To School or Not to School

Hello Friends: I’m debating on whether or not to go to school for Website Design . I learn very fast on my own using the tools available to me, but I want to get some opinions. Did you go to school? Are you self taught? Thank you very much. If anyone knows of a thread already with this topic, i’ll be happy to check it out. Best, Breezie

Web design isn’t a difficult profession to self teach, so it’s up to you. Doing a course can provide a lot of motivation to get on with things, and you get a piece of paper, which could be handy. But courses can often be out of date, too, so be careful to make sure it’s a good course, if you take one. I haven’t seen a lot of evidence that having done a web design course is much of an advantage. Many of the most prominent people in the field are self taught. They seem to be judged more on the quality of their work.

Thank you, Ralph.m . I agree with you. I think that I just needed to hear that the paper doesn’t matter necessarily . I just know that I can learn so much faster on my own which; to me, is essential. thank you again.

I wouldn’t go to school for website design either. But going to school for graphic design or fine arts will make you a much better website designer.

Thanks for the input… I feel way more confident in my graphic design than my programming/writing, but there is more psychology and theory behind visual design… I just wish I could find a very accelerated program , lol.

It would be interesting to know if modern design courses account for the flexibility of the web, as the ‘old guard’ designers are incredibly stuck on fixed layouts, which makes it hard to take the web forward.

I started to teach myself from books a few years ago, then found a distance-learning course based at my “local” college. I’d only been learning for a couple of months and considered myself a complete beginner - but I knew enough at that stage to be appalled at the out-dated stuff that was being taught. Tables for layout, deprecated tags (in HTML4), in-line styles - yaargh! As far as I know, they’re still offering the same course, with no updates. If you do decide to take a course, check exactly what they’re teaching, and when the course materials were last updated, would be my advice.

Interesting question. I was focusing on the fundamentals side – color theory, psychology and the like. Not any medium specific stuff.

As for designers not being able to adjust, I see that across the board – very few people can handle things that render dynamically and can grok all the permutations and how to deal with them.

Thank you TechnoBear; you’re right. I understand. I am pretty sure I don’t want to. I have taught myself how to build a website from a notepad document, using
FTP and Now I have successfully implemented php includes into my site ( which is practically orgasmic, i adore php) and I’ve only put a teeny bit of time into actually learning. I definitely know that going to school will not be better for me than learning it myself. If anything ; being here in a forum with you smarties would help me much more. I think web design and computers are better learned from people who are already doing it.

to wwb_99 : I understand what you mean … I have read a lot about color theory, fundamentals of design, etc. And taken a few courses. I think I would definitely supplement my selfteaching with an in-school course or two, but I want to learn the nitty gritty and what they DON’T teach you. It would be like learning about drugs from a cop in my mind, lol. I would rather learn it from a drug dealer.

The thing with schooling is that you get an official title and that comes handy later in life. Trust me. Some people simply have faith in that… it may mean the difference between having the job of your dreams or not (in a corporate world). Basically because some companies simply can’t trust experience by itself and sometimes because when you get to a certain management position, people look at you differently… furthermore when the people you have to manager does have a diploma/degree/master.

I haven’t found anything really good for web design but you may, as someone suggested earlier, get a degree on fine arts or graphic design from a reputable university/college

One thing to also throw out there, learn PHP really well, since you mentioned it. Then you can take the test for PHP Certification. I don’t know how well this would “get you in the door” for jobs though.

Hi :slight_smile: Thank you for your reply. I agree with you. I have a marketing firm so I’m not that concerned with getting a corporate job or something of that nature; although a client is a client regardless ; and any sort of certificate would be beneficial to me. thank you for the input.

Thank you very much . Yesterday I realized “includes” aren’t as huge a chunk of php like I thought, haha. I didn’t know there was such a test and I’ll look into it. It sounds like something I’d like .I want the opportunity to learn at my own pace and just take tests.

Thank you!!!

Here is a link to the certification: I haven’t used PHP as hardcore in the last two years as I used to, but know it isn’t just a walk in the park. You will need to read a few books before even thinking about.

Thank you for the info. I feel like I’ve learned web design so backwards. I know how to do some of the more advanced stuff, and I don’t know some of the simple stuff. If I follow tutorials , everything works perfectly for me and I understand it.

Web Design courses, whether at Uni or online, are so outdated, that you’re better off learning autodidactic.

Like @wwb_99 suggests, a graphic design study/course is the far better option. But if you’re into programming, then the Uni/course route is also a solid one. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong.

Thank you , Kohoutek. I think I’ve decided to teach myself now, and later get a certificate or degree if I need to.