The Role of College for Web Designers

The Role of College for Web Designers

College has changed in the past 100 years, rather, the importance of college has changed.  I remember in one of my literature classes, we examined an analysis of Gilgamesh, and the writer listed himself as George Bradshaw, B.A.

Yep, he flaunted his Bachelors of Arts.  That was a big deal during the 1910s, I guess.  But now, since everyone’s getting a B.S(omething)- college students across America are asking themselves “why am I here?”  (or “why am I drunk?”- depending on how well you did on your SATs).  But you still have to get a degree- it’s just ubiquitous in our society.

As a web designer who has come to grips with the role of college in my life, I still have to ask myself some questions: Who is going to teach me design? Is that something I have to do myself?  What purpose does college serve me, a self taught web designer running a internet company?

A piece of paper does not put you on a pedestal. It boils down to the quality of work you are capable of producing, where experience plays a monumental role. Degrees are a way to get your foot in the door, but your portfolio will be what helps you get all the way in.

Bubble of Free Time

College provides a unique bubble of free time.  Self-improvement is your full time job (they don’t tell you- but that tuition pays for your social life as well).  Traditionally, college means hitting the books, putting in library hours, and getting involved around campus – all the standard steps to success. All of that is true, you still need to put in the hours for academics.  If you focus all on academics-explain the boredom (you have free time, buddy).

College students have been trained to think a career is something that doesn’t start until after college.  For many web designers, that buffer time doesn’t exist. We have the luxury of starting our careers well before graduation day.  Some of the prominent internet companies of our day started in dorm rooms: Google, Microsoft, and Facebook all have roots in college age students putting in time between classes, taking advantage of the time they had before family, taxes, and social security checks became the foremost things on their minds.

The Social Aspect

You have the opportunity to get familiar with a very desirable market – 18 to 25 year olds.  By going through the motions of school, you will be able to better relate to this age group, perhaps even drawing inspiration for projects based on their needs. Although grasping the zeitgeist of the hormonal is beneficial, there are other merits:

  1. Connections and Internships - Odds are your school has some connections you don’t, which provides great leverage for internship opportunities. If your school doesn’t, then it’s on you to fend for those ‘ternships.  Dump out those resumes and cover letters- you’re bound to be noticed by someone.
  2. Meeting Potential Partners - There are other people with entrepreneurial interests that may extend outside the internet, yet be good individuals to partner with for joint ventures. College is a breeding crowd for young, enthusiastic people looking to be a part of something meaningful – perhaps one of them would be a perfect addition to your web company.  That doesn’t mean you need to put yourself up for election for student government- check out your school’s improv troupe, those kids are dying for friends (and they sure have enough ideas to fill the year).
  3. Press, Contests, and Awards - The press loves student entrepreneurs. A story about the trials and tribulations of a 20-something juggle trying to run a company and going to school full time? Absolute news bait, take advantage of it. Also, your school probably has writing contests.  Sure sure, you may not be the next Hardy, but hell- $200 bucks will get you that refurbished monitor you saw on Woot.  Furthermore, student entrepreneurial contests can be a great gateway for networking and press coverage.

Do you think Facebook would be as successful if it had been created by a high school dropout rather than a college student? Yeah, maybe Harvard had something to do with it- but still.  I saw the movie- he was drunk.  Going to college is as much about staying connected with your age group and developing your social skills, as it is about education. If social media has taught us anything, it’s all about networking. There’s really no telling which of your peers/teachers could be responsible for your next big job.

Academics – Time Spent Wisely?

If you run a web business alongside your school work, there will be plenty of days where you will question the value of doing your art history homework over chipping away at client work. If you don’t see the purpose of an assignment, it can very quickly become a nuisance that will be skipped right over, which is why picking a relevant degree is key.

For those of you currently pondering the pros and cons of different majors, think about what skills you are lacking, as well as what would compliment your current talents. To illustrate this, here is a glimpse at the process of major selection for Zach and I:

Sam:

Initially, I was open to majoring in web design. The problem was the sheer number of programs across the country, each with a slightly different names and focus. While there were a plentitude of “Computer Science” and “Design” majors, many web majors were masked as “Multimedia” and included topics I wasn’t at all interested in.

Recognizing this, I opted to continue teaching myself web design and major in something that would compliment web design/I wasn’t too knowledgeable in – Marketing. It’s translated over decently, although I will admit the bulk of what I have learned in the context of internet marketing has been self taught.

Zach:

I opted to go with a major in Multimedia and Web Design, which gave me the opportunity to keep working on things within the web industry. There is a good amount of overlap between personal and school work, which means I don’t have to drastically swap gears from Biology class to CSS 101.

Given how fast the internet moves, it is hard to make a major around web design and have it stay relevant for all 4 years. Ultimately, the ability to teach yourself is the most important part of keeping current. If there is no client work it can be good to work under other peoples schedules projects, although it is not the same depth.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Are you making enough money to justify  a full time job?
  • How would this degree improve my skill set (Not necessarily web related) ?
  • Do you need the structure that school provides to keep you on track?
  • Would being in school cripple you or open doors for your business?
  • How do you stack up against designers that have the jobs you want?

This is part of an ongoing learning experience, parts of which I am still discovering, so I would deeply appreciate any thoughts/experiences/insight anyone might have regarding the subject.

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Posted Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 · Back to Top

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42 Comments 17 Mentions

  1. Chris Coyier Author Editor

    In the U.S. at state schools, most “Graphic Design” degrees are B.A.’s with emphasis in graphic design. That means you take a good amount of design courses, but you also take a bunch of generic art classes. Drawing, painting, ceramics, art history, the whole gambit. That gives you a foundation in arts that will last a lifetime, rather than learning a specific technology that might be outdated in a year. Not to mention, college is just fun and helps you grow up a little bit before settling into a career.

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  2. AJ Author Editor

    Hopefully this sparks some discussion – going forward I feel more and more people will want to get into this formally instead of being self-taught like many of us were.

    A formal education can give a good background to all the arts as Chris suggested and that’s important in an industry where things have to “look and feel right.” Everything’s just so subjective that a difference of opinion is sometimes hard to justify without that degree backing up your knowledge.

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  3. Design Informer Author Editor

    Ultimately, the ability to teach yourself is the most important part of keeping current.

    That was the best statement that I read in the article. Ultimately, that’s what it all boils down to. While you do learn a lot in college, it won’t be enough like you mentioned, since it will be outdated in a couple of years. One thing that you might pick up in college is the skill of “learning.”

    Great post. The only thing I wish I can go to school for is to really learn more about typography, grids, and the fundamentals of design. That would be really interesting. Keep up the great work guys!

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  4. Matthew Simmons Author Editor

    Great article. Right now I’m working on my A.A. in Graphic Design. I’m on a full ride for two years so I have lots of time to work on designing.

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  5. Zach Dunn Author Editor

    To clarify, Sam and I are currently in our third year of college. It’s played a big role in establishing our business direction, but we tend to learn most from you guys — the community.

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  6. Chris Morata Author Editor

    What great timing on this article, seeing as I am graduating in t-minus 2 weeks (can’t wait!). I will be getting a B.A. in Digital Media – Internet & Interactive Systems from the University of Central Florida.

    While this has been a fun program (I play on Photoshop and the Internet all day, while my friends are studying ridiculous math. Ha!), a lot of the things I learned weren’t until the last year of my program or so. A lot of the content of the classes are things that can be Googled for the most part, and the group interaction with the production process is probably one of the few things that is beneficial from some of the classes.

    Another problem for me personally is that the program itself has changed several times over the past 4 years. It’s hard to have a set course program, when the Internet and web design and development are constantly evolving. If I had to go back and do anything differently, I probably would have minored in Marketing or Ad/PR, or even Entrepreneurship as well.

    The best experience I had was an internship I’ve had for the past year or so. A lot of the time I’ve taken outside the classroom to read design blogs such as this one, have helped me a lot as well. This has also set me apart from some of my classmates who do not take the same initiative to develop their skills.

    I also agree that a piece of paper won’t secure me a job. Having a good portfolio is CRUCIAL.

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  7. Chris Morata Author Editor

    Sorry to ramble, but I also wanted to mention how much coming to college has helped me develop my personal qualities, as well as help me obtain connections and network.

    Getting involved in organizations (SGA, Greek Life, etc.) can help you tremendously if you put in the effort. As a member of a Greek organization, I have been able to become extremely organized, become excellent at time management, and definitely have some fun.

    Also, best of luck Sam and Zach with the rest of your college career!

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  8. Dan Sensecall Author Editor

    I completely agree with you Chris – a strong portfolio is probably as valuable as the degree itself.

    Design blogs like this are also really, really helpful – cheers.

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  9. Dennis Andersson Author Editor

    My studies, final year, are more oriented towards the print design and it’s industry rather than the web. Although the web shizzle is a big hobby of mine.

    Speaking from personal experience I would say that everything about design can learned individually if the person at hand knows where to look. Schools are merely a helping hand i.e. almost every teacher over here have at least 15+ years of experience in the field. I can pretty much everything from books and Google, but if I can complement that with information from a person whos actually have that specific problem or dealt with a client just like this… THAT to me is priceless.

    The only bad part with the whole design industry, whether it’s towards print or web, is that every job application is so ridiculous. If they are searching for a web designer, that person is supposed to know, php, mysql, xhtml, css, java, javascript, asp, ruby, flash, c++, vb and it could me meritating to know how to cure aids/hiv. Oh, and even if you are ~25 years old, you should have at least 40 years of experience in the field.

    Just my two cents.

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  10. Dennis Andersson Author Editor

    Oh, I forgot to mention that working in groups, even though how small the assignments/projects have been, is really good too. Specially for me since I’ve always had that one person that I just dont click with, for one reason or another.

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  11. Kristoffer Truitt Author Editor

    Great points! College is a great opportunity to grow as a person- Coming out, I know I’m completely different than I was going in, and for the better. I completely agree with your points that in college you pretty much are forced to learn responsibility and time management-or fail.
    When it comes to a Multimedia/Digital Media degree, it’s not so much about learning new things, it’s about learning how to learn new things, which is a skill that is extremely important in this industry.

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  12. Phil Davis Author Editor

    As a college student aspiring to be a web designer I found this very helpful. The university I currently go to has an awful design program which is why I am majoring in marketing.

    Thanks for the article!

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  13. Karl Freeman Author Editor

    **I’m in the UK so college == university**

    I think for some uni is a great place to go if you have a broad skillset and a passion for a certain field without a specialism. I know many peers who went to uni for one thing and came out doing something else but personally I got a job when I was 19 as a run of the mill banner monkey and through self teaching and a desire to better myself I’ve progressed on to much better work.

    For most uni is the way to go simply becuase they may not be able to envision how they would fit in to a workplace. As others have said there is a real lack of learning how to learn nowadays which is a shame to see, as teaching yourself not only gives you confidence but your passion for what you do also shines through when you are looking for a job.

    There are exceptions to this such as a strong typographic skills, appreciating layout and user experience knowledge which is difficult for some to teach themselves but this is easily fixed by a vast array of course’s and more importantly the strong community out there.

    I can confidently say that over half of the skills I know now has come from community resources, some may read in to this as an abundance of helpful awesomness out there and others might say that this is simply because there is a lack of traditional eduction resources on fields that are a hybrid of development and design ( eg learning OOP for developing flash websites. Not computer science not multimedia design )

    Anyways, ranting now. For those making this decision I would highly advise not to write off going straight in to a job. Try and get a meeting with someone in a place you want to eventually work, explain your situation and I guarantee you that they will understand and help you out.

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  14. JD Ross Author Editor

    “Make sure you pick a school that is in a place where you could see yourself working/inspires you.”

    I don’t know about that. I go to Washington University in St. Louis, which is quite possibly the least interesting city in America (ok, not really, but I think you get my point.) That said, I’m in love with my school and the people here and do things I can’t imagine being able to do anywhere else. I run 2 successful businesses that could sustain me very well financially past college and have incredible internship offers in New York and California if I want them.

    I’m not saying I’m the base case, but what I am saying is the school doesn’t matter as much as you do. I’m happy I’m at Wash U because of the entrepreneurial program and the incredibly smart people I meet and work with (it’s also a ton of fun.) If you’re intrinsically motivated and a fan of calculated risk, don’t worry about location of a school as much as the school itself. I’d take good partners over anything else in a business.

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  15. Sam Dunn Author Editor

    @all
    thanks so much for sharing your experiences, it’s nice to see that there are others that have given thouht to this

    @Chris
    I agree, involvement goes a long way in regards to networking. Good luck upon graduation!

    @JD Ross
    Thank you for pointig that out sir, my line of thinking for picking a location was more based along the lines of local connections.

    For instance If I wanted to work in silicon valley, picking a school local to it might help out that cause. I know here at hartford the insurance capital, many students land jobs in that sector because it’s a close place to intern.

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  16. Damon Bauer Author Editor

    I started out taking college classes in high school. Once I got into college, I found out that I took all of the web design classes that the college offered while in high school – so I left there.

    I then made the mistake of attending DeVry Online… I taught myself more about design & web design from teaching myself and from the “community” than I did at DeVry. The only thing I got out of it was a piece of paper saying I have a degree and a FAT student loan that is not fun.

    Personally, if I could go back, I would try to get a formal design degree focusing on traditional art and such, and use that in conjunction with web & multimedia design. There are simply too many resources (books, blogs, forums, etc) NOT to be able to learn on your own. Plus, you can learn at your own pace and study the things that are in demand & current.

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  17. JD Ross Author Editor

    @Sam Dunn
    Very good point, but when you say “if I wanted to work in silicon valley, picking a school local to it might help out that cause” I have to disagree. It’s so loud there with people competing that it’s incredibly difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. If I went to Stanford, I doubt I would have been able to get the attention of some of the bigger Silicon Valley folk. The nice thing about being from somewhere less expected is that people get curious and don’t typecast you

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  18. Shawn B. Author Editor

    Wow, this is pretty much what I was just thinking about. I have been going to a two year college part-time for 3 years, but I took the last quarter off to start a web design business. Well now that I am making a livable wage and getting some job offers I am beginning to wonder if it is really worth it to continue college.

    What do you think the chances are of being able to go back when I am 23 and finish a degree?

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    • Susannah Author Editor

      This “free sharing” of infomrtaion seems too good to be true. Like communism.

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  19. Dave Author Editor

    I started college about 8 months ago and the reason is I wanted to learn more for myself. The intent wasn’t to find a killer job out of college (although it would be nice), I just wanted to learn and be able to do the things I didn’t buckle down to teach myself. I’ve learn alot on my own but I felt it was time to put myself in a structured environment and make myself learn more. I spent a long time working in warehouses and factories and realized its not want i care about and I landed a small web job and wanted to be able to do more for my clients.

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  20. Waheed Akhtar Author Editor

    Thanks Sam for this wonderful post.

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  21. Spenser Author Editor

    When people discuss the poignancy of college, I typically refer to my own life experience. I have two degrees in psychology but after getting a book on XHTML and CSS, I started working on that full time and now function purely as a developer. All that to say, I spent 5 years in school but only until someone challenged my major and life decisions did I find something that I truly loved.

    College is important, especially in our culture where it functions more as a means to an end rather than a learning ground but I stress to people more and more that college is only as useful as you allow it to be, i.e., allowing yourself to be questioned and stretched.

    I don’t regret my time in college, it’s how I met my wife, but I do wonder how things would have turned out differently had I been given four years to work toward something I wanted rather than blindly following the path set before me by society.

    Anyway, best of luck to those making these kinds of decisions.

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  22. designfollow Author Editor

    Thank you very much this will be very helpfull

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  23. Dani Author Editor

    I love being a freelance web designer, but I lack a degree. I recently decided to start looking into colleges that have programs that will compliment my skills I’ve already learned. Maybe its just me, or maybe just living in Colorado, but few programs here fulfill the skills I still need.

    I used to work in retail as a manager so I know that when someone is hiring, a degree looks like a huge plus on a resume. As much as I want to see college as a huge pay off in teaching me what I need to know. I’m beginning to realize its real value is just going to be getting me in the door. Which I suppose with all the great tutorials and books out there I can just continue my self taught education while the degree works as a “golden ticket” lol.

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  24. Joshua Monge Author Editor

    I have a college intern. What they lack in the technical know how, they make-up in knowing the “why”.

    Hiring someone with technical know how gets the task completed, but sometimes they miss the over arching goals.

    Seriously some of the best ideas and businesses came from college kids with more free time and resources.

    Go to college, get a degree, and more doors are open.

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  25. Erich Author Editor

    I graduated from High School last year. I spent my first 6 months out of school working a couple odd jobs and got that freedom that I wanted. After that I started to work on projects I’ve always wanted to do but just haven’t had time. I took on a few clients in that time but for the most part I’ve been learning new things and focusing on my own projects. It’s been awesome. I think I’ve learned more about responsibility in the pat 6 months than in the 18 years before.

    I didn’t know what I wanted to go to school for and wanted to try a few things out while I decided. I have a much better idea now of what I don’t want to do (9-5, 7 days a week) but I want to try a few other things before I decide to go. There’s no sense wasting money on something I’ll never use right?

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  26. Kim H Author Editor

    I think the value of college is this: it teaches us the longreaching theories that we will continue to use in art and design, in addition to providing connections, in addition to having free time – granted you don’t have to work your way through college. After all, many designers got started without a college degree by learning the theories and applying them on their own!

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  27. Chris Morata Author Editor

    Let’s not forget college as an experience! For me, college has been way more than studying and getting a degree. These have been the best 4 years of my life! I’ve met lifelong friends, my girlfriend, not to mention I’ve encountered some interesting experiences to say the least.

    You have the rest of your life to work and make money, why not take a few years to sit back and enjoy life while you can. Meet people, study abroad, live it up.

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  28. Stan Rosenthal Author Editor

    I’m a freshman at Wash U and find this post and the comments very helpful.

    In the beginning of the semester I fired all my clients in order to focus on my courses, meeting people, and getting involved in student groups. Without webdev, however, life feels a bit empty. Now I’ve picked up developing again, but I can’t stand doing my calculus homework when I know I could be working on my sites. There must be some balance there I haven’t found yet.

    I would agree that the connections I’ve made so far have definitely made the semester worth it, even if I’ve learned very little in my courses. I try to work in teams as much as I can to learn how other people work and think, and it’s been eye-opening.

    In an ideal world maybe there would be something that’s a cross between a college and an incubator. You take one or two relevant courses, live in dorms, but spend most your time on projects. Just a thought.

    I look forward to future posts on this subject.

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  29. Crystal Author Editor

    I’m currently in my 3rd year of college going for a Web Development degree, and am so happy I’m doing it. Originally a computer science major, I took the plunge last year to switch majors and schools. Just as you mentioned, having a relevant major to what you want to be doing is a great way to keep on track and enhance your true skills.

    Also great points on all of the other benefits of college to a career — communication, resources, etc. I couldn’t agree more! I can’t even imagine my knowledge in simple life and even business subjects being the same without college at this point.

    This was a great post, and very inspiring to read. Thank you. :)

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  30. Stevo Author Editor

    I know the article probably focuses on the majority of college students, but not all students can focus 100% of their time on self improvement when they have to either work a full time job or a part time job to pay for school. I am new to web design and I always want to read more and learn more about it but just cannot find the time commuting back and forth 45 minutes, working, and then doing homework. The college life is great if you can afford it…or don’t mind the debt.

    P.S. Are you guys up at the University of Hartford? I’m down at Southern Connecticut, and have a few friends at Hartford. Cheers from New Haven!

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  31. Ahsan Altaf Author Editor

    Well i was in the exact same situation a month ago. But instead of doing something related to webdesign or something which would help me in maintaining my designing , i took bio-engineering kinda the opposite way . The only plus point is the i’d get to use 3d softwares .
    Regards.

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  32. Rob Erskine Author Editor

    I’ve had my own website since sophomore year in high school, and I’ve been honing my skills since the 8th grade. I was skeptical about coming to school because of my learning curve.

    However; now that I am a freshman in college majoring in Web Design and Digital Media, I’ve made a lot of connections with my peers and with faculty alike. In my first trimester I landed a job at the computer center working on computers, next tri I went to an interview hosted by the advertising team and college of business here on campus. I was in the running against all other freshman and I landed the position.

    I’m now working with the advertising team (which, as I’ve learned, is a fine line between graphic design) making all kinds of connections.

    While in college I’ve been challenged to think obliquely and check out things I might have not thought about.

    Although I am in basic html and photoshop 101 classes, which is dull and drone, I’ve talked with my professors and picked up extra projects. At the moment I’m making a website for the school literary magazine, instead of learning about div tags.

    All in all, I was skeptical about what I would learn, but now that I am busy everyday from 8:30 am until 6:00 pm I’ve learned a lot of skills. I’m even thinking about coming back next year.

    Sorry for the long post, this has just been a big topic for me and I thought I would give my two cents.

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  33. Marky Author Editor

    Great work Sam! I have always been a huge proponent of college education. Design education has always been considered something that can be self-taught and does not require a college degree. You have come up with some convincing reasons for designers to earn a college degree. Creativity of a designer will not suffice in the competitive job market; it has to be backed up with a proof of commitment and dedication. A degree can help you realize your hidden potential and get the best out of an artist. I attended CCSD for a graphic design degree just for a successful career but now I know that the value of a degree is perpetual.

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  34. Stanley Diaz Author Editor

    Great article. A topic I’ve been meaning to hear about more.

    I’m currently a first year design student majoring in Web Design and New Media. I’m glad to hear that others believe college is a good investment.

    Some of my fears of attending college is that I may not be learning the skills and knowledge I really want to be learning.

    I enjoy the aspects of Web Design but I’m more interested in UX design (wireframes, information architecture, personas, usability testing, etc), which is the field I really want to get into and not much the visual design such as gradients, drop shadows, etc (which I’m doing now in school). I’m an avid reader of design blogs and tutorials but most of my books are on subjects of IA, Usability, Navigation, etc.

    I’ve looked into majors such as Human Computer Interaction but those majors require you to either minor or at least take programming classes, which I don’t enjoy, except html and css.

    I think though that my current school is fine for now. But I don’t know if after I land a job as a web designer, I can transition out of the visual aspects and more into user experience.

    Thanks for the article. Stuff like this is really helpful for students such as myself.

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  35. Jared Author Editor

    I started learning web design when I was 14 and home-schooled. Now, I’m in college for Web Development Technology with Emphasis on Design. I chose a program that encompasses project management, design, programming, and business/marketing. I think it is well rounded, but being a jack of all trades… … I like to think of my skills like those of a “family doctor,” who is your main doc, but isn’t for everything. : )

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  36. Osvaldo M Author Editor

    I believe the best choice I’ve ever made was to study a “generalist” career, i studied Multimedia and although many classes were complete boredom i cannot say it was a bad choice to take such a broad approach on matters. After all, it helped me develop (most from my side than from my uni) different skills such as audio engineering, 2d and 3d, graphic design, programming, etc, which nowadays have helped me a lot in the professional side in spite of pursuing a career as a web developer. I recommend to everyone who is not entirely sure of which career to take, to go for a generalist approach, after 2nd/3rd year you will start to intuitively go for the stuff you like the most. Then, if you have find out your niche, take short courses to develop specific skills.
    And the best thing out of college, is the connections/friendships you make that will help you out once you are on the professional side, so even if it is homework, the teacher sucks and there is not a good reason to do it, do it properly, other fellow students and probably future co-workers/partners are going to be watching… It sure did happened to me!

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  37. Berthold Author Editor

    As someone who has recently gone back to college to fix their education after freelancing for a couple of years, I have a mixed opinion.

    Clearly, your statement about teaching yourself is the dominant piece of knowledge here. You and you alone are responsible for your education, so never expect to be spoon-fed anywhere.

    That said, having teachers point you in the right directions (not always with the right knowledge unfortunately) is a great way to find starting points for educating yourself and your individual strengths and weaknesses. If you’re lucky, you get teachers that take an active interest in your career and give you a head start. Still, never once should you believe that somebody else is responsible for your education.

    Mentors can be found outside of schools as well. If you are lucky enough to somehow end up working for one, you may not need a college education at all. I never found one, so I’m going the safe route.

    Theoretically you can stick it solo from start to finish, but there is one big problem: Who will provide you with honest and professional feedback about your work? Remember that you must design for somebody else, not cater to your own personal taste. Friends and family are not a good source of constructive criticism either, as they will most likely pull their punches. I have seen a lot of wannabe-authors being ripped off by unethical publishers because they never managed to find somebody to tell them their work sucks. If ever you meet that great critic who tells you why you suck and how to improve, keep him.

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  38. Jonathan Stephens Author Editor

    I’m approaching my final year in studying Graphic Design at a 4-year University. I can say that I wouldn’t consider not attending college for Design. Sure, it’s not web design persay, but it’s making me a designer with the skill set and knowledge to improve all aspects of my work. College has helped me create, define and refine the crucial process of creation, allowing my work to develop intellectually and my craft to develop in my work, without the constant client-specified design elements.

    Not only has my process grown, but I am constantly humbled to see what my classmates have designed with the exact same prompt. I’m constantly learning from my classmates and not just learning from my professors. We have learned to give honest and necessary feedback during critiques that improve our designs dramatically over its live before a final design is reached. The resources at the college are infinitely greater than I could have had at home teaching myself. We have screen printing, a letter press, a design library that puts my three or four web books to shame. The University provides opportunities to experiment in what you want to do in design as well–like a daily newspaper, university-college-club level graphic designers, contests, etc–that aren’t found teaching yourself on the computer.

    Building connections with professors, students, and grad students is one of the large benefits. As are learning from them. So be it if I am the product of a college driven system of society. I see more benefits of pursuing a degree in Design than not and I know that I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without my professors, classmates, and my university. Design is an interdependent and collaborative world, college is a very good opportunity to begin in it.

    *Also, you get really nice student prices on the Adobe software, computers, etc. Pulling the student card is usually always beneficial.

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  39. Akshay Author Editor

    “College provides a unique bubble of free time. Self-improvement is your full time job (they don’t tell you- but that tuition pays for your social life as well).”

    just so so so true ..

    I have done my Bachelors in Computer application where they taught me how to do stuff with C++ … .Net nd other languages for software development.. but from almost nowhere in the college course .. I learned CSS nd javascript :D.

    Just due to the awesome interest in front end designing & development…

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