Business: I need someone to decide my life for me.

started by Joe Gillespie on Dec 9, 2004 — RSS Feed

Mr_brightside Mr_brightside
Posts: 2

...well not really.
I apologize for the attention-grabbing subject but I do need some help. I am a Computer Science major at a highly technologically driven University and I havenít found anyone who has been able to answer my questions terribly well. I got into Computer Science because I really liked working with computers esp. programming, but I didnít really know what I wanted to do once I graduated out of school. Now in my third year (third of a five year plan), I have had two internships where I have designed brand new websites for companies from scratch. I had so much fun doing it, that I can see this is definitely what I want to do with the rest of my life.

     Most of the web programming I know has been self-taught and I know I still have A LOT to learn. My coursework for the rest of my major, however, doesnít seem to pertain much to my interests. I am looking for suggestions on what direction I should take my education. What are web design companies looking for in potential employees?

     I know my question is very general and common so Iíll try to be more specific about my interests. I enjoy hand-coding pages. I like harmonizing the abilities of HTML, JavaScript and CSS to create a symphony of dynamic web page design. I also enjoy designing layouts, and editing graphics with software like Photoshop, but I see myself as more the analytical programmer, than the creative graphic artist.

     I have been non-stop Googleing all over the Internet and this page caught my interest as a very well designed site with a lot of helpful advice. Thank you to anyone with the patience to give me some direction.

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

The answer to your question from an old timer like me might help to put your problem in perspective. I studied creative design to Master level - seven years of college. In my subsequent career, I worked in advertising, packaging design, new product development, television, multimedia and Web design - in that order. My skill was graphic design but I moved with the times. At one time, I thought that multimedia had a big future but the 'multimedia boom' lasted maybe ten years at most. I think that the Web, as we know it, will fizzle out too.

What will you do then?

What I am saying is, at this stage, you should concentrate on a basic skill that you can adapt as the popular media evolves and changes. Programming skills, if that is your strength, should be broader and not channelled down the 'Web' route exclusively or you could find yourself unemployable in years to come. 'Web designers' with no particular skills outside that narrow area could find themselves at a dead end.

The Web is a horrible kludge and something better will surely come along in a few years time.

Baxter Baxter
Posts: 157

If I were you, I'd try to tweak my field of study to work with xml and xslt, as I think those are skills that are going to move forward more and more, and they'll help you with web stuff, too.

On my own, I'd continue teaching myself good web design.

And in a nutshell, I'll give you the same advice I give everyone with a similar question.

Figure out what you really like to do.
Go do it.

Sounds like you're halfway there.

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