Learning web design

Hello everyone, just wondering if I could get some advise. I have been learning web design on my own for a couple of years now but I feel like I would like to take it to the next level. I have been looking into some local colleges that have web design programs and would love to hear what web designers think about taking classes in college. Worth it or is it better to do it on your own? I like the idea of the structure that a college would provide plus the fact that I would be mingling with others in the same industry, but do not know if it is the best way to go about it. What do you think?

It’s definitely your call, but it also depends on the quality of instruction at your local university. If they’re still teaching tables, frames, and the wonders of the spacer.gif (and there are definitely plenty of them out there), then that school isn’t for you. On the other hand, working in a structured environment and alongside others to learn from and with is a good thing. It’s a matter of what’s right for you.

There are more than a few people who come to the forums, this and other web development forums, with their html/css homework assignments. Quite often, my curiosity will get the best of me and I’ll visit the college’s web site to judge the quality of their own, often student maintained, site, and to view the web course syllabus. I am quite sure that somewhere is a well taught course; I just haven’t seen it. The totality of what I’ve seen are Photoshop/Dreamweaver courses miss-described as web design courses. Don’t waste your time or money unless what you really want is graphic design. Even then, you’d be better off actually studying graphic design. But, it is not web design.

Look instead for library science courses. Library science is all about information architecture, and that’s what a web site is all about; how do you organize information in a manner that makes it easy for the visitor to find and use. Related to that is database management. By database, I don’t mean MS Access. The really big DBMSes are not often used for web sites; MySQL is probably the most useful course of study. Likewise, learn some languages; PHP (mid-tier) and javascript (client) are ubiquitous. It would not be a bad idea to take an Apache admin course, and Linux familiarity (*nix tools are made from the ground up to be simple and powerful) will be a plus.

Does that help?



I am not sure whether there is a course for “Web Designing” because this is actually the combination between graphic designing and programming, which are also differentiate to 2 courses.

Basically, you have to learn the graphic softwares such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Coredraw etc. The basic knowledge on programming language, php, asp, MySQL database, Java scripts and etc need to know also. I hope I didn’t scare you off of learning Web Designing :slight_smile:

There some people actually self-learning these subject. If you are really interested to learn, you can learn from the internet as well. The syllabus is more updated than the one from University.

Thank you everyone for your responses.

Hey thanks for your response. I get your point. So where can someone like me go to if they need some structure? To give you an example I love my current career and it can very well be learned on your own and I did a lot of it, but being somewhere with structure and around others that were learning the same things made a huge difference. I got so involved that I would eat, drink, breath and even dream what I was studying. Again thank you for your response.

Thanks for your response. Don’t worry you didn’t scare me at all. I was aware of what I would need to learn. So what if you were a person that learns more when you interact with others in a class setting? What would you do if you wanted to learn web design (graphic design/programming)?

No doubt, you will have the chance to interact with others by attending classes. However, the age range and the experience are very much different if you were to attend the classes. You might become the senior of them (in term of your experiences). I guess you have few years of working experiences and you already knew what the marketing need. I don’t know whether you will be benefited by attending classes.

If I were you, I’ll choose self-learning.

Reason 1: The course in University/Colleges is still academic. The market is looking for PHP, Java Scripts, TOMCAT and others.

Reason 2: We can get the market update faster and we are able to learn from the professional.

Thanks again for your answer. I do see your point very clearly and it is definitely something that concerns me. From previous experiences I do know that what it is taught at school it is not exactly what the market wants. Just like having a degree it is a lot of times worthless if you can’t show what you can do. The main reasons for me thinking of actual classes at a college other than the structure and meeting others in the industry is that I’m afraid that if I try to teach myself, a lot of the time will end up being spent fixing things in the house, or attending to other family members issues. I’m not saying that family is not important just that if I’m home somehow that means that I’m available and my mind might not be in the right place. A college definitely gets me in the right mind set, but I do understand your concerns.

I also know that in order to be successful you have to know PHP, MySQL and many other languages, and I want to become serious about learning and giving it all I got.

So now days most people learn those languages on their own?

Anyways, thanks again.

I also know that in order to be successful you have to know PHP, MySQL and many other languages, and I want to become serious about learning and giving it all I got.
By all means, look at your deficiencies and choose courses to remedy them. If you need to learn a programming language or three, sign up for the course. Avoid, if possible, all proprietary application based courses. The objective, for example, is to learn graphic manipulation, not Photoshop. I found it interesting that MIT does not teach programming languages; they teach programming with an emphasis on algorithms. Your end of course project might be to write a compiler for your own language.



I’ve never seen anyone say this besides myself. :slight_smile: This is great advice.

Not at all. Modern, beautiful and functional Web sites can be created without knowing ANY of the above.

Yes,It’s good.In web designing Ist & most important thing is creativity.Before designing a web page, we have to reffer highly professional,awarded websites in web. Then study the designs,what techniques are using in those designs,the creative works.dowload some tutoriols , & design with that tutoriols.This is the only way to become a good designer.We have to study good knowledge in web designing, that makes us a good web designer.

If interested in webdesign. You do need to look at the concept of marketing knowledge by

We are not designed for the art alone, but to serve the needs of marketing and advertising.

I’m going to be brutally frank… (I know, SHOCKING! Me? FRANK?!?)

From my experience, a college degree or even the piece of paper saying you took coursework isn’t worth a sheet of bog roll. The average educator has NO qualifications or business teaching ANYTHING Internet related… I have yet to meet one that could code their way our of a piss soaked paper bag with a hole in the bottom… and honestly I’ve seen a lot of the coursework floating around out there, and it would be fine if it was still 1997…

This isn’t 1997.

As a co-worker of mine from the 80’s once told me, “In a field where 3 years is obsolete and 5 years is the trash heap, what the {expletive omitted} good is a 4 year program?”. It’s why on the whole employers I know literally don’t consider college degrees in technical fields worth wiping with.

The ignorant twits teaching at most colleges right now are nothing more than leeches upon the teat of society… resulting in people spending money that doesn’t even EXIST yet (college loans) or money that would be better spent on something tangible - on an intangible vagary at best, and outright SCAM at worst.

Save your money, hit the books and start DOING IT FOR REAL. START with learning HTML/CSS before you even THINK about server side coding via PHP or .net, otherwise you aren’t qualified to make php or .net OUTPUT ANYTHING. (I’m often shocked at PHP coders who don’t know the first blasted thing about HTML/CSS – Serious whiskey-tango-foxtrot)

While opting for a web designing course, please try to verify whether it offers a combination of both graphic designing and coding as well. Also, make sure the course offers the latest languages, and that too in adequate details.
Good luck!

It depends on how you like to learn. The structure of the classroom works for some but not for others. I was in the same boat, and ended up taking classes, which were a huge help for me.

I agree with you 100% anyone is better off self-learning I choose self learning any day what I don’t know I just visits forums and ask questions I’ve learned so much from forums like this and the internet my son spent a year learning Photoshop at sixth form college he doesn’t know a thing about it they just concentrate on one particular subject which means nothing now I have to teach him Photoshop I am self taught Photoshop and I am more advance than him.

I think you need a balance of both college and surfing around on the internet. School can force you to learn certain skills that are needed in web development, but surfing around can teach you the fun and exciting stuff.


I have never heard of a college offering such classes. Most colleges are just there to teach the bare minimum to get your foot in the door of a certain field once your graduate. I think you will have to find a specialized technical school to get the training you seek. Before jumping into school, check out some of these technologies on your own. Many of the CMS sites have a lot of documentation regarding customization. (Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla).

Also look into ActionScript.org’s tutorials as well as all the actionscript content on YouTube.

The reason most universities don’t offer classes on these subjects is because they’d endlessly be updating the curriculum. Although some schools do offer these types of courses, they are often outdated by the time the students graduate.

I would personally recommend going to college, but not for web design. If you want to acquire a basic knowledge of web design elements, why not take a summer course at a community college? Most will offer some type of basic HTML web design class that will teach you some of the basics and provide you with a foundation to start learning on your own without spending thousands of dollars on a 4 year degree.

Good luck.
Jeffrey Koertzen

Renew Graphic Design

Not worth it. You will gain more knowledge and save more money by simply visiting CSS galleries and reading up documentation on sites like w3 schools. Also, there are tons of photoshop tutorials for design.