for such a person at the moment

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    Quote Originally Posted by buttermixed View Post
    I think that a web developer would be the way to go purely based on the amount of jobs around for such a person at the moment
    That really depends where you work/live and mainly in the business area you move and how you handle your business... But again, although the amount of work may be a point to choose your career, I personaly think that if you should do what you really like.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    That really depends where you work/live and mainly in the business area you move and how you handle your business... But again, although the amount of work may be a point to choose your career, I personaly think that if you should do what you really like.
    That is true, you made some good points there !

  21. #21
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    Well the industries with the most openings, highest salaries and future growth are those within science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Therefore, I don't think it is a stretch to say the *better choice would be web development. Look it up if you want to. The economist are referring to these key/hot industries as STEM. Also, if you just do a search for salaries and compare there is a significant difference between what graphic designers make and what programmers make. Not to mention there are so many designers out there who can't even find jobs because graphic design jobs are very hard to come by. That isn't to say graphic design is lesser than web development but if you are asking which one is better the economy says web development.
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  22. #22
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    If all you are doing is HTML, CSS and JQuery then you are more of a web designer rather than a web developer (since a web developer is also involved in databases and server side coding).

    Web design (including photoshop, illustrator, HTML and CSS) requires very different skills from web development and very few people are good at both. As you say you don't much like JQuery then you are unlikely to b e someone who is good at web development.

    With regard to web design, there are jobs such as the one you have working primarily with HTML and CSS and jobs that mostly use photoshop and illustrator. Many designer jobs would also involve both. The shifts back and forth between the image and coding aspects of web design are relatively minor compared to the shift between design and development. So you might move from a mainly HTML job to a mainly Photoshop job to one that is about 50/50 over a period of time and still call yourself a web designer in all of those positions. Yes the tools are different between the jobs but the necessary aptitude toward being able to design web pages is the same for each.

    If you were actually looking at web development (where an aptitude for programming is what is needed rather than an aptitude for design) then the move would be a much bigger one and you'd need to look at whether you really have the abilities to move from one to the other.
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  23. #23
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    choose your job which one satisfying you!.....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    Well the industries with the most openings, highest salaries and future growth are those within science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Therefore, I don't think it is a stretch to say the *better choice would be web development. Look it up if you want to. The economist are referring to these key/hot industries as STEM. Also, if you just do a search for salaries and compare there is a significant difference between what graphic designers make and what programmers make. Not to mention there are so many designers out there who can't even find jobs because graphic design jobs are very hard to come by. That isn't to say graphic design is lesser than web development but if you are asking which one is better the economy says web development.
    I don't argue with that

    My point is simply that heading to a career just because of the salary is a mistake. If you end up doing something that you don't like you will not make a lot of money because you will not do enough effort to earn the big bucks. And you'd be hating your life (after all, you'll pass a min. of 8 hours a day working)

    Also, even if you do put that effort and if you do like the job, if you don't know how to sell yourself and negotiate your salary, you're stuck in the same problem.
    Last edited by molona; Jul 8, 2013 at 05:28.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona
    I don't argue with that

    My point is simply that heading to a career just because of the salary is a mistake. If you end up doing something that you don't like you will not make a lot of money because you will not do enough effort to earn the big bucks. And you'd be hating your life (after all, you'll pass a min. of 8 hours a day working)

    Also, even if you do put that effort and if you do like the job, if you don't know how to sell yourself and negotiate your salary, you're stuck in the same problem.
    Yeah, In the US it is a fact that STEM jobs have higher demand and salaries than all others. I agree that you shouldn't simply choose a career based on earning potential. Though I would say that based on the economy it would be *smart to cut a practical and emotional balance when choosing a career. Especially, with something like graphic design where the number of unemployed graduates in that field is very high. Nothing against design but designers these days are a dime a dozen. Choosing design as a career is a very risky move. Especially, if you are not all that great and unable to network. Where as, industries with high demand allow those with average or perhaps even below average skill to make a decent living while also improving their skill. Notice I threw the word decent in there because hanging around on crowdsourcing sites because you can't find a design job is no way to make a living and is not sustainable in the long-term. Especially, as the economy gets better and people start waking up moving jobs back on shore. That isn't to say many designers make a great living but I think there are far more people who call themselves designers out there that are unemployed or with a very low salary than those making a good living on graphic design alone.
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