Hi, I need your recommendations on other college fields of study for web designers because my experience and educational path was different from other students.
In 2000, I attended a non-profit trade school for web design. Back then, most university CS programs concentrated on computers and IT, but not web design.
I also took web and multimedia classes at a four-year university and graduated in communications. I got my degree, but now I’ve realized I’ve made a mistake because companies are looking for someone with Graphic Design or CS degrees…no excuses.
My university has an extended learning program but there isn’t one for CS or other web/technical studies. How would my employment chances improve if I took graduate classes in PR or Marketing? Which of the two should I pick?
Because I took communications, I have an idea of the relationship between pr and online media, but I am not familiar with marketing.
I have to agree that a degree in CS isn’t paramount. You’ve been in the field long enough that it shouldn’t matter at all.
Agreed, you want to research your options carefully, sometimes having a unique background gives you professional insights no-one else will have, it worked for me. There’s always (of course) the option to freelance while you’re at University to gain the web related experience you need (you can buy good books or find useful materials on the web which will help you achieve a working knowledge of where your course could lead too).
PS: I didn’t do a degree, I just did college level stuff but it has helped me greatly.
I’m a poli sci / soc major who runs an interactive department so I’m not a big believe in having to have a degree in the same field. That said, there’s certainly more expectations as you get into more technical fields but still, don’t hold yourself back by thinking you need something you don’t.
Any degree you have can be spun as a benefit, even to design & development. Take for example communications… so perhaps you didn’t learn the history of C but if you can code HTML + CSS as well as the guy next to you, you’ve got something he doesn’t… an understanding of what the client wants and how to work with marketers. Make this a positive, not a negative. Line up your resume with your experience and technical knowledge to prove you are experienced and then sell in to how you are unique, how you think from a different perspective and how that puts you in a better spot.
Personally if I walked into a room and a lead developer or designer was talking about their marketing / comm / social sciences background I’d be very interested versus the guy talking about a legacy of coding. There’s nothing wrong with the traditional background but it’s the diverse ones that stand out. And that’s why you don’t want to have a pre-law degree if you apply to law school…