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  1. #1
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Options for senior college student in web design

    Hello all,
    I'm a senior in college, and I have been doing websites for about 8 years now. I am completely self taught however, and am not getting a degree in computer science. How likely would it be for someone with experience, albeit self taught, to get a job out of college doing web design, or some related area? I know I am vague and haven't given you any idea of what I can do, but thats intentional to see what you think I would need to have/or be able to do to get a job? Thanks!
    Jeremy

  • #2
    Senior Coder NancyJ's Avatar
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    If you've been doing it for 8 years I'm assuming you have a huge portfolio. Thats all you really need. Assuming its good.

  • #3
    Regular Coder croatiankid's Avatar
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    If your good I think you're fine w/o a degree. But then again, why did you spend the last 4 years and who knows how much money on something you won't use? I'm not saying you should drop out though, you never know when that degree/education will come in handy.

  • #4
    Mega-ultimate member
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    Years ago I interviewed for a job at a web development company for a "senior designer". I didn't have a degree, but had been teaching my self web programming and design and had a real passion for standards and programming.

    I ended up getting the job and about a month later, my manager (who interviewed me) said that in technology, being self taught can be a BIG plus because it shows that you're interested in the technology for the love of it, not the money, and the fact that I showed, in the interview, that I was passionate about development scored a lot of points.

    Is every company like that? No, but those who are looking to consistantly innovate and adapt need people who are willing to be passionate about learning.

    So, my advice (and take it for what it's worth ) is to apply for what you want to do, and be confident and passionate about your self and your ablities in the interview. If they don't hire you, odds are you didn't want them to.

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    gnomeontherun (09-22-2007)

  • #5
    eak
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    Regular Coder eak's Avatar
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    Being self taught worked for me.
    I started learning html around 1996, then I moved on to JS, css, php, etc.

    My college degree has nothing to do with web development and since I easily answered the interview screening questions, "what is the difference between echo and print?" for example, I got the job.

    As long as you know your stuff, you should be fine. Many places do not care what your degree is in as long as you have one.


    What type of job are you looking for? Web design (artistic), web development (programming), server architecture (technical), or something else?
    eak | "Doing a good deed is like wetting your pants; every one can see the results, but only you can feel the warmth."

  • #6
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    I'm in an ambiguous state: my degree will be in video production and eventually I want to go to film school. However I will be getting married after graduation and my fiancé will likely be working at Mayo Clinic, which has very little video opportunity nor any film schools. So for a few years I'm thinking about freelancing and maybe starting my own business, or looking for a fulltime web job of some kind.

    Thanks for all of your responses, its great to know there are helpful people out there.
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
    Educated questions often get educated answers, and simple questions often get simple answers.

  • #7
    Mega-ultimate member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremywilken View Post
    I'm in an ambiguous state: my degree will be in video production and eventually I want to go to film school. However I will be getting married after graduation and my fiancé will likely be working at Mayo Clinic, which has very little video opportunity nor any film schools. So for a few years I'm thinking about freelancing and maybe starting my own business, or looking for a fulltime web job of some kind.

    Thanks for all of your responses, its great to know there are helpful people out there.
    Mayo Clinic you say? In Rochester MN by chance?

  • #8
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    Can you post a portfolio of your web design work please.

    I am so-called, 'self-taught' with a lot of help from people here. I have created a specific IT system which enables small businesses in a specific sector - who are normally technically illiterate - to have a very effective web presence and which requires them to have a web site as a small part of the 'whole thing'.

    The whole point of it is to enable the 'technically reluctant' to have really good presence for their customers where, to date, they have had to employ people of varying degress of inepetitude, to build a 'web site'. Normally they are anything but standards compliant; indeed they are more often able only to work with some versions of IE.

    i can't cope with small business people being exploited, many of whom run a cottage industry type business, and are paying for something which works in the only browser they are aware of and where, unbeknown to them, many of their customers can't experience their website properly at all. The expression 'exploitation' really does spring to mind.

    I have sought people here in CF, experienced in web design (and to some degree in graphics), to build sites, where I have done the xhtml and they need 'only' do some graphics (not logos), and the CSS.

    I have already been enlightened and ahve found one clearly good partner in this, via AeroSpace_Eng. (Did I say he is good?). Others have shown an interest and I have yet to follow them up. (v. busy).

    I want to find more so that he isn't worked 'to the bone', so let me see a portfolio guaranteed to be of your work and maybe I can send you some projects to see you through college or at least keep things ticking over for you.

    At the risk of sounding dreamy or naive,( I am not); I have a realistinc figure of 5 000 customers in the next two years and, simply, won't be able to do all their work myself. Yeah, i can do the website but not the CSS. I would prefer to employ good CSS coders than to employ staff, because the capability of my potential workers is as set out above.

    so as I started with; let me see a portfolio of your work.

    PS, in case I have sellfishly hijacked your thread, I apologise, on behalf of my customers who need such work.

    That said, having re-read your intial post; maybe I have accidentally answered your question?
    bazz
    Last edited by bazz; 09-23-2007 at 01:07 AM.

  • #9
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Yes Rochester MN, and I thought it was a great place. My fiancé isn't so sure about the cold winters (shes a native of Houston).

    My portfolio, well its pretty diverse but I am fully willing to admit that I didn't create standards complient designs 5 years ago when I was in High School. I grew up on a farm, and I was about the only person in the world that I knew who knew about web design. Needless to say I have recently stocked up on literature to fix that, but point is that some of my old work is not...up to par. I also took about a 3 year hiatus (freshman through end of junior year) to take a break from the 'business' I started in HS, so I have been working on fixing that gap. Here are a couple of the recent projects I have done:

    www.iroquoiscofair.com - IE5 has a little issue
    www.jeremywilken.com/media.html - video work
    http://www.jeremywilken.com/projects.../carousel.html - flash application
    www.jeremywilken.com - what will be my entire portfolio, but I'm using it as a learning tool so its buggy and in development
    www.valpo.edu/wvur - a combination of numerous things, not compliant, not really my fault - moving it to joomla currently

    Perhaps I should expound on my original question and discern what the most important things are for a web designer. I've decided to commit myself to learning and using w3c compliant markup, but I had put a lot of time into Flash, Flex, SEO, Ajax, PHP, and of course video. I consider myself to be an all around type person, but not an all star in any specific category. Whats best to do? Thanks again you guys are great.
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
    Educated questions often get educated answers, and simple questions often get simple answers.

  • #10
    New Coder cheat's Avatar
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    well i started out in web development at age 14 and by 16 i was running my own buisness. by 17 i had seven people under my employment. by 19 i was partner in 1 web development buisness and a web hosting buisness.

    i am 100% self taught and ill tell you something its hard work.

    but its worth it.

  • #11
    Regular Coder kosstr12's Avatar
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    As all of the others said...As long as you have a good portfolio people will hire you.

  • #12
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    Optawise is currently looking for website designers, please get your sample sites ready before applying.

  • #13
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    My situation was similar to many of the others here. I obtained a B.S. degree in Marketing many years ago and graduated during a strong recession, and unemployment among recent grads was fairly high. I had no job placement assistance from my college because I was moving out-of-state. After a brief stint in outside sales, I decided to go into IT because it was my real passion. I was completely self-taught and had difficulty landing jobs without a CT degree.

    Every employer for whom I worked appreciated the strong business and project management skills that I brought to the table. When I moved into consulting, I again was grilled for a lack of "hard technical skills", even though the end clients were thrilled with my ability to understand their business issues. And that's what made me decide to go completely independent 10 years ago.

    Many business owners and decision-makers are perfectly happy with IT solutions that are usable, solve their problems and offer excellent service. They are less concerned with certifications and the mile-long resume of technical skill sets. This is not to say that an IT person should ignore standards and best practices in their work - an IT pro should always pay attention to those areas. In my experience, I have seen too many "perfect systems that nobody uses" because the systems were over-engineered, required a Ph.D. to use, or burden by too much technical complexity.

    Businesses appreciate people who recognize what is a "right fit" for them, especially in IT. If you develop business and communication skills alongside your work in IT, you will be gainfully employed, even in the worst economic times.
    Milwaukee Web Designer and SEO Milwaukee Firm specializing in ASP.Net, C#, VB.Net, SQL Server and Access.


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